eldest brother Elvis taught me a valuable lesson as a teen about delaying
gratification. I didn’t understand what he was teaching at that
moment in time, but I trusted him; and knew that he wanted the best for his
little brother. I was in the process of receiving a basketball scholarship to
attend college in Texas. My brother simple words were, “The girls will always be
there. When you leave and come back home they will still be around; they are not
five years later, I met a student who was frustrated and disappointed about his
life. I asked him the simple question, why? Then he began to express himself
about what he wanted to achieve in his life. I was very impressed with his
his priorities were wrong. He was a ninth grade student that wanted what he
wanted in his life right then. He wanted a brand new car to drive, and a big
house to live in, and he was very serious about what he wanted.
imperative for parents to teach their children delayed gratification. This
young man thought as a young adult, he should have lots of money in his pocket to be
able to take his girlfriend to the movie theater. He never saw the process of
school, then graduation. We then looked at what was most important right then
and focused on some future goals.
Delayed gratification is passing up short term gains for long term reward. The ability
to delay gratification is a major indicator of success for children and their
parents. In our society, adults and children alike are bombarded with the
temptation to give in to short term gains.
should begin to teach their children the skill of delaying gratification early
in their lives, as the earlier parents teach this skill the better off their
children will be.
Here are several tips to help parents teach their children delayed
children to make decisions and know what they want for themselves. It would be nice for them to put their decision in
writing. Sometimes it can be hard for children to say no to things. They have
to have a clear picture of what they want in order to resist the urge.
to know what is important - they need to be taught values. In order for children to delay immediate gratification
they need to know what is important to them. What do they value the most? Is it
their education, or their friends? They must know their values.
the importance of having a plan. Not
every aspect of ones life should be planned out in detailed, but in order for
anyone to reach goals, whatever they maybe, you need to have a plan. When
children have a plan it becomes easier for them to resist the urge of immediate
children how to prioritize. Have
clear priorities in life, such as school comes before entertainment, family
before friends etc. Teaching children to have clear priorities will go a long
way in delaying gratification.
Delaying gratification is not an easy task, but it is something that can be learned with
a whole lot of encouragement from you as the parent.
believe our increasingly-digital culture is only aggravating the problem of our
youth not being able to delay gratification in many ways. When we have come to
master this area of our lives, success will surely follow.
Pastor Wayne W. Carey
is a Youth and Assistant
Pastor- Counselor- Conflict Resolution Strategist- Author- Speaker- Self-Esteem Elevation