And through working and waiting he developed character in these areas:
He learned patience that kept him from accruing consumer debt when he got older.
He learned to be grateful for what he had and never acted like he was entitled to things he couldn't afford.
He learned he could achieve goals which gave him confidence to tackle bigger goals in his life.
But teaching a child these lessons today is much harder.
Because we typically can afford the things our children want, and we want to bless them with those things. We don’t realize that by giving them material blessings we may be denying them character-building opportunities.
My husband and I tried to teach our children the work and wait principle by making sure they had to earn some things even when we could afford them. A couple of examples:
- Our son loved expensive sport shoes. We paid for the moderately priced shoes, but allowed him to pay the extra from his birthday money or allowance. He actually started paying some of his shoe costs at age six.
- He also bought his first bike by collecting cans to recycle.
I encourage you to think of ways you can teach your children to work and wait. It's an act of love.
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