Childhood is a time that is supposed to be comprised of innocence and adventure. A time of growth, lessons, and bonding. Childhood is where we are expected to learn the art of relationship maintenance and preservation and blossoming through our imperfections. However this seems to be the childhood of old. The new age childhood is an age of material build up in an attempt to mask our imperfections and portray the ultimate fleek out image. An age of me first and immediate self gratification. We wonder where did the youth of today adopt this culture and it can only be from us, the parents of the age. I may not indulge my children in material masking or the technology savvy of the age but I can surely see how I’ve managed to model the immediacy and self gratification they display.
When I ask my children to do something or rather command that they do something, I expect it to be done immediately with absolutely no hesitation. You especially don’t want to appear as if you’re purposely dragging your feet even for one millisecond (sad disclaimer 😩). I know I know some may say well that’s to be expected. They should show respect. And although at times I can agree I am beginning to find that maybe that has more to do with my ego than parenting, guiding, and directing. I mean obviously they don’t want to comply with my request. Shouldn’t they get at least a millisecond or two to drag their feet if they are actually moving into the direction of compliance. Shouldn’t they be allowed time to cope with their emotions in that moment. And if I blow up because they aren’t complying right at that second aren’t I just re enforcing the immediate gratification principal?
How about when I ask my four year old to go get something for me…in my defense I couldn’t get it myself BC I had an 11 month old in water. But before I can even ask her to get it I’m jittering with impatience as she meticulously brushes her teeth before bed. 😂 she could not have taken more than about two minutes (the time it takes to so it correctly) but every stoke, every rinse and re brush felt like eternity as I waited for her to finish to request what I needed. As she scurried to find it I listens jitteryly to my son ask about a sore as I rushed him off to assist in locating this thing that I needed. In that instance I realized that
expect demand immediacy from them. I constantly re-enforce to them that when I ask them to do something it has to be right then. There’s no room for adventures, questions, or reassurance. I model the opposite of what it is I’m trying to teach them. My actions are not lining up with my words. And so as many of us do, knowingly and unknowingly, I punish them for following my example.
Habits are difficult to break and often times we have to instead replace them with another behavior; so next time I find my child taking their time to comply with a request I silently say a prayer for them and me to improve in our areas of weakness. What will you do to replace or break your habit of expecting immediacy? Post your response in the comments below.