If your family is like ours, you’ve experienced an array of emotions over the past two years. Fortunately, I’ve been truly blessed by my kids’ perspectives and resilience during this time. 

Delayed gratification was built into my childhood. We had to wait to hear our favorite song on the radio; until a certain time each week to watch our favorite TV show. If no one picked up the phone, we had to try later since there was no way to leave a message. Unbeknownst to us at the time, this prepared us for times in our adult life when the practice of waiting – the practice of patience – was necessary and good. I am reminded of this each year during the seasons of Lent and Advent. 

When my children were young, with the speed of ever-developing technology, their opportunities to naturally experience delayed gratification were simply ceasing to exist. My husband and I decided it was important to create our own opportunities for them to practice patience in small and then ever-greater measure. Sometimes that meant purposefully delaying something that could be attained easily or immediately. Other times it meant not “making up for” events that were canceled. Looking back, I believe this practice during their early years contributed to their ability to cope with disappointment, find the positive and embrace resilience these past two years.