Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday's Tip: Make 'Em Wait

Are you familiar with the movie A Christmas Story?  Do you recall the part when Ralphie remarks that he doesn't think his mother ever ate a hot meal because she was so busy getting up to get things for everyone else in the family?  Do you ever feel that way?  I do!

There are times when, as soon as I sit down to eat my meal, one of my children asks me to get back up to get something.  If it were something that they could get, I would have them do it themselves.  But usually, they want a refill on their drinks, something they can't do yet.  And I used to get up as soon as they asked because we are supposed to serve our families, right?

One day, as I got upset with Daniel for asking me for a refill of his juice as soon as I sat down from getting one for Sarah Beth, I realized the problem wasn't with my children.  The problem was with me and my lack of training them.  They continued to do this because they didn't know better, and they didn't realize how inconsiderate it was.

So I told them.  And guess what.  They think about it now.  I see both Sarah Beth and Daniel finish their drinks, look at me, and wait patiently.  Then they ask, but they know that it may be another few minutes before I get to a point that I want to get up, and they're okay with that.  And I feel better:  I'm not getting upset because they're being (ignorantly) inconsiderate.  We're all happier now.

I know that we're supposed to serve our families, but sometimes it's better to make them wait.  If I  continue to get my children what they want as soon as they want it, I'm sure I'll help them grow into spoiled brats.  By teaching them to wait, I'm helping them to be more considerate of the people serving them.

Do you make your children wait?  What for?


Tracey said...

I think this is a great tip! We experienced this same thing with our children when they were a bit younger. Now they're old enough to get up from the table and get things for themselves. :)

Nikki said...

Tracey, if they need a spoon or fork or something, they can get it themselves. But if they need more food or drink, I have to get it, and it sure will be nice when they can do it themselves!

aurie good said...

we do the same thing. If it's something that is safe for them to reach, then they are allowed to get the item. If it's something that needs mommy or daddy's help and we are busy or eating, then they wait. It's working well so far!!

Nikki said...

Aurie, good for you! And our children will benefit greatly from our making them wait a little bit for what they want.

Laura said...

Our children wait as well. Some of them are getting to the point where they can get food and drinks for themselves and their younger siblings, which is wonderful! But for the things they can't get themselves, once they've had their first serving they can just wait patiently until we have had the opportunity to eat our food before it gets cold. I agree with you that they really benefit from it...in several ways!