The Buck Stops Here


Think About This
Remember when you couldn’t wait for a certain TV show to come on? Or you couldn’t wait to get the new album by your favorite artist? Or you couldn’t wait for someone to get off the phone so you could talk to your friends? These days, it seems like waiting and anticipation are long gone. Movies and tv are on-demand. Downloads are instant. Friends are just a click away.

While these conveniences aren’t bad , the get-it-now mentality can easily drift into other areas of our life. We want a new phone before the contract is up. We want a new iPad, even when the old one works fine . The faster we get something new, the faster we expect to receive other things. Especially for students, it becomes easy to mistake, “I want it now” for “I deserve it now”.

In his blog post, Pace Yourself, Pace Your Kids, author Tim Elmore says,

We must figure out how to pace our students, exposing them to measured amounts of possessions and appropriate experiences as they mature.

In other words, if we give our students everything they want now , there will be nothing to look forward to later.  He goes on to offer some advice to parents that are struggling to help their student master the art of anticipating:

  1. Pace the sequence of possessions and experiences, allowing for a bigger and better one, as they mature. For instance, you might plan…a trip across the U.S. when they’re in middle school and a trip overseas when they’re in high school.
  2. Don’t fall into the trap of comparisons. Other parents may win brownie points with their kids because they give them too much, too soon. Those kids are “wowed” in the moment, … may have difficulty managing expectations as young adults

Pacing what we give our students, allowing anticipation to build, is certainly not easy. However, it does help them learn to be content with what they have, right here and right now.

Try This
Nothing can help a student be content with what they have more than noticing what they have. Often, students have no idea how much money goes into everything that is provided for them. Things like electricity, water, clothing, and transportation. Consider inviting your student to join you as you work on the family budget. Not only will it help students to see where money goes on their behalf, but seeing a real budget, in a real house, can help them make wise choices with their own money as they enter adulthood.