Posted by: gnosticwill | March 2, 2009

A spiritual approach to teaching children how to put off a short term gratification to achieve a long term goal?

photo0015The other day our family had a small drama. The eldest boy (10 years old) was playing on his laptop computer first thing in the morning before completing his jobs.

When I questioned him about it he said he didn’t know and he thought he was allowed to play with his computer before doing his jobs on the weekend, which I of course knew to be untrue. So I checked with his mother who said he knew the jobs had to be done first every day of the week.

I asked him why he did it, and he could not answer. So I asked him if he just wanted to play and that is all he thought about. “Yes” was his grumpy answer. Then I asked if he did not think about the consequences. “Consequences?” he said.

“Yes” I said, and then there were a lot of tears, anger and even more weak excuses. The excuses or rather the lack of responsibility bothers me a lot.

After a few minutes in his room to calm down I asked him to come to the breakfast nook — we had a discussion about the nature of desire, rationalisation and ill will.

All this started me thinking. If our children learn from our example not our words, then what example am I giving him? Being aware of how important this skill is, how is it possible that I have not been actively demonstrating it?

I wonder? What do other spiritually minded people do with their children when confronted with similar circumstances?



  1. What a great story. The challenge of guiding a developing person — how to show respect and tolerance and yet also lead towards a conscious understanding?

    Especially when little people have minds of their own too…

    I wish you much strength 🙂

  2. I really liked this post Gnostic Will! I think it would be a wonderful thing if you kept sharing your insights about the kids, there is so little guidance out there about this kind of thing and it is a wonderful thing to reflect upon.

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