I thought of yesterday’s crying post when we ate lunch (and dinner) today. When Laurel (nearly nine months old) sits down in her high chair, she wants food now. Waiting for everyone to get in place, and for prayer isn’t easy. I’m tempted to give her a little bit of food to hold her over while we pray; after all, she doesn’t understand why she cannot have food right away. I certainly don’t think it’s bad to take this approach, but I think learning to wait is within her ability to learn, so we hold her hands and pray as usual. She’s starting to get it, even though she does cry a bit sometimes while we’re praying. For awhile, she pulled her hands away, but now she lets us hold her hands. Cruel, to force her to hold hands for a 30-second prayer? Cruel, to let her cry while we pray? I don’t think so. Of course, a mom must be sensitive to the ability of her children to wait, and not push far beyond that ability. Like a good coach, who pushes his team just a little bit further beyond what they think they are capable of, a wise mom will also push her children to maturity. Push too hard, and you discourage your children; don’t push at all, and some children may not achieve their potential. Delayed gratification is a good lesson, even for a baby. Come to think of it, it’s a good lesson for me.
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