Author William Dawson wrote in his book The Quest for The Simple Life in 1905 that the hardest thing to understand about money is the thrill of the chase. According to Dawson, something you can easily afford brings less joy than something you must save and struggle for.
Dawson went on to say, “The man who can buy anything he covets values nothing that he buys.” This statement holds true even today, as we can see in our own lives and with our children.
If we attend to our children’s every whim and fancy without delay or consideration, we have seen that they value those things less. The same goes for us as adults – we could have bought the car we wanted a long time ago, but we know that if we had, we would not have enjoyed it as much as we do now. The delay and the time spent getting it has increased its value by many folds.
Many of us know someone who is constantly pampering their children in the name of love, but the children don’t seem to value the things they get. When questioned, the parents defend their actions by saying, “It’s just a matter of a few bucks,” or “Oh, he/she has reduced this habit now; it’s just some small thing.”
It’s appalling to see this behavior, but often we drop the case without taking any action.
Delayed gratification can make things more valuable and enjoyable. As parents, we should teach our children the value of hard work and delayed gratification, and as individuals, we should practice it ourselves.
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