Lent: practicing abstaining makes children fit for life

Reading time: 2 minutes of Lent is not just for adults. Even with children, you can take this time as an opportunity to practice doing without. This gives scope for new ideas. And even makes your child fit for a successful life, as the marshmallow study showed. But the child needs your support for this.

Lent: practicing renunciation makes children fit for life

Why is doing without creative?

Creativity needs space. Spinning, rejecting and developing ideas often comes about through a period of idle and boredom. If the child grabs the remote control uncontrollably in every free minute, he never experiences this empty space that can be filled with something new.

Why makes renunciation successful?

In the marshmallow study, preschool children were left alone in a room with a marshmallow in front of their noses. The promise was: "If you manage to pass 15 minutes without eating it, you’ll get a second marshmallow afterwards." This first part of the study took place in 1972 at Standford University, USA.

After 15 years, 100 study participants could still be tracked down and interviewed. It is interesting that the children who had been able to wait in preschool age for the candy to "multiply" were better pupils after 15 years and more resilient than the formerly impatient. From this, the scientists concluded that the ability to wait for a need to be satisfied is a success factor in the Life is.

Children need help getting started

Waiving is difficult for adults. Even impossible for smaller children. An infant relies on its food and closeness needs to be met immediately. The bigger the child is, and the more his trust in life grows, he can consciously wait for a need to be satisfied. If you want to do without your child during Lent, you need your support:

  • Explain to the children that you are taking Easter Lent as an opportunity to forego something you love. Afterwards you can be happy about it again.
  • Think together with the child about what is important to them and whereupon want to do without it.
  • Lent lasts over 6 weeks. Even if you take Sundays off, it is long for a child. Divide Lent and let your child go without something else week after week.
  • Offer the child an alternative as a start-up aid and incentive: "If we don’t watch TV, we play a game together every afternoon or make something spring-like."
  • Thread a fasting chain with the children. It shows how long Lent has been going on and what lies ahead of the family.
  • You have the best chance of keeping Lent completely media-free if all of your children are under 10 years are old. Then the pressure of the friends weighs on the larger child.

Doing without children – not easy but worthwhile

3 times I went through a television-free Lent with my three children. And I confess that I curse the project more than once. Whenever a cold, wet spring weather kept the children in the house and I smelled them happy, even though my mood was in the basement myself. And I longed to dive in front of the TV.

But at some point the switch flipped every time of Lent. The children discovered that it was fun to tinker and play in a radio play in the room. Today my children can no longer be completely talked out of watching TV. However, both sons are passionate hobbyists and build mountains of cardboard rolls, drinking straws and egg cartons into agricultural properties and equipment. Possibly the foundation stone was laid in a television-free Lent.

More Lent Tips:

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Christina Cherry
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