Some friends recently took their daughters to the daddy/daughter dance sponsored by the YWCA.  Their daughters were ages 4-11.

When I was growing up, one of the cherished rituals of high school was going to your first Father/Daughter Dance.  It was a special occasion when you could get dressed up and go out on ostensibly your first “date.”  It was thrilling.

Now, girls are going out and even getting flowers at age four.  They are having graduation ceremonies from kindergarten, complete with cap and gown.  It’s not enough that they have cell phones and money and a crazy amount of independence, but now the rituals of teenagers are happening a full decade earlier.

I worry about the expectations that we are setting for our children.  Will college graduation mean anything if it is the umpteenth time they have marched to Pomp and Circumstance?  Will there be any events to commemorate coming of age?

It reminds me of the study where children needed to practice delayed gratification to receive two marshmallows later instead of one instantaneously.  Those who were able to wait were more successful in life.

How can we expect children to delay gratification when we are often unable (or unwilling) to do so as adults?  We are living in a world where there is no more waiting…

…but some things are worth a wait.  Try to figure out what they are so you can keep a few things sacred and special in your organization.  

— beth triplett


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