We recently celebrated one of our son’s 4th birthday. As with most kids, he had been anticipating the day for quite some time. The morning of his birthday was like Christmas. 6 am came and he was standing at our bedside eagerly waiting to open his gifts. “Umm . . . sorry sweetie, you have to wait until your party.” You can imagine his reaction wasn’t a super thrilled one. But, waiting can seem so HARD. President Uchtdorf teaches us a bit about why we must learn patience in this life: “The lessons we learn from patience will cultivate our character, lift our lives, and heighten our happiness. They will help us to become faithful disciples of our Master, Jesus Christ.”
For FHE tonight, refer to this amazing talk by President Uchtdorf. Adapt it to your family members’ ages. I especially love the story he tells about his training to become a military fighter pilot for my little ones. After you discuss a bit about what it means to have patience, and why it’s important, you can do some variation of the “marshmallow experiment” President Uchtdorf explains in his talk.
Here’s how we did it: We gave each of our children a small sucker and challenged them not to open it. We were going to go for a drive, and at the end of the drive, if they hadn’t opened or eaten the sucker they would be rewarded with a bigger, better treat. We went to a cupcake shop and let them pick out what they wanted. Again, this can be done in a variety of ways.
“As parents, we know how unwise it would be to indulge our children’s every desire. But children are not the only ones who spoil when showered with immediate gratification. Our Heavenly Father knows what good parents come to understand over time: if children are ever going to mature and reach their potential, they must learn to wait.” –President Dieter F. Uchtdorf