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By: Tammy Sassoon, M.s.ed

We live in a world of instant gratification. It is part of the culture of our country. People want fast results right now. The problem is that fast results are often not aligned with our value system, and that is when we create struggles for ourselves. We enjoy instant gratification, like being able to order things on Amazon Now or UberEats, but then we wonder why people are so impatient today. If we want our children to do something, we have to set aside the goal of getting fast results and ask ourselves why we want them to do it. The question of how to do it will be answered by yourself, when you have a very clear “why” in front of you.

Let me first give you an example that is not related to raising children: Many people who have struggled with losing weight for many years have faced much failure. They have tried many different strategies, bouncing from program to program looking for a solution. In the end, what really helped them to reach their weight loss goal was by strengthening their “why.” Why are they doing it? When they think about it, they realize all of the benefits of eating healthy foods, and then the foods that used be extremely tempting are no longer palatable because their “why” changed.

Now let's ask ourselves why we want our children to engage in certain behaviors. Whatever the behavior is, if the answer is that we want them to do it because it is good for us, because we want instant gratification, we will likely not get very far with them at all. However, if our reason, our “why” is because it will help them lead a calmer, happier, more successful life, we are much more likely to tap into our own inner wisdom and find good strategies. For example, if a child struggles to speak respectfully to his or her parents, we can yell at them that they must be respectful (which happens to be true – we do not allow disrespectful speech), then we might achieve instant results, but certainly not a shift in attitude from our children. If we take a moment to ask Hashem for clarity, and think about “why” we want this, we will conclude that it’s actually good for children to respect authority. People who respect authority are happier and can live far more productive lives than those who fight authority. Then, we will organically calm down, and think of more creative solutions to gain cooperation.

Once you solidify your “why,” your reason, you will still hit a bump in the road when your emotions kick in. When that happens, identify that you are having an unhelpful feeling, and don’t realign reason to match your emotions, because that will never get you any results. We need to make our emotions match up with our reason in order to produce the results, which are aligned with the goal that we originally set out for ourselves.

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Tammy Sassoon, M.S.Ed, is a Parenting Coach, Behavioral Therapist, and Principal at Orot Sarah. She gives live workshops as well as "train by phone" telecourses to teachers, principals, therapists, and parents. She can be contacted through her website at or by phone at (347) 679-5466.