1. Ride out emotions. Acknowledge your child's feelings and tell him it's OK to feel sad, angry, or frustrated when he can't have what he wants. His feelings will eventually subside.
2. Go long-term. Activities that take time to complete teach patience. Do a puzzle or an art project over a couple of days, enjoying the time together and noting the progress.
3. Embrace nature. You can't hurry the growth of a vegetable garden, and you can't make a trout bite any faster when fishing. Let your child experience the slower pace of the natural world.
4. Reward savings. If your child saves her allowance for a month, give her extra as "interest." She'll appreciate buying something of greater value after delaying the immediate gratification of spending her money right away.
5. Lead the way. Be a role model by managing your own desire for instantaneous gratification as best you can.
Lynn Ticknor, M.A., is a certified parent educator and a freelance writer specializing in child development, parenting, and family issues.
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