child's hands on computer keyboard
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Waiting and Sharing and Parenting

“I really need my own laptop for school.” I’m not going to name which child uttered these words, because they each feel the same way. They feel that they need their own device—or devices—in order to connect with friends, get my work done, and watch what I want to watch. 

I responded with a list of questions, and I learned: Yes, there are computers available in the classroom. Yes, there is that old desktop at home that takes approximately two long minutes to load. No, I have never missed an assignment. Yes, there are other kids who don’t have their own devices.

“So,” I said, after this conversation, “You’re telling me that not having your own computer means sometimes you need to wait. And sometimes you need to share.” 

Waiting and sharing.  

But in a world of instant gratification of individual desires everywhere I look, I have to believe that part of my job as a parent is to force some waiting. And some sharing. And to trust that this waiting and sharing actually matters. That it leads towards patience and kindness and not insisting on our own way. 

I need this truth as much as our kids do: Waiting and sharing forms in me a habit of love.

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