So, we have somehow already reached Pancake Day and Lent. What’s not to love about Pancake Day – perhaps the only night of the year when I can guarantee that I will have clean plates and the children will have full tummies (we’re going for a record of 7 this year, apparently).
But Lent is a funny one. Obviously, this is interpreted in different ways depending on your beliefs and religious standpoint. For some, it is taken very seriously and for others it’s just a bit of fun and a good excuse to do something about that biscuit problem you seem to have developed. As an adult, there are endless things I could give up for Lent: coffee, wine, jaffa cakes, housework – to name but three. But for children, what are the choices?
As a child myself, I seem to remember that we always gave up sweets. This seemed like a terrible prospect and the first few days of cold turkey were particularly bleak, but with the promise of Easter Eggs at the end it was somehow all worthwhile and, for the most part, I think I stuck it out.
For kids now, there are perhaps tougher things to give up than sweets and many parents will tell you that they are encouraging their children to give up the Wii for Lent, or Moshi Monsters or their Nintendo – or just straightforward TV.
Whatever form of abstinence they choose (or you choose for them), I think the idea of giving something up is a very worthwhile one. Deferred gratification is a very hard concept to understand – but hopefully they’ll thank you for it in 4 week’s time.