Yes, DOUBLE MY GIFT to help families!

Yes, DOUBLE MY GIFT to help families!

Yes, Double my gift to help families!

The Gift of Self-Denial That Leads to Gratitude

By Susie Larson
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Luke Flowers
You might be surprised at how self-denial actually leads to gratitude.

We do our kids a great service when we help them practice the virtue of self-restraint. God gives us so many good things to enjoy: fudge sundaes, trendy outfits, shiny bicycles and more. But they are life’s desserts, not the main course.

They are worth waiting for and working for. It’s not a bad thing to let our kids go without something they want. These are necessary growth moments for developing grounded, grateful kids.

Learning to say no

I tell my boys that practicing restraint is like exercising a muscle. The more we say no to some desire, the easier it is to say no to something that is appealing but harmful when it really matters. Occasionally, one of them would get overly attached to a toy or video game. It seemed he had to have that object or game to be OK.

But I knew he would be OK without it, and I set about to prove it to him. “I think it’s time to fast from this game for a while,” I’d say.

Gasping, my son would plead, “No! I love it! No, please, Mom!”

“Honey, you are stronger than you think,” I’d say. “You think you can’t live without this game. I know you can. Nothing on earth should have this kind of power over you.”

Getting past the pain

It was difficult watching each son go through times of withdrawal. But they eventually found something else to do. It’s an amazing phenomenon: Once you get past the pain of self-denial, there’s actually relief on the other side.

My boys discovered that they didn’t need a toy to be OK. And when they finally did get their toy back, something beautiful happened: They were grateful. Once my boys realized they could live without something, they rarely returned to their unhealthy affection for it.

Susie Larson is a radio host, national speaker and author of several books, including Growing Grateful Kids.

© 2017 by Susie Larson. Used by Permission.


Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

How useful was this article?

Click or Tap on a star to rate it!

Average Rating: 0 / 5

We are sorry that this was not useful for you!

Help us to improve.

Tell us how we can improve this article.

About the Author

Susie Larson

Susie Larson is a talk radio host, a public speaker and a best-selling author of more than a dozen books including Your Powerful Prayers, Growing Grateful Kids and Embracing Your Freedom. She hosts her own daily live talk show, Live the Promise with Susie Larson, and formerly hosted Focus on the Family’s daily talk show Everyday Relationships With Dr. Greg …

You May Also Like

Fill out the form below, and we will email you a reminder.

Focus on the Family

Have Focus on the Family resources helped your family during the coronavirus pandemic? Share your story today and inspire others!