Marshmallow study-immediate or delayed gratification

Is your child focus on immediate gratification rule or is ready to enjoy more benefits by delaying the urge or need?

Being a mother, we are also role playing many other roles in our child’s life. Let it be a care giver, a friend, a comfort provider, a doctor, a spiritual adviser, a mentor, a teacher. We often come across many hurdles when parenting our little people to which we often feel paralyzed to an extent that it makes us hopeless.

A mother has got the most important responsibility and it is better to be cautious and be informed rather than struggling with an affected history.

We face disciplinary challenges. It can be a manifestation of our child inner biological impulses and it can be an outcome of our own parenting style. Teaching them to control their self is not a piece of cake nor is it something that is beyond mastering.

Walter Mischiel conducted the famous marshmallow study to examine self-control in kids aged four to five to sit alone with one marshmallow till the examiner, they can eat marshmallow now or their wait will earn them another marshmallow. Checking for concepts such as self-control, self-regulation, and delayed gratification. The results comprised of two groups primarily: one who were able to delay their gratification and the other who did not.

Longer delayers Quicker
Kids psychologically detached themselves to the temptation that marshmallow Unable to detach
Distractions were their key Can not

Distract

 
 

Brain; what’s happening inside

The brain has two interacting systems namely the hot system (limbic system, lower primitive brain that we share with other mammals) and the cool system (prefrontal cortex)

Hot system Cool system
Activity in this system does not care about the future outcome. In other words it meant to deal with here and out Control our attention
Use our imagination

 

Solve problems
Inhibit responses

Basically cool system fight to inhibit response which is reflex by the hot system. It helps to delay the immediate gratification by psychologically distant oneself from the temptation, that distraction. So when we find kids saying, no I want it right now, mom I need to have all sweets now. How can we make them to attain self-control?

 

If then statements

If- then statements does not only work with adults, but it also does wonders with little kids. They need to have an available plan that if they try to delay their desired thing what can they have in return. For instance:

If you put your video game down now, you will get half an hour more the next day

If you eat this vegetable, then you can have a day off from folding your clothes

If you do not pick up your toys and be grateful, then they will be given to any other kid outside in charity

If you do not listen to what I ask you, then you will not be given privilege of saying in our discussions of allotting chore for our team work effort.

It has two advantages. Firstly it works as a reminder that what they will be privileged with or not thus will make them self-disciplined. Secondly, there won’t be any power struggle as it will give them a sense of freedom to choose between continuing same thing or opting for other *then* option.

Your role

When kids are exposed to situations where everything is prepared and provided for them, it will eventually cease their creativity and plasticized their brain. This in turn will make them restless. Parents who are obsessed with their kids and helicopter their each and every move diminish their child’s growth.

 

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