Monday, November 23, 2009

How to help your children pass the Marshmellow test

Three years ago I wrote:

I first heard of the test from Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. The marshmellow test was conducted by Walter Mischel. He would test four year-old children to see if they could not eat a marshmellow that was one the table before them. The results of the test came out ten and twenty years later when they found that the children who had self control and resisted eating the marshmellow were successful in almost every facet of their lives.

Now and then Janine and I talk about how to help our children pass the marshmellow test.

I like Lili Anderson's ideas on Teaching Your Kids to Delay Gratification. She has six basic steps:

1) Help children articulate and visualize the benefits.
2) Help children keep the focus that as they grow up, they will be the ones to choose whether or not they can enjoy the great benefits and successes available to those who delay gratification.
3) Help children become more tolerant of discomfort. THIS IS HUGE.
4) Teach children that the discomfort of delaying gratification is temporary.
5) Teach children that the temporary discomfort of delaying gratification is a sign that their mind is being retrained and their comfort zone is being expanded.
6) Give lots of encouragement along the way and celebrate the victories.

If you want to help your children learn to pass the marshmellow test, check out Lili Anderson's post.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education


Homeschool mom said...

Great post! This is very important to teach our kids.

Thanks for posting!

Home School Grandma said...

The computer can be a good friend to a child, one that allows his/her spoken inner voice to come out on the screen. With proper keyboarding, fingers and mind work in sync, with eyes up on the screen and text, and creativity really begins to flow. The minds-eye shifts from searching, spelling, and the 'actions' of typing into thinking and natural expression, with fingers just flying across the keyboard. This is the real gift that I wanted to give my kids, and I'm sure you'll want it too. That's why I want to share with you my latest home schooling discovery - Keyboard Town PALS Learn to Type software - which actually teaches little kids to type in one hour (!) using the cutting edge PALS learning system. Try out a model lesson like I did at - or get just in touch with them and they'll set you up with a limited access free try-out of their web based software.