Discipline: Procrastination Tastes Sweet

Discipline: delay tastes sweet

Have you ever heard of the Marshmellow experiment? This interesting study was conducted during the 1960s and 1970s at Stanford University by the psychologist Walter Mischel. They worked with 5-year-olds who were rewarded with a candy or marshmellow after a task. They were given the choice to eat the candy right away or to be disciplined to wait a while while the tester briefly left the room. If the child had waited and the tester re-entered the room, a double reward was awarded.

This simple test of handing out a reward after a task is particularly successful in testing persistence, patience, effort and discipline in small children. Afterwards, it was checked for 16 years how well they did at school. They discovered the presence of interesting behavioral patterns.

The children who found the wait difficult and ate the marshmellow before the tester came back into the room had, on average, poorer school results, with a higher percentage of school leavers before graduating compared to the preschoolers who had the discipline to wait before graduating. eating the reward until the tester entered the room again. Follow-up studies were set up and the conclusions were surprising. This discipline test often turns out to predict academic success better than traditional intelligence tests.

How can we teach our little ones more discipline?

Learning to be responsible and disciplined helps each individual to become independent and build an emotionally stable life. It leads you on the road to maturity and maturity.

  1. Teach the value of discipline from the moment your baby is born. Feed your baby at regular times and schedule regular rest and bed times. It is important to talk to your baby. It ensures that self-esteem and self-esteem are developed.
  2. Establish fixed house rules.  It is important that children learn from an early age that there are rules that must be followed. They quickly learn that there are boundaries that everyone in the family adheres to. Of course, that doesn’t mean those special days don’t exist where the rules can be “adjusted” a bit. Just think of a pleasant Sunday afternoon, a birthday, Christmas or a weekend sleep with grandma and grandpa.
  3. Give your child some responsibilities appropriate to his age. Small chores in and around the house, such as clearing the table or putting away toys, make your child feel important and responsible. Caring for a beloved pet teaches your toddler to care for those around him from an early age.
  4. Always use positive reinforcement. Always use positive words to reward good behavior. Avoid punishing what goes wrong, but always focus on the good result. For example: I know you can do this and that you will tidy up the room.
  5. Make sure you always communicate well with your child. It gives your child the feeling that they can always count on you. And that there is honest communication about what you want and how the result was achieved. Give them the means and opportunities to learn how to negotiate. In this way they build the realization that not just anything is possible, but it also shows that they are not subject to a strict dictatorship. It will only increase their self-confidence and encourage them to make wise decisions on their own and to act responsibly with others.
  6. Explain why something is necessary. If you explain why brushing your teeth is necessary against cavities or why wearing a seat belt protects you in an accident, your toddler will certainly understand what you mean. They learn that the rules are drawn up to prevent damage. That you can work together more easily with rules. “Because I say so” no longer has to be the standard statement.
  7. Set the best example yourself. There is no better way to teach your offspring than to set a good example yourself. “Walk the walk”, so you don’t have to preach or punish. Your words will be so much more believable. You will also find that listening and following your example will not be a problem at all.

Watch a video of the Marshmallow Test in action

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