Being parents who love our kids, it's hard to watch them be disappointed. Even worse, when we see them behave down-right "devastated", our good-parent guilt usually rears up and we give in. (Usually!..don't we?)
The following video is of Dr. David Walsh and "the marshmallow". He demonstrates an "experiment" in self-discipline with several little kids. The question is can they resist the temptation to eat the marshmallow now (and get two later) or will they succumb to the pain of waiting (and get just the one).
The question: "Would you like one now….or two later?"
Part of the difficulty many kids have with struggling through distasteful experiences (like waiting for something they REALLY want or doing boring homework when they'd rather be doing something else) is that so many of them have not learned to deal with the pain of delayed gratification. It is actually painful for them to wait!
And, since we don't always get what we want immediately, it makes sense to teach our children how to tolerate the "pain" of waiting. Starting to teach kids how to tolerate disappointment or waiting is easier when they are younger, but today is the first day of the rest of their lives…and you can start doing it today!
For some great insight, ideas and tips, check out Dr. Walsh's excellent book, NO–Why Kids (of all ages) Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It. He's a gentle, wise man who knows how to move us. I was inspired by his example 🙂