Dear Mama Re,
Our children’s grandparents want to give our preschool aged children everything they want the instant they want it. The children are sweet about it and have not become demanding, so no one sees this as a problem but me.
No-fun mom

Having to wait may not be any fun...but it is so good for you.

Having to wait may not be any fun…but it is so good for you.

Dear NFM,
There is a funny study that has been out for some time about hungry four year-old children. Researchers placed a single marshmallow in front of each child and told them they could eat it immediately, or, if they could wait to eat it for fifteen minutes, they would then get to have two marshmallows. One-third of the children ate the marshmallow immediately. But, that is not the end of the story. Fourteen years later the same children were observed after graduation from high-school. What they found was truly remarkable: The children who were able to wait for the two marshmallows at age four displayed much greater self discipline, had better grades, had higher SAT’s, and were more successful socially. The children who ate the single marshmallow immediately had lower SAT’s and were lacking in social skills and self discipline.

The message from this and many other studies is clear: Children need to learn self discipline and delayed gratification in order to succeed in life. It is not good to get everything you want when you want it.