Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Marshmallows and Lollipops

http://planningwithkids.com/wp-content/2009/09/marshmallow-lollipops-bouguet1.jpgThere's a famous psychological experiment called "the marshmallow test," in which kids were given the choice of eating one marshmallow now or two later.  Those able to defer their sweet tooth long enough to double their prize were found to have more successful lives, demonstrating the importance of self-control. 

I thought of this when we caught Aaron eating a lollipop he wasn't supposed to eat.  We sent him upstairs with a bag of Dum Dums, some Valentine's Day cards, and a roll of tape, so he could write the cards and attach the treats.  We told him he couldn't have any of the lollipops, and at any rate he knows he's not supposed to eat anything upstairs, let alone a sugary candy like a lollipop.

Alas, Aaron disobeyed.  Without blasting him, I did want to convey that I was very displeased.  But I wanted him to figure out why this was so upsetting to me.  So I asked him to write about it - the kids have to write me three essays a week, and he still owed me one, so I told him that he now had a topic for that last one. 

He didn't take the assignment as seriously as I wanted him to.  He wrote without conveying any sense of remorse or awareness.  This discussion is to be continued...


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