If you want to help your child have a happy and healthy life then teach him to delay gratification! The delayed gratification is the ability to resist the temptation of an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. Basically, delayed gratification is the ability of a nervous system to cope with stress.
In the early 70s the psychologist Walter Mischel completed the experimentrenamed the “delayed gratification”. The scholar brought a child into a room and offered him a sweet treat. At the same he explained that he would have to be absent for 15 minutes and told him that if he could not eat the dessert until he returned, he would have another prize. Only a minority of children decided to eat the dessert immediately while others implemented strategies to maintain self-control (some, for example, covered their eyes with their hands or turned to not see the tray). The more the age of the children progressed, the more sophisticated the self-control strategies were and they worked.
A growing body of research suggests today that there is a link between delayed gratification and social, emotional, physical and academic health. “Based on my experience working with hundreds of children, this link is very strong,” he says in an article Victoria Prooday, Canadian psychotherapist (of Ukrainian descent) specialized in occupational therapy, and working with children, parents and teachers.
Is it possible to improve this skill?
Through the environment, we can strengthen a child’s ability to delay gratification or weaken it. Unfortunately, the environment in which our children live today leads them on the wrong path. In fact, they grew up in a world of constant instant gratification. Therefore, it is not surprising that so many kids today don’t have this ability and can’t resist the desire to get what they want the moment they want it, which has a negative impact on their academic, social and emotional abilities. ”
How to develop the ability of delayed gratification in children?
It is possible to educate children on delayed gratification. How? Here are some Victoria Prooday tips for parents:
– Invite the children to do some daily chores (for example: making the bed, preparing the table, putting dirty clothes in the basket, watering the plants, loading / unloading the dishwasher, feeding a pet, sorting / folding the laundry or washing cars).
– Let the children get bored and do not resort to the screens of technological devices as an antidote to boredom
– Avoid the use of technology in cars and restaurants
– Use the concepts of “before” and “after” (saying for example: “before tidy up the toys and then play ball “).
– Limit the snacks
– Teach the children to collect stickers or points with the aim of a final reward.
– Invite the children to play board games to teach them to wait and respect the shifts.
– Encourage the children to play movement games.
– Teach the children those activities that require constant effort to achieve results (for example: gardening, sewing. , clay making, painting, making handmade greeting cards).
– Do not rush to help them: let the children try to solve a problem.
– Make sure there are opportunities for delayed gratification in daily life, for example: if your child has received many birthday gifts, agree with him to open one gift a day instead of all at once.