Teach Children Delayed Gratification
- Updated on 12 Nov 2022
- Parents Corner
- Samadrita Chakraborty
- 3 mins read
Table of Contents
Remember how often our parents refused when we wanted a smartphone after giving the 12th board examination? Now, you are a parent and must know the reason behind those refusals. But children are often against their parents whenever they are not given what they want. We also used to get so mad at our parents when they disagreed with fulfilling our desire. Though we understood later, that initial rage against our parents made us think negatively about our parents. Do you want your children to feel the same about you? There is a way that you can educate your kids about avoiding all the temporary temptations and going for long-term goals; that’s delayed gratification. If you can teach your children the importance of this quality, they can decide which things are good for them and which are not.
What is Delayed Gratification?
Delayed gratification is a concept that teaches children to achieve something more significant if they can avoid temporary temptations, like Adam could have stayed in paradise if he was not trapped in Satan’s temptation. Delayed gratification has a greater meaning than this. It includes children from different age groups, backgrounds, and thought processes. A branch of literature connected delayed gratification to other positive outcomes like physical health, academic excellence, social competence, and psychological health.
Delayed Gratification Benefits
Before letting you know the benefits of delayed gratification, I want to mention how it works in real-life scenarios. The marshmallow test proved that delayed gratification is not an abstract concept.
A psychologist and professor from Stanford University, Walter Mischel, conducted a study on delayed gratification in children. He invited a group of preschoolers and offered each of them a marshmallow. There was a condition that if children could wait for fifteen minutes without touching the first marshmallow, they would get another one as a treat. Those who were successful in the preschool delay of gratification task received higher SAT scores as high schoolers, avoided addictive behaviours, and exhibited greater self-worth.
This delayed gratification psychology experiment is still valuable in studying social psychology. Psychologists like Celeste Kidd, Richard Aslin, and Holly Palmeri found a more profound result where we learned that children and adults must earnestly believe they will gain more from delaying gratification than seeking short-term pleasure.
The long-term benefits of delayed gratification are:
Ensured Emotional Stability
You can easily avoid short-term temptations if you chase some long-term goals. One learns to ponder the reason behind doing something and analyses the importance of the task. Thus, they learn to prioritise their mental health before anything else. Emotional intelligence develops based on mental stability that comes from delayed gratification. It will refine one’s decision-making process as a whole.
Improved Performance at Work
Taking childhood as the phase of paving the path helps them learn delayed gratification. It guides their eventual tendency to do the same in academic and work environments. The knowledge of putting off the temporary temptation is more significant when a bigger reward awaits in the future.
Increased Social Competence
Many adults around us cannot avoid the provocation of short-term excitement. Thus, they end up hampering a more outstanding balance. If they had learned the sweet taste of hard-earned results in childhood, they could have become more responsible citizens today. This tendency to get something quickly hampers the ability to make and maintain lasting relationships.
Reduced Engagement in Harmful Behaviours
So many people could have escaped the addiction to intoxicating things if they had learned delayed gratification. Addiction results from instant gratification and can badly hamper your physical and mental health. A positive attitude and durable coping mechanisms come with the practice of delayed gratification.
How to Improve Delayed Gratification?
When parents learn about delayed gratification and the importance of its application, they often wonder how to delay gratification. This fundamental value still needs to be practised by many adults. Therefore, they often struggle to teach the next generation. There are some practising tips for delayed gratification; if you practise and make your kid do the same, their life will reflect a better value.
- Make some easy and new habits that you cannot say “no” to
- Keep the consistency
- Improve day by day, inch by inch
- Start your task in the earliest way possible
The ability to delay gratification has to be nurtured every day. There is no way back from this habit. Once you master this, you will feel the difference. The entire overview of life changes, and you start living by yourself. People’s companions do not feel compulsory anymore. You drive for more significant challenges while temporary temptations are no longer your cup of tea.
Tips to Support the Emotional Health of Your Child