In this time when so many younger folks seem to want everything now, and even quicker if possible, it's good to remind those with young children about a interesting study from long ago.
I've often thought about the Stanford University delayed gratification studies, with preschoolers. Each child could choose between having a marshmallow immediately ( in the late 60’s children still thought of a marshmallow as a treat and not a right) or if they could wait for 15 minutes they were told they could have two marshmallows. Ultimately, many years later the researchers have proved that if a child could wait for the marshmallows they would have better life outcomes in many areas.
This video is scientific, yet so tender it melts your heart!
Well, it seems the Rochester university decided to revisit that marshmallow study, and found one very major difference. It's not only the genetic makeup of a child that allows them to wait for a reward, but the stability in their lives. (please click on the link in green)
So if a child feels he/she can trust the adults around them to follow through on promises, they will opt for delayed gratification and success. If not they make the rational decision to get the reward while they can.
Without trust it's much harder for children to succeed in life.
There has been ongoing vigorous debate in early childhood development circles for many years about whether "nature or nurture" is the most crucial for healthy development. I love that this study seems to indicate both are equally important.