Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Marshmallow Test

I recently was reading about how children's ability to delay gratification corellated with their prospects for success later in life.  The article referenced "The Marshmallow Test" for children, so I conducted my own informal research study on the back deck with the kids.

Gracie, Gemma, Luke, Marshall and Nyla were each given one large marshmallow with these instructions.  "You may eat this marshmallow at any time.  However, if you can wait for five minutes before you eat it, I will give you a second marshmallow."

Gracie, 12: walked off to visit with a friend and came back 5 minutes later.  No sweat.
Gemma, 10: sat still and tried to get Luke to eat his marshmallow.
Luke, 8: stared at his marshmallow and fought the good fight against his instincts.
Marshall, 5: held his marshmallow in his hands and licked his fingers--but didn't take a bite.
Nyla, 3:  Nyla waited mere miliseconds before shoving the entire marshmallow in her mouth.  With gusto.

After five minutes, I announced, "Congratulations to those of you who were able to wait!  You may have your marshmallow AND here's a second one to enjoy.  Don't tell your mother that I gave you two large marshmallows in the name of science, please."

"Nyla, you don't get a second marshmallow because..."  Like a lioness after its prey, Nyla LEAPED up on the deck table and crossed it as she lunged at my throat. "I WANT A MARSHMALLOW!!!!!!  I WANT A MARSHMALLOW!!!!

Study conclusion: Delayed gratification skills are helpful but not necessary to get marshmallows when the subject can take the entire bag using hostile force.  :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Nyla's 1st Day of Preschool

Yesterday was Nyla's 1st day of preschool.  Not quite 3 1/2 yet, she is wise beyond her years.  We are having a terrible time convincing her to sleep in her own bed and even if she starts there, we always have a visitor in our bed by morning. This is how our conversation went this morning:

ME: Nyla, now that you're a big girl and going to preschool,  you can start sleeping all night in your "big-girl bed".
NYLA: Mommy! I'm still just a little girl! I'm only going to preschool, not big girl school! I'm still too little to sleep all alone!  You only sleep alone when you're in big girl school!

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gracie's Three Week Update-Special Gifts

It's been 3 weeks since Gracie's injury and while she is feeling much better, the long hours of slow-passing days have started to take their toll.  We are so thankful that her school has been willing to embrace iPad technology and allow her to Facetime in to most of her classes.  Staying connected to her classmates has really lifted her spirits!  She has also been blessed to receive many special visitors, cards, phone calls and gifts from friends, family and fellow Pony Clubbers from all over the US. Some days she even receives phone calls from complete strangers, Pony Clubbers, just calling to say "Hi" and tell her they are thinking of her and rooting for her full recovery.

For me personally, it's been an extremely emotional 3 weeks and that's why this one particular gift from the grandmother of one of Gracie's closest friends, Malia Rolf,  has so deeply touched my heart.