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Imagine this situation. Your child gets a suggestion: you'll get two candies if you wait calmly while sitting at the table until I sort out an "urgent" matter, or one candy at once, which you choose.
It's a challenge for every four-year-old: exploring the relationship between impulse and brake, desire and self-control. The choice your daughter or son will make at this time is of great importance - it allows you to quickly assess his character and with a high probability that he will take his life path.
What is worth being able to resist the impulse?
Daniel Goleman in his iconic book "Emotional Intelligence" emphasizes that he has no greater ability than that of resisting impulse. This is the foundation that builds emotional self-control. Our future depends on it.
A few words about a valuable experiment
The experiment or rather a scientific study called the "two candy experiment" was carried out in sixties in the care of psychologist Walter Mischel. It mainly included children of Stanford University employees and students from kindergarten. These studies were continued before the children finished high school.
As the experiment showed, some children after explaining the rules of the game (you can eat a candy right away or eat two when the experimenter returns) were able to wait for the experimenter 15-20 minutes. It must have been eternity for them. Fighting the temptation, the little ones closed their eyes, buried their heads in their arms, turned their backs to the table, sang, played with their hands, and even tried to sleep, reducing the waiting time. These preschoolers received two sweets.
A second group of the more impulsive almost immediately grabbed for the candies when the experimenter came out the door in an "urgent matter".
After 12-14 years, the results of the experiment were returned and their validity was confirmed. The differences in controlling emotions and coping in social relations between the two groups of children were huge. Young people who opposed the temptation at the age of 4 showed more self-control, were more successful, were confident (in a positive sense of the word), more patient and ready to face adversities.
They were more resistant to defeats, apathy, discouragement, surrendering to momentary turmoil of fate. They were able to act under pressure, they were trustworthy and had greater faith in their own strength. In addition, they were open to development, took the initiative and eagerly undertook various new tasks. Most importantly, they were still able to give up temporary successes, aiming at a larger and more important goal. There is something else that surprised the psychologists themselves studying the reactions of children. Preschoolers, who at the age of four were able to control their emotions already at the threshold of maturity were much better students, were able to better express their thoughts, behave reasonably.
One-third of those who immediately grabbed the candy, however, showed significantly fewer features than those who waited for the experimenter. They showed some trouble and disorders in the field of psychology. During adolescence, they were perceived as more shy and shy of contacts. They had more difficulty in making decisions, were stubborn, fell into a deeper depression over failures, and each failure was related to them, losing faith in their own skills. They could not act in stressful situations, they were distrustful and ungrateful, argued that they do not have what they really need. Unfortunately, they also showed a tendency to jealousy and envy, which increased the likelihood of initiating fights and aggressive behavior.
Goleman in the publication I cited points out thato being revealed in early childhood usually has an impact on who we are later. Control over impulses, however, determines many aspects of our lives: starting with adherence to diet and ending with consistency in professional development.
Daniel Goleman emphasizes that how children deal with the temptation to leave them alone with sweets talks a lot about them. It is a better test about their future than testing their intelligence quotient. Indicates that the ability to control impulses is a more reliable predictor of the future than anything else.