I did the “marshmallow test” with some kindergarten students from my mom’s school. The test is you give a child a marshmallow and tell them they can eat it if they want, but if they can wait for five minutes they will get two marshmallows. This is a test of delayed gratification. Scientists have found that children that are able to wait for their marshmallow are more likely to graduate from college. These kids understand that delaying gratification means you can get something better in the future. The kids that don’t wait the five minutes are less likely to go to college after high school.
I did this experiment with four kids. Only one kid ate his marshmallow (top right in the picture). He held out for about a minute and a half before he couldn’t take it anymore. I overheard the kids talking and one of them said they had to wait to eat the marshmallow. So I told the kids again that they could eat it if they wanted to, and as soon as the words had left my mouth, he popped that marshmallow in his face as fast as he could. Later, he looked kind of sad when he saw everybody else get another marshmallow, and I kind of laughed (I realize that I am a terrible person). My mom had predicted earlier that this kid wouldn’t be able to wait. He has pretty poor impulse control (he once put a piece of trash in my mom’s drink when she wasn’t looking). He’s really smart, but he does not mind. This test does not bode very well for his future.
But I’m sure they’ll all turn out fine.