Holding off on rewards may help children be more successful - FOX34 Lubbock

Holding off on rewards may help children be more successful

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Teaching your children to wait for a reward, instead of being gratified instantly, may help them become more successful in life.

In the 1960's and 1970's, researchers called it 'the marshmallow test.' They measured a child's ability to wait for a bigger reward instead of eating a tempting treat. Children who waited were later found to be more successful academically, and even had better health habits.

That prompted thousands of studies looking at ways we could help kids develop that delayed gratification, or self-regulation skill. To figure out if they work,  a team of researchers screened 14,000 studies, compiled the data on fifty, and found programs that seemed to work. Interventions included curriculum changes, exercise, mindfulness, and even yoga showed mixed benefits. They found one of the most successful interventions involved personal skills training.
Some studies link the interventions to decreased school suspensions, less depression, and a lower tendency for substance abuse. Critics say many studies didn't meet strict scientific muster,  and believe it's too soon to make programs that builds self-regulation, a standard part of learning.
Both studies appear in the journal Jama Pediatrics.
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