Positive Parenting: Kids and Self Control

When you think of kids, self-control is probably not the first thing you think of.

Research shows peer group behavior may have even more influence on cognitive development, specifically self-control.

In a new study, Sabine Doebel used a marshmallow experiment to test self-control. She assigned kids to different groups and watched to see if their actions were influenced by their beliefs about what their group and another group did.

Doebel gave kids one marshmallow to eat right away, but said if they waited, they could have two. She then told them that kids in their group waited and kids in the other group did not or she told them the opposite.

Kids who believed that their group waited for two marshmallows are themselves able to wait longer for that second marshmallow.

The kids tended to say they waited because their group waited

The study suggests being part of a group affects the ability to delay, or self-control, even from a very young age.

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