July 23, 2009

Emotional Intelligence

Yesterday in the car:

K: I want a piece of gum.
Me: No.
K: Yes.
Me: No, you already had a lolly at Kit's house.
K: Then I won't talk to you ever again.
Me: OK, I'm here if you change your mind.

L started crying at this point because she had sensed a sweet in the offing with no additional work on her part and letting go is hard.

Ralf chimed in with a story of a study someone did with five year olds, which is K's age. They put one marshmallow in front of each child and gave them a choice: eat it now or wait three minutes and get two marshmallows.

Years later they re-interviewed the same kids, now grown up, and found that the ones who could wait were far more successful and happy than the ones who couldn't.

K: You mean if they waited three minutes they got two marshmallows instead of one?
Ralf: That's right.
Thoughtful pause.
K: Can we go there now?

This morning while I was drinking my coffee:

L (who is three): Mommy, I want another cookie.
Yes, people, I bribe my kids with cookies in the morning so I can finish my coffee in peace.
Me: Can you wait about three minutes until I finish my coffee? Then I'll get you a cookie.
L: If I wait three minutes I want two cookies.

Oh, and a new post over at MOG: http://ls-workgirl.blogspot.com/


  1. Ah the joys of psychology and cookies!

  2. I have heard of this study. My older boy who scores great but lower than his younger brother on standardized tests could definitely wait for the 2 marshmallows. The younger boy who scores off the charts never could wait for 2.

    I think the older boy will probably be more successful. He is patient and reflective.

  3. Smart kid, that L. Already negotiating based on scientific data.

  4. A child that listens is a scary thing... ;-)

  5. Your post make me laugh so hard. I loved it. You aren't getting anything past those two kids!

  6. That is fabulous! But I am not telling my kids - they would SO use it in their favour...

  7. Your girls could so easily rule the world. Stay on their good side.

  8. I think I'd just cut to the chase and offer to provide two cookies in 10 minutes... take it or leave it! :)


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