Marshmallow Test: A Lesson in Temperance

I’ve started paying the kids a dollar per week for the jobs they do in the house.

Friday is payment day.

They normally end up buying a candy or lolly. Until Elmer taught them the idea of saving up to buy something they like. Instead of buying just candy, they can collect their payment every week until they can afford something which they really like. Maybe loom bands, stickers or a book.

Surprisingly, Pio picked up the momentum. My saguine child who gives in to his impulse and whims. He was determined to buy a Lego set which costs $15. Some weeks he worked extra hard or extra jobs so I’d give him $2-3. He asked his Lolo if he can clean up his room for $2. He tried answering my multiplication questions to get a $1. He did everything he can think of to earn money.

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He waited patiently every week.

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What was endearing to me is that every time we went to KMART he unfailingly asked me if he can look at the Lego set he wanted to buy. These went on for weeks. It was hard for me to see him looking at that Lego set and going home without it. I could have easily paid for it. But I controlled myself.

Finally, he has saved up $15! He purchased that Lego set. He was the epitome of happiness.


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He built it and disassembled, built it again and disassembled again. The more expensive Lego sets which his Lola, aunts and uncles gave him suddenly faded into oblivion.

He was so proud of his first bought toy. I cannot be prouder.

He has taught me a beautiful lesson in temperance. A child will value more a toy or gift he worked hard for, so Mom don’t give him everything easily.

If you ever wonder if your child is too soft or spoiled, you have to watch this Marshmallow Test.


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