This is a great mini TED-talk (just 5 minutes long): Writer Joachim de Posado discusses the usefulness of self-control. Researchers gave a single marshmallow to a bunch of four-year old children, and said, “I’m leaving you alone with this marshmallow for 15 minutes. You can eat it if you want. When I come back in 15 minutes, if you have NOT eaten the marshmallow, you can have a second marshmallow.”
I occasionally watch that show about the Duggar family, who have 18 kids. The Duggar kids are all really well-behaved, and on one episode, mom Michelle Duggar explains that one of the skills she has the kids practice is self-discipline.
All the Duggar kids play musical instruments after the age of 6, and every day, when the older kids practice their ensemble pieces, Michelle has the little ones sit quietly to watch and listen for 10, 15, 20 minutes, even up to a whole hour. She does it not only to inspire them to become musicians like their older siblings, but also to teach them self-control.
I think it’s an amazing idea- you see so many rowdy kids out there, climbing the walls in restaurants and crushing store displays in their tiny godzilla fists.
Maybe those kids don’t ever practice sitting quietly in their home life, so when they enter school or go to a wedding or something, it’s a big shock that they’re expected to pretend not to be bored out of their miniscule skulls.
Teaching your kids to handle boredom sounds like pretty great parenting to me. I’m going to train my kids to stand completely still like little statues. And also I will paint them silver and put them outside of tourist attractions all day while they do it. Might as well make a little money off them.