Having to Wait Doesn't Help Young Kids Exercise Self-Control

[Source: Science Daily]
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Would your ability to resist a tantalizing cookie improve if you had to wait a few seconds before you could reach for it? The idea that natural urges ‘die down’ with time seems intuitive, but new research shows that it’s being reminded about what not to do, not the passage of time, that actually helps young children control their impulsive behavior.

The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“Parents can be frustrated to see children behaving impulsively, even when they seem to be aware of what they should be doing,” says psychological scientist Jane Barker of the University of Colorado Boulder. “Our work may help to explain why asking children to delay — telling them to ‘stop and count to 10 before acting!’ — is not always an effective impulse control strategy.”
Barker and co-author Yuko Munakata noticed that many previous studies investigating the effects of delays on children’s self-control had also included messages reminding the kids that they needed to wait before responding. The researchers set out to test which component — the delay or the reminder — was actually helping kids exercise self-control.
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