halloween, kids, money

How To Use Halloween Candy To Make Your Kids Rich

1 Comment 02 November 2013

They did a study where they put a child in a room with a marshmallow.  They told the child they could eat this one marshmallow now, but if they waited 15 minutes, they could have two marshmallow.  Most of kids couldn’t wait and gobbled up the marshmallow right away, but some kids were able to wait the 15 minutes and got two.  They then tracked these kids through high school and into adulthood, and found some pretty incredible things.  The kids who could wait ended up averaging 210 points higher on their SAT skills.  Because these kids could practice delayed gratification- putting off something good now for something better later- they became better savers and investors and became much wealthier in life.  (from Richard Paul Evans’ “Five Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth.”)

Trying the Experiment Ourselves

With trick-or-treating last night ,I figured we’d try this out this morning.  I told the girls that they could have one piece of candy now, or if they could wait 15 minutes, they could have two pieces of candy.  They thought it sounded fun, at least at first. Krista whispered to me, “I know B can do this.  I’m not so sure about Syd.”

“What’s your favorite piece of candy?” I asked them.

“Snickers!” Brooklyn responded, even though we all knew of B’s well documented love of Snickers.

“Reeses Peanut Butter Cups!” yelled Syd.

Krista overheard and said, “Wait a minute, Syd.  Last night you gave me all of yours because you don’t like Reeses.”

“Mom!!!” Syd yelled, knowing she’d been ratted out.  That little stinker has figured out early that life isn’t fair, and she’s always trying to figure out ways to make it unfair in her favor.

We knew that Syd liked Snickers, too, if not as much as Brooklyn, so I put each of the girls in their rooms with an open Snickers in front of them.  Brooklyn sat in front of hers and just stared at it, daring the temptation to try something.  B Snickers

On the other hand…

Syd, on the other hand, was not so quiet.

“Daddy, why did you have to open it?!?!?!  Do I have to sit here?  Why can’t someone be in here with me!!!!” (‘Don’t worry, Syd, I”ll come back in.’)

Syd decided to try to distract herself from the candy bar in front of her. “Daddy, can I dance?  Can you turn on some music?”  I put on Disney Pandora and left.

Why did you have to open it, Daddy!

Why did you have to open it, Daddy!

With about 9 minutes left, Syd yelled, “Daddy, how much time is left?”

“About 9 minutes, Syd.”

“Is that a long time?”

“About 3 songs, Syd.”

Shortly afterward, I heard a tune skipped, mid-song, to the next one, also skipped after about 15 seconds.  Then a Pandora commercial, and finally a third song.

“Daddy, it’s on the third song.  When this song is done, I can eat my candy!”

I admired her ingenuity in trying to work the system, but I stayed firm.  “Syd, I just said three songs, meaning 3 full songs.  If you skip ahead, it doesn’t count.  6 minutes left.”

Finally the 15 minutes were up.  Syd, having waited, declared that she didn’t like Snickers, and had tricked me, and was going to eat two other pieces of candy.  “OK, Syd, I get your Snickers, then,” I replied.

“NO!!!!” she yelled. So at least I know she likes them a little bit.

Brooklyn, not content to do the bare minimum of the 15 minutes laid out in the study, decided she’d go a full 20 minutes before eating.  Take that, temptation!

All in all, I think it was a success.

Is this something you’d try with your kids?  How do you think they’d do?

Let me know!

 

Author

- who has written 165 posts on BrianLord.org.

Christian, husband, dad. Founder of NonBoardBoard.org, SVP at PremiereSpeakers.com. Triathlon and history addict.

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1 comment

  1. nathan maggard says:

    Fantastic. I’ve read the same study and love that you put it to the test. Great storytelling.


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This post was written by who has written 165 posts on BrianLord.org.

Christian, husband, dad. Founder of NonBoardBoard.org, SVP at PremiereSpeakers.com. Triathlon and history addict.

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