Repeating myself from the last daily beemail, here’s some philosophical musing, sparked by some of us logging official commitments for things we say to our kids like, to make up a stereotypical example, “we’ll go to Disneyland next summer”.
My conjecture is that it’s especially important to put yourself firmly on the hook when promising things to children. I base this on one interpretation of the famous Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, which is that learning to trust adults is a key predictor for success in life.
Recall the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment: kids who resisted gobbling the marshmallow in order to earn 2 marshmallows went on to be awesomer adults. The original explanation is that kids with the ability to delay gratification (or who come up with beemindery tricks to distract themselves from the tempting marshmallow) will be served well by that skill the rest of their lives.
But another explanation – thanks to @lanthala for the citation – is that those seemingly impulsive kids are just the kids who don’t trust the adults who promise the 2nd marshmallow. They’re like “yeah, I’ve heard that before” and gobble while the gobbling’s good. In other words, they’re not failing to delay gratification, they’re responding to the situation perfectly rationally based on their past interactions with adults. To put it overly dramatically: flaking out on your kids ruins their lives!
I’m not sure how much credence to give that interpretation, and suspect that there’s truth in the original interpretation too. But it kind of feels right to me. Flaking out on anyone is really bad. But kids especially.
Just one more reason I’m really grateful to have this new tool!