Saturday, August 18, 2012

Happy Delayed Gratification

Asalamu Alaykom,

Happy Eid!

This truly is the hardship after the ease.  Alhumdulillah that our inability to eat and drink was temporary.  Alhumdulillah that our halal partners are once again allowable to us whenever we want.  Alhumdulillah that we are no longer stretched so thin (yet amazingly not weighing any less).

Ramadan is the very definition of "delayed gratification".  We could have eaten, drunk, made love, and ignored our duties as Muslims---could have but didn't.  We participated in a worldwide marshmallow experiment.


Okay, that's where this video comes in.  The marshmallow test was originally done in 1972 (when I would have been all of 4-years-old).  The actual name is The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment  because it took place at Stanford University in California.  Since then it's been duplicated time and again.  There are several video versions on the 'net.  I like this one because it comes from a TV news segment in Minnesota.

Hi, Don Shelby!

Hi, Amelia Santaniello!

Oh, and Dr. David Walsh is the one running the experiment.  You can read more about him here.  He's the author of "Why Do They Act That Way?"  and the simply titled, "No."

Here's a blurb about the latter,

"No. It's not just a one-word answer, it's a parenting strategy. By saying No when you need to, you help your children develop skills such as self-reliance, self-discipline, respect, integrity, the ability to delay gratification, and a host of other crucial character traits they need to be successful. Although the importance of using No should be obvious, many parents have a hard time saying it -- even when they know they should -- when other parents and the culture around them are being permissive."

I find that really helpful.  It doesn't mean that we have to be robots spewing negativity.  We can listen to children and work with them BUT when it really isn't possible (for reasons of safety, health, time, money, etc.) then, "No," means "No."

I once heard another child psychologist give a speech to a group of us teachers.  He talked about limit setting.  If you don't set limits then it feels the same to a child as crossing a busy street with no traffic light.  They feel nervous and unsure.  Or, if the parenting is really bad, then it's crossing the street where the green light means, "stop," and red means, "go".  They feel absolutely crazy.

So, this marshmallow experiment was done to see which children have an inner voice that tells them, "stop".  Have they learned through good parenting how to know and respect limits?  Basically, a child in a room is given a marshmallow to eat BUT if he or she waits 15 minutes, he or she is promised that they'll get two marshmallows.  Frankly, I find it hilarious the attempts at self control these little ones exert.  I also love the kids who have ZERO will power.

Watch the video and see what I mean.

Dr. Walsh gives some great reasons why the study's findings remain so important.  What made the initial study so great was that it wasn't just a one-time glimpse at a child's ability to delay gratification.  The researchers followed the children throughout their schooling.  Guess who did better with grades?  Who had more friends? Yes, those children who as four-year-olds were able to resist temptation.

For one month we Muslims have been resisting temptation.  None of us are angels and we all had our moments of not loving Ramadan.  'Fess up.  It's true!  Yet, we made it through, alhumdulillah.  We had our will power through our faith in Allah.  We feel better for our attempts, inshahallah.  May Allah reward all our sincere fasting, prayers, reading Quran, gaining more knowledge and giving charity.

Now it's Eid!  Eid Mubarak!  Eid Sayed!

Go eat your marshmallows.  You earned it!


Anonymous said...

I love the marshmallow experiment. I went to an Islamic course a couple of years ago & the Sheikh mentioned it. I looked it up & like you really appreciated the whole experiment. Anyway thanks again for putting such a unique & Yosra like slant to the whole Eid message. So Eid Mubarak to you & yours from Me & mine. Much love. Semolina

Yosra said...

Wa Alaykom Asalam Semolina,

Glad you like the experiment!

LOL @ Yosra like slant! I guess I do have a certain bent to the world. Alhumdulillah you appreciate it.

Eid Mubarak to you and yours as well.

Love right back atcha!

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Husnain Altaf said...

Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum - May Allah accept it from you and us.

May Allah accept our Sawm, Qiyam and all of our acts of Ibadah, forgive our sins and all our shortcomings. May Allah make us steadfast and righteous in fighting in His way and allow us the blessings to see another Ramadhan.

May the Mercy and Blessing’s of the Almighty be with you, your family, and friends during this Eid and continue to be always and never forget the plight of Muslims and mankind the world over.

May your year ahead continue to be filled with a healthy, wealthy, and prosperous life, and may you have a joyous and spirited Eid day with all your loved ones… Ameen!

Have a most blessed day.

Respectfully in prayers and Dua’s as always.

In sha Allah.

Your Brother

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Brother,

Eid Mubarak!

Ameen to your du'a. Mashahallah, you have some great thoughts and thanks for sharing.

I especially adhere to the thought that we must not forget those in our ummah who cannot fully celebrate Eid today. May Allah relieve them of their torments.

Inshahallah, you and your wife will be together for the next Eid!

Thankful Slave said...

Sis Yosra,

Eid Mubarak too!,,may Allah Accept all our good deeds and Forgive us all.

Thanks for sharing this vid, it was really interesting,

Keep it up,



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Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom TS,

Nice to see you again and thanks for the well wishes :)

I'm glad you like the vid. It's good for us to see---especially today.

Enjoy your well earned break from hardship!

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