Commentary

April 20, 2012

Chaplain's Corner

Pretty much just marshmallows

Chaplain Aaron Klaves
452 AMW Chapel Staff

Back in the 1970’s a team of psychologists from Stanford University conducted an experiment on a group of young children. Don’t worry, it was nothing bad, in fact it was named the Marshmallow Test.

The team would bring children, around four-years old or so, one at a time into a room and sit them down at a table with a psychologist who had a bag of marshmallows. The psychologist would then ask the child questions or have him or her do simple tasks. Every question answered correctly or task performed well, earned the child a marshmallow.

However, the real test began when the researcher would put another marshmallow on the table for the next question, and then all of a sudden a knock at the door would be heard. The psychologist would jump up, trot to the door; talk with someone in the hallway for a few moments. Then, he would hurry back to the table and tell the kid, “Look, I’ve got to take care of something real quick; I’ll be back in just a bit. Now, I am going to take my bag of marshmallows with me but I am leaving that marshmallow on the table. If you don’t eat it while I’m away, when I return I’ll give you two more; but, if you eat the marshmallow, you won’t get anymore.” The psychologist would then leave the room.

Thomas Paine once wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” I would imagine that the Marshmallow Test has to be the ultimate soul test for any 4-year-old child. After all, it demonstrates battles we face every day; impulse versus restraint, desire versus control and instant gratification versus delay—some of the very factors that define our patience… a lot like our children who also test and define our patience, right?

As a parent, have you ever wondered, “What’s the matter with this kid? Why doesn’t he/she get it?” But remember, while we grown-ups have big things on our minds like paying the bills, juggling at least two careers (military and civilian), planning for the future, etc., most children are not able to comprehend those things.

Small children’s minds (and even some older ones) are not physiologically equipped to handle big things; they are just not there yet. In fact, while you are pondering the tough issues, your children are probably preoccupied with things such as the Marshmallow Test story…wondering if they are really, really good and can hang in there, will they get two more marshmallows. Something to think about the next time that military child of yours tries your patience. God bless!




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. David House

Pacing program embodies Wingman concept

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. David House Staff Sgt Joey William, 452 Force Support Squadron (right) helps fellow Airmen keep pace during a timed run at the March ARB running track, June 28. William is one of several voluntee...
 
 

Protecting your possessions while on vacation

Somewhere in southern Sicily a man at a remote café sighs, refreshed after a day of climbing hills, thanks to his new black support socks. Opposite him, his wife proudly thrusts her shoulders forward to accentuate her red Yoga T-shirt, even though she has the physique of a woman who loves double ladles of crème...
 
 

Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award announced

Defense Department officials today announced the first Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award to recognize military and civilian contributions that advance the department’s goals of preventing sexual assault. Core elements of the military’s strategy to prevent sexual assault include the promotion of innovative ideas and enhanced collaboration among the services, officials said. In May, ...
 

 

New clinical recommendations to treat sleep problems

The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) has released new clinical recommendations and support tools to assist in the identification and treatment of a sleep disturbance occurring in patients after a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The suite of products assists health care providers in the identification of a sleep problem and...
 
 
912-COC

News Briefs July 18, 2014

Change of Command U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Jonathan Wavell Lieutenant Colonel Nathan R. Howard, Commander, 912th Air Refueling Squadron (right), assumes command as he accepts the guidon from Colonel Shawn E. Teagan, Command...
 
 
U.S. Navy Photo/Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Harrington

They took a brave path to the United States

U.S. Navy Photo/Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Harrington Jimmy Truong (sitting) and Vien Do escaped from Vietnam and found their way to the U.S. before eventually landing Information Technology jobs at the AFN...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin