Character Education – Self Control

This entry was posted in Oakville Elementary News.

This year our Character Education program will continue to reinforce the important traits that help our students develop into outstanding youth.

The focus for September will be self control. Self-control in the early years is often demonstrated by the ability to trust adults, internalize rules, delay gratification, control angry impulses, find different ways to be more patient despite frustration, the ability to empathize with others, and to take turns.

The importance of developing self-control during preschool is illustrated by a well known study conducted at Stanford University in the 1960’s by Michael Mischel. The study presented two options to a group of four year-old children. They were told they could have one marshmallow right away or get two marshmallows fifteen minutes later. The children were then left alone with the marshmallow. One third of the children opted for one marshmallow. A follow-up study was administered a few years later after the same participants had graduated from high-school. Mischel found that the children who waited now possessed the habits of successful people (Beachman, 2009). They were positive, self-motivated, and persistent in their pursuit of goals (Beachman, 2009). While the others who chose instant gratification demonstrated fewer of these important traits for success.

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