Delaying gratification is a simple concept linked to patience and the ability to self-regulate one’s behaviour. It implies the ability to voluntarily put off an immediate reward for a later, greater reward. Psychologists have been testing this ability in children for many years and have found that the power to delay gratification is worth fostering. The research evidence suggests that children who are able to delay gratifications reap many rewards later in life in areas such as academic achievement, physical wellbeing and social competence.
While it is not a skill that comes naturally to young children, by the time they reach age four or five they are beginning to understand that delaying gratification can bring its own rewards. This does not mean that they will always be successful…sometimes the immediate temptation is just too great! Even adults succumb at times!
Anthony Field is the creator of The Wiggles and as the Blue Wiggle, has been entertaining children with The Wiggles for over 24 years! He was a preschool teacher, has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Sydney's Macquarie University, and is married with three children. The Wiggles use an early Childhood expert as a consultant, Dr Kathleen Warren EdD, MA (hons) LASA, FTCL, teacher, adjudicator and early childhood and drama consultant and writer for The Wiggles.