Delayed Gratification, Patience & Consistency

In a world of “instants” does patience still exist? And, should we be teaching children delayed gratification skills and how to be patient instead of immediately giving into their every “whim”? This lesson explores this topic and demonstrates to students why being consistent and teaching children to be patient yields greater success later on in life.


  • Ask students to use their iPads to define the following terms: patience, delayed gratification and instant gratification.
  • Discuss: Which term best represents you? Give each student one marshmallow and permission to eat right now. BUT, tell them that you will give them a second marshmallow if they can WAIT a few minutes. Their choice!
  • Give them the survey “How Patient Are You?” to find out. Do you agree or disagree with the results? Why?



  • Go back to the marshmallow test….how did you do?
  • Discuss how you think young children would do with this same marshmallow test. In your opinion would they be able to wait? Why or why not?
  • Do you believe delayed gratification makes for better children? Briefly discuss their responses.
  • View John Stossel’s YouTube clip “Delayed Gratification Makes for Better Children” and complete the guide sheet. Discuss afterwards.
  • The video provides some tips on how parents can teach their children to be patient. Some additional activities can be found in this TPT freebie titled, “Activities That Teach Patience” which is based off of this web resource titled, “How To Be Patient (and Teach Kids Patience“.
  • The KEY is Consistency! Let’s expand on why this is so important.
  • Divide students into 8 groups, assigning one section of the article title “Why Does Consistency Matter in Parenting” to each group.
    • Give the students time (~10-15 minutes) to read through and discuss their section of the text. Give students guiding questions such as: What are the key points in this section? What is the most important take-away point? What might be important for me to know when I’m a parent or caregiver? If you had to draw or find a picture/image to represent this section, what would it be? The guiding questions could be done orally, as Google slides or even a handgenerated mini-poster.
    • Bring the class back together. Each group (starting with the first part of the text) presents their section/information to the class.
    • As students present, the instructor should correct and/or add to student responses, and provide examples as needed in order to help tie the concepts together.
  • Concluding Project: Share an Instagram message of Consistency in parenting using only 6 words & add an IMAGE. This could be done on FOTOR using their online Instagram template/generator (under Social Media Post) or by hand using a free TPT INSTAGRAM template. Present & explain orally to the class!  See feature image for example.


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