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The Marshmallow Test: What It Tells Us About Kids With ADHD and Self-Control

Research shows that self-control is learned best through play and physical activity. Playing games promotes self-control, especially games where children have to listen to the rules, pay attention when the rules change and not act on autopilot. Two great examples are Simon Says and Red Light/Green Light.

There are other ways to foster self-control in kids, too. One way is to encourage kids to set personal goals based on their interests. Another is to have kids come up with their own strategies for managing down time—such as times when they have to wait. But they need lots of chances to practice those strategies and improve on them.

This is a very hopeful takeaway from the Marshmallow Test. And it’s one that is especially important for kids with ADHD. Watch the experiment here.

marshmallow test