Want your kids to focus longer on accomplishing tasks and not giving up so easily? According to new research, the key is to let them see YOU struggle to get something accomplished over a longer period of time.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted three experiments that included a total of 262 children ages 13 months to 18 months, with an average of 15 months.
The basic procedure was this: Two groups of children first watched a researcher remove a rubber frog from a clear plastic container, and also unhook a key chain from a carabiner, a metal ring with a hinged side.
One group the adults struggled to accomplish the task over the 30 seconds whereas the other easily accomplished it in less than 10. When presented with their own puzzle, the kids who watched the parents struggle also spent LONGER working on their task than the kids who watched the adults blow through it.
More so, the study says
The effect was much stronger if the researcher had actively engaged the child while doing her own tasks by making eye contact, using the child’s name, and adopting the high-pitched, exaggerated-melody style of speech that adults typically use to hold a child’s attention.