Learning Early

I introduced Runner Bean to the concept of short term pain for long term gain as he had his first jabs. I explained that the massive needles in his legs would hurt less than meningitis, or polio. It didn’t make him scream less – and he had his first real tear – but it helped me remain pragmatic.

Short term pain for long term gain is a lesson we’ll repeat often as he grows up, when he’s doing homework, not eating a fourth cupcake, smiling through gritted teeth rather than letting rip. It’s a variant on the marshmallow lesson – the kids who can control their desire to eat a marshmallow when left unsupervised not only get to enjoy a second marshmallow, they do better in life. 

While that test is on delayed gratification, it’s really about enduring something rubbish in the short term knowing you’re better off in the long run. Hard work and willpower pay. If we can teach RB that early, I think we’ll have nailed it.

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