WATCH: It's Hard To Delay Gratification. Just Ask Cookie Monster

May 16, 2019
Originally published on May 17, 2019 9:35 am

Ask Cookie Monster to demonstrate self-control? Sounds like the setup to a joke. The blue, furry monster we grew up with was pure id.

But in recent years, Cookie has evolved as Sesame Workshop has sharpened its focus on social and emotional skills. Research shows that at least half a child's success is determined by those skills. Life Kit: Parenting has been looking at strategies for helping kids learn emotional self-regulation and self-control, so we called in Cookie for help.

We put out a plate of his favorite chocolate chippies. He demonstrated key strategies for waiting out or cooling down a "hot" moment of anger, fear or, in this case, temptation!

Here's what Cookie did to keep his monster hands off those sweets — and what you can help your children do to resist temptation and reach their own goals.

  • Take a deep belly breath.
  • Look in a different direction.
  • Focus on the reason you are waiting — for example, a promise to share the cookie with a friend.
  • Distract yourself — for example, with singing.
  • Talk about something else — say, a book you are reading.

This video is based on an upcoming episode of Life Kit's podcast Raising Awesome Kids. For more audio guides on parenting, subscribe in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.