Oscar Wilde famously wrote in Lady Windermere’s Fan, “I can resist everything except temptation,” and now some parents are putting that idea to the test with their kids with the Fruit Snack Challenge. The premise of the game is simple: A parent puts a tempting snack in front of their kid and then tells them they can have some, but they need to wait a minute while they step out of the room. Think fruit snacks or candy, this is not a time for carrots. The challenge tests willpower, patience, and obedience, three things that toddlers are not particularly known for—which is what makes it so funny and why the challenge is taking over social media.
The latest celebrity to give the Fruit Snack Challenge a whirl is Gabrielle Union who tested the patience of her one-year old daughter, Kaavia, and shared the results on Instagram. In the clip, Union tells Kaavia to wait for the treat, but the second her mom’s back was turned, the little girl made a beeline for the snacks. Her good-natured mom took the result in stride, though, captioning her Instagram post with many laughing emojis.
While Union’s daughter couldn’t wait, Kylie Jenner shared a video of her daughter Stormi passing the test with flying colors, managing to resist the temptation of a bowl of chocolate treats left in front of her by murmuring, “Patience, patience.”
Parents around the country have been challenging their kids, too:
While the Fruit Snack Challenge is popular now, psychologist Walter Mischel was testing children’s willpower before it was trending on social media. Mischel and his team at Stanford University devised the Marshmallow Test back in the day to study the science of self-control in children under 5. As TIME reported, Mischel would offer children a choice: They could eat one marshmallow now, or, if they could hold out for 15 minutes when the researcher returned to the room, they could have two marshmallows.
The researchers studied the participants for years and found that the kids who were able to wait were able to use that willpower for some positive long-term effects. That said, kids who gobbled up the marshmallow instantly were able to change as they matured, so if you’re doing the Fruit Snack Challenge at home, don’t read too much into the results other than a fun way to spend some time during social distancing.