two kids try to pass the patience challenge with some help from their parents

Tech & Media

The rise of the Patience Challenge in the Age of Isolation Parenting

May 22, 2020

If you’re a parent, chances are you’re busy.

Whether that’s because you’re worrying, doing dishes (again) or laundry (again) or thinking of all the activities you can make your kids do is anyone’s guess.

But now parents are challenging themselves further by participating in digital challenge culture.

Why? Well, perhaps for fun. Or perhaps they're just a little glutton for punishment. Or maybe they want just a bit of time away.

The internet breeds trends. So have you tried any of these?

These days, the challenge du jour is the patience challenge, which has a bunch of different names — like the fruit snack challenge. It goes a little something like this:

A parent starts recording and puts a snack on the table. It can be chocolates, fruit snacks or chocolate-covered digestive biscuits. Whatever you’re snacking on.

The parent says they have to go do something and the child can’t have a treat until they’ve returned.

The goal is to see if a child can listen for the two to three minutes before they can actually consume the treat in front of them.

It looks something like this, from Kylie Jenner:


A post shared by Kylie �� (@kyliejenner) on

Now, this challenge is sometimes quite rewarding for the parent, because their kid behaves and shows great patience.

Other times, a child may not eat the snack, and instead drink their parent’s wine, like this adorable British child. (“What on Earth are they doing?”)

Some parents of dogs, not children, are also joining in the fun —  if you prefer your videos of the more furry variety.

Check out Bob:



Bob’s dad says he’s “not good at this.” But who hasn’t eaten four tiny cakes in one sitting from time to time?

Penny’s patience here is very admirable. Could you wait for the dishes to be done before eating one of these treats?



A post shared by Wall Street to Event Planning (@craftycookienewyork) on


What I’ve learned watching these videos is that parents are being quite resourceful with their time.

Even a few private moments while a child waits in front of a bowl of chocolate is still a few private moments.

And that’s something a lot of exceedingly busy parents are craving right now.

I’ll leave you with this cutie from Montreal, who clearly loves M&Ms and following the rules.



Have you participated in the Patience Challenge? Was it a success? What are some other creative uses of time that you could recommend to other parents?

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