I want to tell you about an essential vitamin you’ve probably never heard of.
If you’re a parent, or plan to be one, it might be more important to your child’s
growth than all other vitamins combined.
And only you, a parent, can provide it.
我称之为 维生素N 也就是一个字’No’
I call it Vitamin N. The word “No.”
More and more children, I find, are suffering from Vitamin N deficiency.
And they, their parents, and our entire culture are paying the price.
Let me illustrate my point with a story that’s quite typical.
一个爸爸 我们叫他比尔 给他五岁的儿子
A father, I’ll call him Bill, gave his son, age five, pretty much everything the little
boy asked for.
Like most parents, Bill wanted more than anything for his son to be happy.
But he wasn’t.
相反 他任性 易怒 经常闷闷不乐
Instead he was petulant, moody, and often sullen.
He was also having problems getting along with other children.
In addition, he was very demanding and rarely if ever expressed any appreciation,
let alone gratitude, for all the things Bill and his wife were giving him.
Was his son depressed, Bill wanted to know?
Did he need therapy?
His son, I told him, was suffering the predictable ill effects of being over-indulged.
What he needed was a healthy and steady dose of Vitamin N.
过分溺爱 缺少维生素N 导致了自身精神病态
Over-indulgence–a deficiency of Vitamin N—leads to its own form of addiction.
When the point of diminishing returns is passed (and it’s passed fairly early on), the receiving
of things begins to generate nothing but want for more things.
One terrible effect of this is that our children are becoming accustomed to a material standard
that’s out of kilter with what they can ever hope to achieve as adults.
Consider also that many, if not most, children attain this level of affluence not by working,
不做出牺牲 不努力 仅是通过抱怨 提要求 驱使别人
sacrificing, or doing their best, but by whining, demanding, and manipulating.
So in the process of inflating their material expectations, we also teach children that
something can be had for next to nothing.
那不仅仅是欺骗 也是其中一种最危险 最具毁灭性的态度
Not only is that a falsehood, it’s also one of the most dangerous, destructive attitudes
a person can acquire.
This may go a long way toward explaining why the mental health of children in the 1950s
– when kids got a lot less — was significantly better than the mental health of today’s kids.
自五十年代以来 尤其是在最近几十年 溺爱
Since the ‘50s, and especially in the last few decades, as indulgence has become the
parenting norm, the rates of child and teen depression have skyrocketed.
Children who grow up believing in the something-for-nothing fairy tale
are likely to become emotionally stunted, self-centered adults.
Then, when they themselves become parents, they’re likely to overdose their children
比如 成堆的长毛绒玩具 小玩意 散落在
with material things – the piles of toys, plushies, and gadgets one finds scattered
around most households.
因此 过分溺爱 缺少维生素N 成了遗传病
In that way, over indulgence—a deficiency of Vitamin N—becomes an inherited disease,
an addiction passed from one generation to the next.
This also explains why children who get too much of what they want rarely take proper
care of anything they have.
Why should they?
After all, experience tells them that more is always on the way.
Children deserve better.
他们应该得到父母的照料 保护他们 关爱他们 指导他们
They deserve to have parents attend to their needs for protection, affection, and direction.
Beyond that: They deserve to hear their parents say “no” far more often than yes
when it comes to their whimsical desires.
They deserve to learn the value of constructive, creative effort as opposed to the value of
effort expended whining, lying on the floor kicking and screaming, or playing one parent
against the other.
They deserve to learn that work is the only truly fulfilling way of getting anything
并且 越努力工作 成果越好
of value in life, and that the harder they work, the more ultimately fulfilling the outcome.
In the process of trying to protect children from frustration, parents have turned reality
A child raised in this topsy-turvy fashion may not have the skills needed to stand on
his or her own two feet when the time comes to do so.
Here’s a simple rule: Turn your children’s world right-side up by giving them all of
what they truly need, but no more than 25 percent of what they simply want.
I call this the “Principle of Benign Deprivation.”
When all is said and done, the most character-building two-letter word in the English language is
Dispense it frequently.
长此以往 你会更快乐 你的孩子亦是
You’ll be happier in the long run, and so will your child.
我是约翰 罗斯蒙德 作者 普拉格大学的家庭心理学家
I’m John Rosemond, author and family psychologist, for Prager University.