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你的孩子获得足够多的维生素N了吗?

Is Your Child Getting Enough Vitamin N?

我想告诉你们一种你们可能从未听说过的基本维生素
I want to tell you about an essential vitamin you’ve probably never heard of.
如果你为人父母或准备成为父母的话 这对你孩子来说
If you’re a parent, or plan to be one, it might be more important to your child’s
或许比其他任何维生素都重要
growth than all other vitamins combined.
但只有父母可以提供
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.”
我发现越来越多的孩子缺乏维生素N
More and more children, I find, are suffering from Vitamin N deficiency.
并且他们的父母以及整个文化活动正为此付出代价
And they, their parents, and our entire culture are paying the price.
请允许我用一个典型的故事来阐明我的观点
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
几乎所有他想要的东西
boy asked for.
如同大多数父母 比尔想尽一切办法让他儿子快乐
Like most parents, Bill wanted more than anything for his son to be happy.
但他并不快乐
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.
他和其他小朋友相处也有问题
He was also having problems getting along with other children.
此外 他要求很高却很少表示满意
In addition, he was very demanding and rarely if ever expressed any appreciation,
更别提对父母给他的一切表示感谢了
let alone gratitude, for all the things Bill and his wife were giving him.
比尔想知道 他儿子不开心了吗?
Was his son depressed, Bill wanted to know?
他需要治疗吗?
Did he need therapy?
我告诉他 他儿子显然因过分被溺爱而得了一种病
His son, I told him, was suffering the predictable ill effects of being over-indulged.
他所需要的就是健康稳定的维生素N
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.
收益递减观念过时了(早就过时了)
When the point of diminishing returns is passed (and it’s passed fairly early on), the receiving
产出不会变多 却需要更多的东西
of things begins to generate nothing but want for more things.
其中一个致命的影响是孩子们习惯了某个物质标准
One terrible effect of this is that our children are becoming accustomed to a material standard
这标准已经完全超出了成年人可以给予的范畴
that’s out of kilter with what they can ever hope to achieve as adults.
试想如果有许多孩子受到这种影响 他们不干活
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.
所以在孩子们物质期望膨胀的过程 我们也教会了他们
So in the process of inflating their material expectations, we also teach children that
可以不劳而获
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
这种态度很容易学会
a person can acquire.
这或许很难解释 为什么五十年代的孩子们得到的东西远少于现在的孩子
This may go a long way toward explaining why the mental health of children in the 1950s
但他们的精神健康却完全比现在的孩子好
– 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
成为教育常态 儿童青少年抑郁症的概率飙升
parenting norm, the rates of child and teen depression have skyrocketed.
那些相信不劳而获的儿童长大后
Children who grow up believing in the something-for-nothing fairy tale
很容易变成情感不健全 以自我为中心的人
are likely to become emotionally stunted, self-centered adults.
然后当他们自己为人父母时 他们也会给孩子过多的物质
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
几乎大多数家庭里
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,
一种成瘾疾病 代代遗传
an addiction passed from one generation to the next.
这也解释了为什么那些得到太多他们想要东西的孩子
This also explains why children who get too much of what they want rarely take proper
很少爱护自己拥有的东西
care of anything they have.
他们为什么这样?
Why should they?
毕竟经验告诉他们还有更多等着他们
After all, experience tells them that more is always on the way.
孩子们值得更好的
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.
除了那些 他们还应该更多的听到父母说’不’而不是’好’
Beyond that: They deserve to hear their parents say “no” far more often than yes
尤其是在孩子们反复无常的欲望面前
when it comes to their whimsical desires.
他们应该学习具有建设性的价值观 创造力
They deserve to learn the value of constructive, creative effort as opposed to the value of
而不是花力气发牢骚 在地上撒泼打滚
effort expended whining, lying on the floor kicking and screaming, or playing one parent
或者比较父母好坏
against the other.
他们应该知道工作是获得人生中有价值东西的唯一途径
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.
试着保护儿童免受挫折的过程 父母已经把现实
In the process of trying to protect children from frustration, parents have turned reality
颠倒了
upside down.
这种在颠倒事实的潮流中养大的孩子 一旦出了事情
A child raised in this topsy-turvy fashion may not have the skills needed to stand on
也许没法自己站稳脚跟
his or her own two feet when the time comes to do so.
有个简单的规则:把孩子们的世界翻转正立过来 给他们真正需要的东西
Here’s a simple rule: Turn your children’s world right-side up by giving them all of
而随意想要的东西不要超过25%
what they truly need, but no more than 25 percent of what they simply want.
我称之为’良性缺乏原则’
I call this the “Principle of Benign Deprivation.”
总而言之 英语中性格建立最重要的两个字母是
When all is said and done, the most character-building two-letter word in the English language is
no
no.
维生素N
Vitamin N.
经常使用它
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.

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