I recently heard John Roseman (on PragerU) talk about a serious “vitamin deficiency” kids are missing today; vitamin “No.” There was a study done about the cause and effect of parents who did and did not give their children each and everything they wanted when they wanted it.
Long story short, the children of the parents who gave them everything and didn’t require them to earn what they wanted became angry, lethargic, depressed, whiny, unhappy, unfulfilled, and were likely to get into drugs and alcohol.
The children of parents who required them to work for what they wanted were in general happy, well-balanced, smart, responsible, empathetic, caring and compassionate.
I was born in 1951, and at a very young age, I understand what the phrase “we can’t afford it” meant. Once that phrase was spoken, that was it; end of story. No whining or begging could change it; we just could not afford everything I wanted.
But my parents gave me a way to earn what I wanted. I washed dishes for 15 cents, I dusted the furniture for 10 cents, I shoveled the snow out of the driveway for 25 cents, and so on. My friend Mike and I used to take his wagon and scour the neighborhood for empty glass soda bottles to return to the candy store. I put every cent into my piggy bank.
Dad taught me how to ski one winter, and I loved it. Back then, the latest and greatest ski outfit included the new stretch pants. They were wonderful, and expensive. Not only did they keep you warm while skiing, but they really cut the wind resistance. That part was especially important to me since I was downhill and slalom racing by then.
A pair of regular black stretch pants cost $25; an unheard of amount of money! But I stuck to my dishwashing, dusting, shoveling snow and any other chore I could do to earn money toward my precious stretch pants.
When the day came that I had amassed that $25, Dad told me that he was proud of me. He took me downtown to buy my first pair of stretch pants, paid for with my own money. I was so proud of those stretch pants, and I took good care of them. I knew how hard I’d worked to buy them. I wore them until they just about fell apart.
It makes me cringe when I hear kids saying that they broke their $700 smart phone, but it didn’t matter, because Mom or Dad would just buy them a new one. The problem with this is that the world will not treat those kids kindly. They will find that, sadly, they will be accountable for their actions, and that Mom and Dad can’t always bail them out.
This is just my two cents, but I think that more vitamin “N” may be the answer.