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Is Your Child Getting Enough Vitamin N?

The foundation upon which we, as parents, base a child’s training in how to be polite, courteous and well-mannered is the application of Vitamin N when appropriate.


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  • Saucygirl October 2, 2017, 6:44 am

    As the mom of an 8 year old and a girl scout leader who is around A LOT of kids, I think he is a genius

  • Dee October 2, 2017, 11:49 am

    Instinctively we all know the value of ‘no’ but this is a well-done video, breaking down the issue into detail. It should be a part of prenatal classes, because it’s not long before baby needs to hear ‘no’ sometimes.

    In the group I helped to run the term was ‘Difficulty Delaying Instant Gratification’. But I think I know more adults with this problem than kids, actually. Isn’t it a major factor behind the big US economic downturn – people wanting to buy a house but not having the money to do so? If there weren’t so many eagerly buying into the scam then the scam couldn’t have happened in the first place.

    And society makes it very difficult for parents to say ‘no’ to their kids. Schools insist on kids and parents begging outsiders to fund non-essential things for the school; teachers schedule field trips without having the funds to pay for them, and then demand that parents pay; other parents invite kids over to ‘play’ but that ‘play’ requires that every kid own a gaming device, etc. I thought my kids were spoiled with stuff but they were always made to feel like paupers when they were in school. And teachers never tired of calling me ‘cheap’ for not having the latest computer and school supplies for my kids.

    It wasn’t difficult for me to say ‘no’ to my kids. Perpetually having to say ‘no’ to the other adults and kids just wore me down. I’m so glad my kids are grown now, adults who handle their bills and responsibilities without complaint, and save up for toys and luxuries before buying. I keep hearing from friends and acquaintances that my kids are rare and I’m very lucky, and so on. Adults don’t expect kids to be independent anymore, so the kids live up (down) to that standard.

    So, yeah, I think it’s the adults who really are the problem.

    • CW October 2, 2017, 7:02 pm

      I bet you’re fun at parties.

      • Dee October 3, 2017, 6:21 pm

        Weird comment … With my younger child, his friends’ parties were often very grand, expensive affairs, or at least very large, with the associated costs of such a guest list. My son never wanted a big party and it was usually really low-key. My son liked going to the other kids’ parties, while the other kids loved going to his. I heard this year after year, how much they looked forward to his birthday for months in advance.

        Kids don’t need a lot of money spent in order to have a ball. For that matter, adults don’t need it, either.

        • JJ October 4, 2017, 4:31 pm

          I thought the comment was weird too and I agree with you. If teaching your kid to be independent, finding ways to entertain themselves without fancy gadgets all the time and expecting them to accept when they are told “no” makes you not fun at a parties then I’m on your side. I’d rather be a not always fun parent who teaches their kids hard work, earning things and that material items when you demand them or whine for them is not how we get things in life. I give credit to you and all parents out there because we live in an especially materialistic age and the anti no age where you are the mean parent if you can’t pamper your child with every single gadget, expensive clothes, field trip fee’s, buy them a house with a huge backyard full of fancy toys, a car at 16 etc. I guess I’d be a “mean” parent to if I was one according to others because I don’t think kids need every single gadget on the market to make them happy and I don’t think they should have to compete with the other kids to be cool via the toys they have. Like your family my parents had kids and while we had some decent toys (I thought we did well as kids for middle to lower class) we weren’t rich by any means nor did my parents feel the need to give us every single thing brand new when we whined. We were told no on many occasions and we sucked it up. They didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for every school trip so sometimes we didn’t go and it wasn’t that huge a deal but like you we were probably looked at as the “mean” family. I can recall a few Christmas’s when my brother was younger and he whined a bit like kids do that, “well Santa gave my friends a new tv and a game station I just got some toys and clothes”. My parents response was don’t be concerned about what your friends got Santa gave you what he gave you and they were very nice things you should be happy you got. Now my parents have three adult children who were all independent by their later teens with part time jobs, able to commute alone, go to university later on etc and we all have jobs, our own apartments or home and we can stand on our own two feet. I’d rather hear the word no growing up and learn to earn things properly and be raised down to earth then be pampered or constantly concerned about what materialistic things everyone else around me has. I’d rather raise kids who can be smart, independant capable people who can accept hearing the word no as adults or save up money through hard work to earn things then raise kids who buy stuff they can’t afford, lack work ethic and expect handouts 24/7 on demand.

      • Jazzgirl205 October 5, 2017, 7:40 am

        She probably is. Well-behaved children allow parents to be relaxed and happy.

    • Kate 2 October 3, 2017, 12:16 pm

      Very wise words. On a side note, I can’t understand those schools that use donated funds to buy iPads for all the students, instead of something like a free breakfast/lunch fund, or a school supply fund or hiring a new teacher or counselor, even for one year. There is absolutely no evidence that devices in schools help kids learn better, and plenty of evidence to the contrary.

    • inIN October 7, 2017, 10:16 am

      The bit about the economic downturn may need to be revised, as it is not entirely correct. Yes, persons took loans for houses they could afford, but that was also because the banking regulations and policies judging people for their credit risk was horribly flawed and the banks, motivated by profits, took on a huge gamble on a poor risk, which untimately crumbled. I suggest you read “The Big Short”, (the book the movie is based upon) as it gives a detailed explanation of how the housing bubble was set up on precarious foundation, and how it, at the time, those planning to short the market knew it was a question of when, and not if, it fell apart.

  • Dippy October 2, 2017, 1:01 pm

    My kids get lots and lots of vitamin N and they’re thriving. They go to college and have jobs and can run a household, you know, like an adult.

    I feel that Mr Dippy and I have done a good job with them.

  • staceyizme October 2, 2017, 1:46 pm

    The basic premise is good. But he skated a little too quickly over the providing for protection, affection and direction. In fact, it’s the avoidance of this harder work of parenting that motivates many parents and other significant family and community members to overindulge in material things and succumb to emotional manipulation. “No” merely for it’s own sake has no more value than any other parenting tool. If it isn’t attached to real love, concern and self-awareness, it just won’t get the job done. It becomes a parenting “meme” and nothing more.

  • Anonymous October 3, 2017, 2:30 pm

    >>The basic premise is good. But he skated a little too quickly over the providing for protection, affection and direction. In fact, it’s the avoidance of this harder work of parenting that motivates many parents and other significant family and community members to overindulge in material things and succumb to emotional manipulation. “No” merely for it’s own sake has no more value than any other parenting tool. If it isn’t attached to real love, concern and self-awareness, it just won’t get the job done. It becomes a parenting “meme” and nothing more.<<

    Yeah, that's how I feel too. I also didn't like the way Dr. Rosemond categorized bicycles, guitars, laptops, and phones (and maybe tablets; I forget) as "unnecessary" and "spoiling" kids. Well, let's look at each thing separately. A bicycle can be a means of exercise and independent transportation. A guitar (or any musical instrument) can teach kids perseverance first and foremost and then confidence and creative expression later, if they actually put in the time and effort to get good at it. A laptop may be a source of social media and gaming, et cetera, but it's also good for doing schoolwork, writing stories, making videos, and any number of constructive pursuits. A smartphone, sure, that can be a vehicle for a lot of frivolous apps, BUT it also affords young people more freedom, and the ability to change plans on the fly–now they can text their parents if they're, say, going to the library after school, or going to Subway with their band/choir/cast-mates after rehearsal. It also replaces a lot of other devices–camera (both still and video), music player, notepad, sound recorder, tuner and metronome (to go with the guitar), and that's just a few I can think of, because I have all of those things on my phone. So, things are just things, and it's all up to people how they use them.

    I also took issue with his comments on how young people "don't take care of their things because they know more is coming." Well, actually, these days, products are deliberately made to break easily, become obsolete quickly, or both. My parents have several medium-to-big-ticket items (kitchen appliances, a record player, and big wood-panelled speakers from the 70's and early 80's) that are older than I am, but fully operational. Nowadays, things tend to break soon after their one-year warranty expires, or for the rare outliers who are able to take care of their "vintage" iPod/iPhone/whatever from 2007 (which, of course, involves paying extra for a case and screen protector), so it still works in 2017, are still out of luck, because now it's too old to update. So, it's not entirely the consumers' fault. Yes, there is some truth in the importance of saying "no" sometimes, and not spoiling kids, but it's also a very different world since Dr. Rosemond's childhood, or even mine.

    • Lady Phoenix October 3, 2017, 8:26 pm

      I also did not like his insinuation that because kids don’t get “vitamin n”, then they are depressed or suffer through mental illnesses compared to kids in the 50’s.

      It’s not like psychology hasn’t developed since the 50’s to figure out and diagnose conditions that were ignored in the 50’s. They JUST stopped lobotomizing patients in the 50’s (1947).

      It is kinda insensitive really.

    • iwadasn October 3, 2017, 9:34 pm

      I still have the iPod I bought in 2010 and the smartphone I bought in 2015. Both work fine; if you can ignore the temptation to constantly have the latest and greatest as soon as it comes out, there’s absolutely no reason to ditch your year-old device for a brand new one just because Apple commercials tell you to.

      • Anonymous October 4, 2017, 6:47 am

        No, there isn’t any reason to replace devices just because Apple commercials tell you to, but my current (Android) phone, that I’ve had for just over a year, is already having problems–the forward-facing camera is gone, and it randomly erases playlists, or even deletes music files altogether. The phone I had before that (also an Android), lasted about 2 1/2 years, but by about the two-year mark, it would erase its contents every time I plugged it into a computer, Kodak Picture Maker, or anything. Since this was after the warranty expired (in both cases), I just put up with it. So, in some cases, it’s not about having the latest and greatest; it’s about just wanting to have something that works properly.

  • MaryFran October 11, 2017, 11:52 am

    This sounds very reminiscent of the “Millenials are the most selfish generation yet” rants that are so ubiquitous these days, just in a different wrapper. Every generation eventually gets around to thinking that their upbringing and childhood norms were perfect, and the children and youth today are worthless and lazy. It’s been going on since ancient times, when Aristotle & Socrates were known to wax philosophical about “kids these days.” It also harkens to a particular political movement claiming young people are damaged because they received participation trophies. It’s making some interesting assumptions about a large group of people.

  • Darshiva October 13, 2017, 5:54 am

    I love the bit about giving the child 100% of what the child needs, but only 25% of what the child wants.

    We NEED some of our wants to be fulfilled, or we’ll give up hope for the future. But with 75% being unfulfilled (except by our own efforts to earn them), we’ll 1) have something to hope for, and 2) have something to work for.

    I think this is brilliant.