Well, according to Dr. Rosemond, Mack is suffering the obvious illeffects of being over-indulged in materialistic pleasures. What he needed was a healthy and steady dose of Vitamin N. And over-indulgence—a deficiency of Vitamin N—leads to its own form of addiction. When the initial gratification of hoarding things begins to fade away, newer things received only generates want for more things.
A disastrous effect of material hoarding is that our children are becoming accustomed to a material standard that they can never hope to achieve as adults. And many children attain this level of material comfort not by working, sacrificing, or doing their best, but by whining, demanding, and manipulating.
Therefore, in the process of inflating their material expectations, we are unwittingly teaching our children that possessing something is better than not having anything at all. Not only is that a falsehood, it’s also one of the most dangerous, destructive attitudes a person can acquire.
Children who grow up believing in the something-for-nothing fairy tale are likely to become emotionally stunted, self-centred “narcissistic” adults. When such adults become parents themselves, they’re likely to pamper their children with an overdose of material things—the piles of toys and gadgets one would find scattered around most households. Consequently, 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. Additionally, this may go a long way in 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 who are getting most of what they want.
Since the 50’s, the rates of child and teen depression have skyrocketed, especially in the last few decades, as indulgence has become the parenting norm. In the process of trying to protect children from frustration, parents have turned reality upside down.
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. Dr. Rosemond prescribes a simple rule, which he calls the “Principle of Benign Deprivation”: Set your children’s world right by giving them all of what they truly need, but no more than 25 percent of what they simply want.
The most character-building two-letter word in the English language is no—Vitamin N. Dispense it frequently, and you will be happier in the long run, and so will your child. Children deserve better. They deserve to have parents attend to their needs for protection, affection, and direction…
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 instead of resorting to retarded, scheming efforts like whining, lying on the floor kicking and screaming, or playing one parent against the other… …And, ultimately, they deserve to learn that work is the only truly fulfilling way of getting anything of value in life, and that the harder they work, the more fulfilling the outcome.
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