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Shared struggle. The child parent struggle is older than the "my dog ate my homework" excuse, of course. But it's exacerbated, says No, by 45 hours or so of screen time each week that plug "more, easy, fast, and fun" and by harried working parents' craving for harmony when they're home. "Large corporations trying to market to kids don't make money off delayed gratification," says Angela Duckworth, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and mother of two youngsters. And given that everyone else's parents allow a later curfew and violent video games, "there's fear you're going to say no and your child will turn against you," says Rosie Loeffler Kemp of Duluth, president of the Minnesota State Parent Teacher Association and mother of four. When parents read the book and see that this is a shared struggle, she believes, they'll gain the necessary courage to convey their family values and set limits.
Walsh says he's "overwhelmed" at the response, which inspired a rush to paperback four months ahead of schedule and a packed calendar of speaking engagements. School principals from Indiana, South Carolina, and several other states are getting set to work No into teacher training sessions. And at an annual gathering in October, more than 1,000 Boy Scout troop leaders from Minnesota and Wisconsin will be offered workshops on the guide, which equips grown ups with sample dialogues for beating back all kinds of challenges. "It's just such a readable, common sense approach to raising self reliant children," says Joann Knuth, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals.
A related urge that parents are taught to squelch is the desire to intervene with a quick fix for every tough assignment or disappointment. A student who misses the year end spelling prize because he chose not to study has an opportunity to develop thicker skin and learn an important lesson in self discipline, for example but not if Mom calls up to berate the teacher. "Parent involvement is critical, but I don't see them wanting to let their kids experience consequences," says Kim Westra, a fourth grade teacher at Salem Hills Elementary in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., who makes independent work a huge focus in her classroom. Research published by Duckworth hints at one price. Self discipline, she found, was a better predictor of academic success in eighth graders than IQ, measured by such factors as final grades, attendance, standardized test scores, and success at getting into a selective high school program.
Understanding the rationale for standing firm doesn't necessarily make parenting choices easier. Westra and her husband, long proponents of the no cable, bare bones approach to television, have been deliberating whether or not to give in as their daughter approaches the social preteen years. "Does it take that big, huge plasma TV to get the kids over?" Westra wonders. The resounding response from parents of teenagers she has polled: Yes.
it out. In Minnesota, Walsh's home state, a "Say Yes to No" coalition of educators and PTA parents sent "tool kits" touting the book Foamposite Green
The payoff, says Walsh: kids with the ability to say "No" to themselves, plus patience, good judgment, and the cool to move Nike Air Mag Boots on without a meltdown when they don't get three desserts or an unchaperoned weekend at the beach. "They get that by internalizing parental prohibitions," she says.
but You Can Do It
whose recent book about the complaint has to his shock launched a burgeoning grass roots movement to stamp Nike Blazer Low Gt In Black
Do your kids suffer from discipline deficit disorder? (Hint: Symptoms include "the gimmes" and a "me first" attitude.) If you can't say "No" and stick to your guns, chances are they do, says psychologist David Walsh, Nike Dunk Sky Hi Joli
(No: Why Kids of All Ages Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It) to 2,500 principals before school began last week. Their next goal is to get it on the reading list of every child tending grown up in the state, sparking a sharing of war stories about how to tame "I want" behavior.
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