28 Jan Dr. Walsh and the Power of “No”
Do you ever have trouble saying “no” to your child? Several of our staff and parents have attended seminars led by David Walsh, PhD. His book No, published in 2007, has given many of us pause as we realize the importance and power of the word “no” in relating to children. I have had to adjust my thinking because in my own teacher training we were taught that in order to build a child’s self-esteem, we should steer clear of words such as “no” and “don’t”. Dr. Walsh shows how the word “no” is not just a one-word answer, it’s a parenting or teaching strategy. By saying “no” when we need to, we help children develop skills such as self-reliance, self-discipline, respect, integrity, the ability to delay gratification, and a host of other crucial character traits they need to be successful. It’s not just about an adult saying “no” to a child. The more important goal is to teach children how they can say “no” to themselves – how they can develop self-control.
To be further convinced of this principle, watch a video of the re-creation of the Marshmallow experiment, which was originally conducted in 1960 at Stanford University. The children in the Stanford experiment were followed for 18 years and researchers found that the children who could wait – those who had demonstrated self-control in the marshmallow experiment – were more successful in school and work, had more friends and were generally happier. On the Mediawise website there is a list of questions for you to consider with regard to your own childrearing experiences.
What an interesting conversation for our blog. I welcome you to contribute your comments about the video, the questions posed on the website, or your own success stories or challenges using the word “no” with your child. I also encourage you to explore the Mediawise website for additional interesting information about children and media.