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新视野大学英语读写教程第二册 unit5-b

《新视野大学英语》是国务院批准的教育部“面向21世纪振兴行动计划”的重点工程“新世纪网络课程建设工程”项目系列教材之一。 由国家级名师上海交通大学郑树棠教授担任总策划和教材总主编,清华大学、上海交通大学和东北大学等全国十余所大学几十名资深教授和中青年骨干教师共同设计、编写和制作的教育部普通高等教育“十五”国家级规划教材,教育部大学英语推荐教材。

Section B

Stop Spoiling Your Children

While traveling for various speaking appointments, I frequently stay overnight in the home of a family and am assigned to one of the children's bedrooms. In it, I often find so many toys that there's almost no room — even for my small lavatory or toilet kit. And the closet is usually so tightly packed with clothes that I can barely squeeze in my jacket.

I'm not complaining, only making a point. I think the tendency to give children too many toys and clothes is quite common in American families. I think in far too many families not only do children come to take their parents' generosity for granted, but also the effects of this can actually be somewhat harmful to children.

Why do parents give their children too much, or give them things they can't afford? I believe there are several reasons.

One fairly common reason is that parents spoil their children out of a sense of guilt. Parents who both hold down full-time jobs may feel guilty about the amount of time they spend away from their children and, as accommodation for being away so much, may attempt to compensate by showering them with material possessions.

Other parents provide too much because they want their children to have everything they had while growing up, along with those things they pined for but didn't get. Still others are afraid to say no to their children's endless requests for toys for fear that their children will infer they are unloved or will be made fun of if they don't obtain the same toys their friends have.

Spoiling a child also happens when parents are unable to stand up to their children's unreasonable demands. Such parents fluctuate between saying no and giving in — but neither response seems satisfactory to them. If they refuse a request, they immediately feel a wave of regret for having been so strict or ungenerous. If they give in, they feel regret and resentment over having been too easy. This kind of variability not only loosens the parents' ability to set limits, it also sours the parent-child relationship to some degree, robbing parents and their children of some of the happiness and mutual respect that is present in healthy families.

But spoiling children with material things does little to reduce parental guilt (since parents never feel they've given enough), nor does it make children feel more loved (for what children really desire is parents' time and attention). Instead, the effects of providing too much can be harmful. Children may, to some degree, become greedy, selfish, ungrateful and insensitive to the needs and feelings of others, beginning with their parents. When children are given too much, it undermines their respect for their parents. In fact, the children begin to sense that a parent's unlimited generosity is not right. The contradiction as a result may be that these children, conversely, will push further, unconsciously hoping that, if they push too hard, they will force their parents into setting limitations.

Also, spoiled children are not as challenged to be more creative in their play as children with fewer toys. They have fewer opportunities to learn the value of money, and have less experience in learning to deal with delay in satisfaction, when every requested object is given on demand.

The real purpose of this discussion is not to tell parents how much or how little to give to their children. Rather, my intention is to help those parents who have already sensed that they might be spoiling their children but don't know how to stop.

Sometimes you may feel uncertain about whether to give in to many of your children's requests. That doesn't mean you can't change. First, you should try to determine what makes you submit or feel guilty. Then, even if you haven't uncovered the reason, you should begin to make firm decisions and practice responding to your children's requests in a prompt, definite manner.

Once you turn over a new leaf, you can't expect to change completely right away. You are bound to fluctuate at times. The key is to be satisfied with gradual improvement, expecting and accepting the occasional slips that come with any change. And even after you are handling these decisions in a firmer and more confident manner, you can't expect your children to respond immediately. For a while they'll keep on applying the old pressures that used to work so well. But they'll eventually come to respect your decisions once they learn that nagging and arguing no longer work. In the end, both you and your children will be happier for it.

NEW WORDS

spoil
vt. 1. harm the character of (esp. a child) by lack of strictness or too much generosity, attention, praise, etc. (尤指对孩子)溺爱,宠坏
2. destroy the value, quality or pleasure of; ruin 糟蹋,损坏,破坏
vi. (of food, etc.) become bad or unfit to be used, eaten, etc.(食品等)变坏,变质

overnight
ad.& a. 1. during or for the night 一夜(间),夜里的
2. sudden(ly) or very quick(ly) 突然,非常快地

assign
vt. 1. send to a particular place; name sb. for a task or position 派,指派
2. give sth. to sb. as a share of work to be done or of things to be used 分配,分派
3. name or fix (a time, place, reason, etc. for sth.) 指定或选定(时间、地点、理由)

lavatory
n. [C] a toilet 厕所,盥洗室

kit
n. 1. [C, U] equipment needed for a particular activity, situation or trade 一套工具
2. [C] a set of parts sold ready to be put together 配套元件

barely
ad. only just 仅仅,几乎没有,几乎不

tendency
n. 1. [C] the way a person or thing is likely to be or behave 趋向,倾向
2. [C] the direction for sth. to happen 趋势

generous
a. 1. giving or ready to give freely 慷慨的,大方的
2. showing kindness towards others 宽厚的,宽宏大量的
3. large; abundant 大量的,丰富的,充分的

generosity
n. [U] the quality of being generous 慷慨,大度,宽大

ungenerous
a. not being generous 不慷慨的,不大方的

somewhat
ad. to some degree; rather 有几分,在某种程度上,颇为

full-time
a. for or during the whole of the working day or week 满工作日的或工作周的,全时间的,专职的

accommodation
n. 1. [C] convenient arrangement, the settling of a disagreement 和解,调解
2. (pl.) room(s) and food 住所,膳宿

compensate
v. give (sb.) sth. good to lessen the bad effect of damage, loss, etc. 补偿,赔偿

infer
vt. reach an opinion from facts; conclude sth. (由事实)推知,推断

fluctuate
vi. 1. (of an attitude or a state) change continually 变换不定,犹豫不决,动摇
2. (of price, number, rate, etc.) rise and fall (指价格、数量、比率)波动,涨落,起伏

variable
a. 1. changeable 易变的,多变的
2. likely to change 可变的
n. [C] a variable thing 可变因素,变量

variability
n. [U] quality of being variable; tendency to change 变化性,变化的倾向

loosen
v. 1. become or make loose or looser 放松,使松,松弛
2. relax 松弛

sour
v. 1. make or become unpleasant or difficult 使变坏,使恶化
2. cause sth. to have a sharp taste like that of vinegar (使)变酸,(使)变馊
a. 1. having a sharp taste like that of vinegar 酸的,馊的
2. unfriendly; bad-tempered 乖张的;坏脾气的

greedy
a. 1. filled with desire 贪婪的,贪心的
2. having strong desires for food 贪吃的
3. longing for 渴望的

selfish
a. thinking first of one's own interests, needs, etc. without concern for others; ungenerous 自私自利的,利己的

sensitive
a. 1. having or showing sympathy or understanding 感觉敏锐的,同情理解的
2. affected greatly or easily by sth. (对……)敏感的
3. easily offended 易于被冒犯的,情绪容易波动的

insensitive
a. 1. not aware of or showing sympathy for other people's feelings 麻木不仁的,感觉迟钝的
2. not able to feel sth. 无感觉的,感觉不到的

undermine
vt. 1. weaken gradually 使逐渐削弱,暗中损坏
2. weaken at the base 使从基础破坏

limited
a. few or small 有限制的,有限的,极少,很小

unlimited
a. not limited; very great in number or quantity 无限的;(数目或数量)极大的

contradiction
n. 1. [C, U] being contrary to 矛盾,不一致
2. [U, C] disagreement 否认,反驳

conversely
ad. opposite to sth., on the other hand 相反地,另一面

limitation
n. 1. [C] a condition or fact that limits (条件或事实的)限制
2. [U] limiting; being limited 限制,受限制

submit
vi. accept the control; give in 屈服于,服从,接受……的控制
vt. 1. give sth.to sb. so that it may be considered, decided on, etc. 呈送,递交
2. suggest 建议,主张

uncover
vt. 1. make known or discover 揭露,暴露
2. remove the cover or covering from 揭开……的盖子,移去……的覆盖物

prompt
a. done or acting without delay 迅速的,敏捷的,即时的
vt. cause or encourage sb. to do sth. 促使,推动

definite
a. 1. clear 明确的,无疑的
2. sure; certain 一定的,肯定的

manner
n. 1. (sing.) a person's way of behaving towards others 态度
2. (sing.) way in which a thing is done or happens 方式,方法

bound
a. certain to do sth. 一定……,必定……

gradual
a. taking place step by step; not sudden 逐步的,逐渐的

improvement
n. 1. [C, U] action or process of improving; state of being improved 改良,改进,改善
2. [C] a change that improves sth. 改进措施,修改

slip
n. [C] small mistakes caused by carelessness or lack of attention 过失,小错,小疏忽
vi. 1. lose one's balance and fall 滑倒,滑落
2. go somewhere quietly and quickly in order not to be noticed 溜走

nag
v. scold or criticize (sb.) continuously 唠叨地指责,批评

PHRASES AND EXPRESSIONS

pack with
fill or crowd sth. (with sb./sth.) 塞进,挤进

make a point
state a point 提出论点

take... for granted
think sth. to be true; treat sb. or sth. with too little attention or concern 认为真实;视为理所当然

hold down
keep (a job) for some time 保住(工作)

attempt to do
try to do 试做,尝试,企图

along with
in addition to 与……一道

make fun of
laugh at (sb./sth.), usu. unkindly 嘲笑,奚落

stand up to
1. meet or face bravely; be against without fear 勇敢面对
2. not be changed or damaged by 经得起,承受得起

give in
allow oneself to be defeated or taken over (by sb./sth.) 认输,屈服,投降

to some degree
to a certain amount 在某种程度上

on demand
whenever asked for 一经要求

turn over a new leaf
start a new and better way of behaving 悔过自新,洗心革面,重新做人

keep on doing
continue (doing sth.) 继续做

in the end
at last; finally 最后,终于




 

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