Excerpts on Child Psychology
and how it relates to Barney...
Taken from "USA Weekend," Sept. 8-10, 1995 Material used
without permission, and is still covered by whatever copyrights
"USA Weekend" or its authors may have.
Notes and comments about Barney and his influence are not from
"USA Weekend in the least. Barney was not even mentioned in the
article. However, if the shoe fits...
In an article about EQ, or "Emotional Intelligence Quotient," in
a recent "USA Weekend" issue, several pertinent comments were made
about helping chlidren to become more emotionally intelligent and
stable. This is, as noted, important because, "Emotional lessons
learned in childhood stay with us as habits of the heart through
The Marshmallow Test
Specifically noted was a "marshmallow test" conducted by
Psychologist Walter Mischel of Stanford University. He took several
4 year olds alone into a back room. Each child was told he/she
could either eat it, or wait and have 2 instead of one when the
researcher returned after a while, supposedly running an errand.
One-third snatched it immediately, another third held out a while,
and the last third managed to hold off and wait for the reward of 2
14 years later, Psychologist Phillip Peake of Smith College
tracked down the children who'd been given the test. The impulsive
children were found to have "grown into troubled young
adults...stubborn...easily upset...unable to delay gratification."
The top third, however, were "better able to cope with
frustrations, more resistant to getting rattled under pressure,
more self-reliant--and still able to delay gratification in pursuit
This relates to Barney because...
In Barney's show, emotions are not dealt with. Desires and wishes
are fullfilled without challange or effort. Reality is ignored.
Barney is their sole guide and help. See the Yermish Essay for more information on Barney's
show, if you haven't already done so.
Common Inept Parenting Styles
Psychologist Carol Hooven of the University of Washington notes 3
of the most common inept parenting styles.
- "Ignoring feelings altogether, treating emotional upsets
Sound like Barney?
- "Being too easygoing, leaving children to their own
devices in handling emotional storms, or trying bribes to get them
to stop being mad or angry."
Bribes...gifts...sound like Barney?
- "Being contemptuous, showing no respect for children's
feelings, criticizing the children harshly."
Telling children that your feelings don't matter, so just
pretend your emotions don't exist except happiness. Sound Like
If you answered the resounding question above "no" even once, go
back and reread the Yermish Essay.
You'll soon see why Barney isn't all he claims to be.