We wonder why so many millennials see “adulting” as a thing. Some “kids” seriously don’t know how to hammer a nail, pay a bill, buy proper groceries, even, literally, boil an egg. As such when the real world confronts them they have to “adult.” (Adult is a verb now.)
No wonder far too many in this group look to the nanny state to nanny them. They, especially the kids that come from middle and upper middle class homes, have been insulated. Everyone is supposed to go to college. Everyone is supposed to get what they want – well – just because. Socialism!!!
Well, OK. Whatever useful idiots. And they are useful idiots to a large degree because parents have raised little hothouse flowers. Their little precious ones can’t stand the cool winds. They must be protected. And as mom and dad fall out of the picture these little orchids look to the state. The air might not flow, and the seasons might not change in the greenhouse, but what are the orchids going to do? Go out into the real world were plants made of heartier stuff can grow tall but must deal with the occasional frost? They don’t think so. They can’t tolerate even the slightest frost. Socialism!!!
Does one ever see grown ups in the media, on TV or whatever, say to children, “You know if you want to succeed in life you are gonna have to work your butt off”? No! One never ever hears such sentiments. Instead we hear of “privilege” or “equity.” (Not “equality” for those of you who don’t wallow around in sociology departments, but “equity.” Everything must be “fair” for everyone, and by golly we must have government programs and re-education sessions at college to get this “equity,” you know because of hierarchy or some other nonsense.)
And don’t forget the bumbling father figures. (In a sense this is OK. The fathers, the ones that go out and hustle – as do many many moms – know the real deal.)
This is a very dangerous situation and one that must be actively countered by younger parents. Don’t let your kids grow up to be hothouse flowers. For everyone else’s sake and for theirs. Resilient kids win in the long run. Orchids just bitch about the resilient kids. And that’s just fine because the cold winds will come sooner or later.
We’ve had the best of intentions, of course. But efforts to protect our children may be backfiring. When we raise kids unaccustomed to facing anything on their own, including risk, failure, and hurt feelings, our society and even our economy are threatened. Yet modern child-rearing practices and laws seem all but designed to cultivate this lack of preparedness. There’s the fear that everything children see, do, eat, hear, and lick could hurt them. And there’s a newer belief that has been spreading through higher education that words and ideas themselves can be traumatizing.
How did we come to think a generation of kids can’t handle the basic challenges of growing up?
Beginning in the 1980s, American childhood changed. For a variety of reasons—including shifts in parenting norms, new academic expectations, increased regulation, technological advances, and especially a heightened fear of abduction (missing kids on milk cartons made it feel as if this exceedingly rare crime was rampant)—children largely lost the experience of having large swaths of unsupervised time to play, explore, and resolve conflicts on their own. This has left them more fragile, more easily offended, and more reliant on others. They have been taught to seek authority figures to solve their problems and shield them from discomfort, a condition sociologists call “moral dependency.”
This poses a threat to the kind of open-mindedness and flexibility young people need to thrive at college and beyond. If they arrive at school or start careers unaccustomed to frustration and misunderstandings, we can expect them to be hypersensitive. And if they don’t develop the resources to work through obstacles, molehills come to look like mountains…
…A few years ago, Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray was invited by the head of counseling services at a major university to a conference on “the decline in resilience among students.” The organizer said that emergency counseling calls had doubled in the last five years. What’s more, callers were seeking help coping with everyday problems, such as arguments with a roommate. Two students had dialed in because they’d found a mouse in their apartment. They also called the police, who came and set a mousetrap. And that’s not to mention the sensitivity around grades. To some students, a B is the end of the world. (To some parents, too.)