Psychologist: Today’s College Students Too Fragile

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According to psychologist Peter Gray, there are larger problems on today’s college campuses than just a fierce love of political correctness. Writing for Psychology Today, Dr. Gray says that today’s students “are increasingly seeking help for, and apparently having emotional crises over, problems of everyday life.”

Dr. Gray argues that a generation of “helicopter parents” has turned out a generation of adults who cannot bear the burden of independence. But, he notes, he does not blame the parents themselves – at least not entirely. Instead, he brings condemnation down on several destructive trends:

Parents are in some ways victims of larger forces in society—victims of the continuous exhortations from “experts” about the dangers of letting kids be, victims of the increased power of the school system and the schooling mentality that says kids develop best when carefully guided and supervised by adults, and victims of increased legal and social sanctions for allowing kids into public spaces without adult accompaniment.

So basically the point is that today’s college students are weak, dependent, and suffering from the delusion that life wouldn’t be this difficult. And Gray lays the fault right at the federal government’s doorstep. “The increased power of the school system.” That says it all right there. Combined with a mentality that says “self-esteem” is the greatest gift we can give a child, we couldn’t have ruined these kids’ lives any more thoroughly if we had tried.

Sadly, this trend is not going away. We’ve moved beyond participation ribbons and not keeping score, though. No, now we’re not even allowed to punish students for acting out in class. In the name of social justice, schools are putting a clamp down on suspensions, particularly when the offenders are minorities. Not only are kids protected from harm and protected from failure, they are now protected from consequences. How could this possibly go wrong?

Look, be the kind of parent you want to be. If you want to hover, hover your heart out. If you think a kid should acquire a few scrapes along the way, back off a little.

But for God’s sake, don’t send your kid off into the world without understanding that his actions have consequences. And they can’t just be the kind of consequences you dished out yourself – spankings, time outs, etc. They have to understand why. They have to understand that Mommy can’t bail them out of trouble. It’s only natural to over-protect your kids, but you’re not doing your child (or the world) any favors by raising an entitled brat.

Whenever you hear one of these experts telling you how to raise your kids, think about the source. Are you watching the liberal media? Might they have an ulterior motive for the advice they’re giving you? It’s worth mentioning that the federal government doesn’t gain power when things are going well. This beast feeds on fear and failure. If Dr. Gray is right about today’s feeble man-children, it could be that was the point all along.