For nearly a generation, American parents have been infantilizing their children, shielding them from failure, and passing the blame to anyone but the child whenever the child has done something wrong. Awards for winning have been replaced by participation trophies, depriving kids of the valuable life lessons that come with failure. Bad grades are blamed on the teacher rather than the student, depriving young people of the push to reach their full academic potential. We are just now starting to see what this coddling has done to a generation of young people as they go off to college. Not surprisingly, the results are not good.
College counseling offices are now swarming with students who cannot handle the smallest issues by themselves. In one instance, two students dialed 911 and sought counseling after seeing a mouse, claiming to have been traumatized by this. Dan Jones, the former president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, hit the nail on the head when he said that "Students haven't developed the skills to soothe themselves, because their parents have solved all their problems and removed obstacles. They don't seem to have as much grit as previous generations."
Another sign that American young people are not as resilient as they should be is the introduction of the concept of "trigger warnings" in classrooms. Trigger warnings are devices used to warn students when something that a teacher will say might be physically or emotionally distressing. It's time for American colleges to stop coddling students and give them an education that includes all-important topics, including those that are not politically correct. Students need to be allowed to fail so they can learn the lessons that come with failure.
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