Poison Pero is RIGHT!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Fragile Generation

"We have raised a generation of young people who have not been given the opportunity to…experience failure and realize they can survive it." - Professor Peter Gray

Below is an article I recently received from a friend (thank you, Cathy)...It's some of the most depressing stuff I've read in a long time.

It's a long article, and I recommend it for everyone.  I'm a realist, however, and know most won't read it all.  So, I've pulled some of the most important quotes.  That said, I really do recommend the entire article.

But I want to start off with a video first.

The Fragile Generation
By:  Lenore Skenazy & Jonathan Haidt

The quotes below are pulled from various parts of the article.  They are not necessarily in order, and absolutely are not the entire article - not even close...Please give them some time and thought.  We can't afford to be raising children who are stunted mentally or emotionally.  If for no other reason, they are the ones who will eventually be leading our country and taking care of us.

"Children today are safer and smarter than this culture gives them credit for. They deserve the freedom we had. The country's future prosperity and freedom depend on it."

"How did we come to think a generation of kids can't handle the basic challenges of growing up?…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."

"Parents, teachers, and professors are talking about the growing fragility they see. It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the overprotection of children and the hypersensitivity of college students could be two sides of the same coin. By trying so hard to protect our kids, we're making them too safe to succeed."

"Ironically, there are real health dangers in not walking, or biking, or hopping over that stump. A Johns Hopkins study this summer found that the typical 19-year-old is as sedentary as a 65-year-old."

"Of course, it's natural to want to see kids happy. But the real secret to happiness isn't more high fives; it's developing emotional resilience. In our mania for physical safety, coupled with our recent tendency to talk about 'emotional safety,' we have systematically deprived our children of the thousands of challenging - and sometimes upsetting - experiences that they need in order to learn that resiliency. And in our quest to protect them, we have stolen from children the best resilience training known to man: free play."

"It's tempting to blame 'helicopter parents' for today's less resilient kids. But when all the first-graders are walking themselves to school, it's easy to add yours to the mix. When your child is the only one, it's harder. And that's where we are today. Norms have dramatically changed. The kind of freedom that seemed unremarkable a generation ago has become taboo, and in some cases even illegal."

"When parents curtail their kids' independence, they're not just depriving the younglings of childhood fun. They are denying themselves the grown-up joy of seeing their kids do something smart, brave, or kind without parental guidance."

"When we don't let our kids do anything on their own, we don't get to see just how competent they can be - and isn't that, ultimately, the greatest reward of parenting? We need to make it easier for grown-ups to let go while living in a society that keeps warning them not to."

"By trying to keep children safe from all risks, obstacles, hurt feelings, and fears, our culture has taken away the opportunities they need to become successful adults. In treating them as fragile - emotionally, socially, and physically - society actually makes them so."

"Nothing we do, no amount of toys we buy or 'quality time' or special training we give our children, can compensate for the freedom we take away. The things that children learn through their own initiatives, in free play, cannot be taught in other ways." Professor Peter Gray


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