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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Don’t raise your kids to be snowflakes

Mamas, don’t raise your kids to be snowflakes, says social psychologist Jonathan Haidt in a Spiked interview.

Over-protective parents are raising a “fragile generation,” he says. “Until the early 1980s kids spent a lot of time outside playing without adult supervision, but by the early 2000s that has almost disappeared, especially for younger kids.”

Kids need conflict, insult, exclusion – they need to experience these things thousands of times when they’re young in order to develop into psychologically mature adults. Every adult has to learn to handle these things and not get upset, especially by minor instances. But in the name of protecting our children we have deprived them of the unsupervised time they need to learn how to navigate conflict among themselves.

Parents have undermined their children’s resilience, making them “too safe to succeed,” says Haidt.

As a college professor, Haidt has seen a “rapid increase in indicators of anxiety and depression” in the past few years, along with three very bad ideas: “Your feelings are always right; what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; and the world is divided into good people and bad people.”

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