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Old February 2nd, 2018, 11:11 PM
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Default The Fragile Generation

The Fragile Generation

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.”

I remember cardboard sliding, swinging on dangerous rope swings, digging in dirt, getting muddy, having a paper-route, creating my own lawn mowing route, selling mistletoe in front of stores at Christmas break, being insulted but getting over it, getting in a few fights, playing football, catching lizards/snakes/frogs, etc.

Growing up was rough and tumble. It made me. There were no time outs from life besides going to bed.
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