Free-Range Kids

How Helicoptered Kids Become Hypersensitive College Students

Happy is the child, 8 or 18, who is not constantly afraid and aggrieved.

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Helpless
Dreamstime

This is the article everyone's talking about: "The Coddling of the American Mind," by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, on the cover of this month's Atlantic. It discusses the idea taking root on college campuses that students cannot be exposed to ideas, words, or phrases that perturb them.

That's why schools are embracing "trigger warnings," which are placed at the top of readings that might trigger flashbacks to some unpleasant episode in a student's life. Some Harvard University law students, for instance, balk at the idea that they would have to learn about rape law—hearing about that crime might re-traumatize anyone who had lived through it.

The article also discusses "microaggressions"—remarks made, even innocently, that are received as blows by the person being addressed. For instance, asking Asian or Hispanic students where they were born could come across as a hint that the speaker does not consider the other student totally American. That's the "aggression."

The entire article is so brilliant, I am ashamed of my simplistic reduction of it, but I want to get to the Free-Range meat of the matter: Why are college students being treated as so supremely fragile that they can't read a disturbing book, and must be constantly on the lookout for any remarks or attitudes that could somehow be labeled aggressive?

Because that's how we have been taught to raise our children these past 20 or 30 years: thin-skinned, super-sensitive, and primed to turn to the authorities—parents, teachers, and now deans—any time they feel the slightest bit uncomfortable or aggrieved.

After all, this is the generation we raised with "baby knee pads" to make crawling less painful, and helmets to protect them while toddling. Somehow, we became utterly convinced that our kids bruise so easily and permanently that special precautions must be taken—precautions that were never necessary until this moment in history. That message grew up into trigger warnings: Watch out, kids! You are too easily hurt.

This is also the generation that grew up getting trophies for 8th place. My son got one, on a league with nine teams. With that trophy came the same message: Kids, you are too fragile to handle the micro-misery of losing.

And this is also the generation of students who grew up surrounded by posters at school exhorting them to be on the lookout for bullying. When bullying is the thing you look for, bullying is what you see. What starts as hyper-alertness to bullying in third grade ends as hyper-sensitivity to microaggressions on college campuses.

Are we doing are kids any favors? Lukianoff and Haidt say no:

What are the effects of this new protectiveness on the students themselves? Does it benefit the people it is supposed to help? What exactly are students learning when they spend four years or more in  a community that polices unintentional slights, places warning labels on works of classic literature and in many other ways conveys the sense that words can be forms of violence that require strict control by campus authorities?

Students are learning that they are as helpless and easily hurt as infants. This, of course, is not helping them at all—not in terms of their education, and not in terms of their psychological health. The authors quote a survey of the American College Health Association that found 54 percent of college students surveyed said they had felt "overwhelming anxiety" in the past 12 months, up from 49 percent just five years before.

Naturally, you are going to feel anxious if you've been told from infancy that basic locomotion is dangerous, losing is unendurable, classmates are out to get you, and you are not equipped to stand up for yourself.

And it's not that I blame us parents! I blame a society that keeps telling us, through products and programs and even laws, that our kids are in constant danger, so we must make things safer, safer, safer. For God's sake, I got a press release last week from the Environmental Working Group asking restaurants to pledge to give kids only "asbestos-free" crayons—as if the tiny exposure to the tiny amount of asbestos in a crayon while waiting for chicken fingers is going to scar their lungs for a lifetime. Our society sees every "micro" as "macro."

Free-Range Kids has always championed our children's resiliency. Not that we endorse danger or callousness or cruelty (who would?), but that we believe our kids can  roll with some punches—even touch an off-brand crayon—and live to see another, non-paranoid day.

In our understandable but misdirected desire to keep our kids super-safe, we have succeeded in making them super-sensitive instead. Happy is the child, 8 or 18, who is not constantly afraid and aggrieved.

NEXT: Is This the Least Informative Pair of Paragraphs in The New York Times This Morning?

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  1. And the wussification of Obama’s America continues apace (apologies to TEEVEE’s Andy Levy)

    1. +1 rolled-cuffs arms-crossed wide stance

    2. Hi might have more tolerance of progtards if they all weren’t such gigantic fucking pussies.

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      2. If they weren’t pussies, they wouldn’t be progtards. As if a philosophy based on the celebration of weakness, inferiority, and need could accommodate an alpha mentality.

        1. Almost without exception the hardcore progressives I know are either pussies are bullies.

  2. PS – “Not that we endorse danger or callousness or cruelty (who would?)”

    Hitler?

    1. I endorse a little bit of danger. It can be fun and educational.

      1. STEVE SMITH BIG FAN OF CRUELTY. BUILDS CHARACTER.

        1. DESTROY CHARACTER OF RAPEE. THAT WHAT STEVE SMITH LIKE. GET RIGHT!

    2. Small amounts of minimal risk, not danger. Bluntness, not callousness. Slight toughening, not cruelty. All these are good for kids.

      ps…re earlier comment about Obama. I can’t stand the guy, but it began well before him.

      1. He is a pussy that is a product of the system rather than the cause of it.

        1. …and a Poindexter.

          1. ‘You’ve got friends, boy. You’ve got the dud right here! Stan up for yourself poindexter’
            -Homer J. Simpson

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  3. Because that’s how we have been taught to raise our children these past 20 or 30 years: thin-skinned, super-sensitive, and primed to turn to the authorities?parents, teachers, and now deans?any time they feel the slightest bit uncomfortable or aggrieved.

    Seems like this would me them easier to rule…wait a tick.

  4. And it’s not that I blame us parents! I blame a society that keeps telling us, through products and programs and even laws, that our kids are in constant danger, so we must make things safer, safer, safer.

    Wait, isn’t “society” just an aggregate of individuals in which many, if not most, of whom are parents?

    1. Yeah, she’s letting helicopter parents off too easy

      1. She’s letting parents off to easily… as she should. She knows which side of the bread her reality tv career is buttered. One of the great joys of parenting is the smug self-assurance that one’s parenting style is superior. Her folktales provide entertainment to the lower middle class by poking fun at the perceived mores of the upper middle class in the same way 19th century slaves made fun of their masters by dancing the Cakewalk.

        1. I don’t know why you’re posting that ‘takedown’ of Lenore’s article when she subsequently provided documentation to prove it was true. So that article is basically about some guy doubting the veracity of the article because documentation hadn’t been provided, but Lenore then provided documentation in a follow-up post thus negating the criticism.

          1. Lenore’s article when she subsequently provided documentation to prove it was true

            I stand corrected then.

    2. Yeah, parents deserve blame for not stopping to consider whether all the fear mongering is even remotely based in reality.

      But at the same time, a parent’s instinct is to protect their kids. Most people, if they constantly hear about how dangerous a slip n slide is, aren’t going to want to be the ones to risk their kids finding out if it is all a bunch of rubbish.

      1. What person, on the face of God’s green earth, doesn’t innately know the risk (which is approaching zero) associated with a slip and slide?

        Same with bike helmets. How many of us know anyone who suffered serious, lasting head trauma as a kid? I dare say the vast majority of us don’t.

        What these idiots need is a statistics course.

        1. I’m OK with kids wearing bike helmets. The risk, while it may be small in frequency, is large in terms of damage. That’s a negligible trade-off.

          I don’t see a reduction overall in injuries and death related to preventable accidents as a bad thing. SLD applies.

          I did the same when I rode a motorcycle, way back when. I didn’t need so stinckin’ law to tell me to wear a helmet. I like knowing how to tie my shoes.

        2. When I was a kid, if you wore a bike helmet you were in far more danger of being beaten up for being a pussy. And rightfully so.

          1. When I was a kid, I’d never heard of bike helmets. Nor had my friends. If someone had shown up wearing one, as soon as we figured out what it was, he would have been laughed at as a sissy by everyone in the neighborhood (including our parents). By the time I had kids of my own helmets were becoming endemic, but fortunately helmet laws didn’t come along until my boys were old enough to be exempt so they weren’t subjected to that indignity. (Both survived just fine without them, as did I and the kids with whom I grew up.)

            These days, at the age of sixty, when out riding my bike I have twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings coming up to me and saying, “You should have a helmet!” I just smile and say, “Thanks, but I’ve been riding bicycles longer than you’ve been alive and I haven’t needed a helmet yet, so I think I’ll just keep taking my chances for a few more years.”

        3. This^^^

      2. A dangerous slip n slide? Fuck that. We had Jarts.

        1. Jarts with actual steel tips in the mid 60’s. I was 10 in 68. Can remember playing lawn darts with large groups at picnics, toddlers running around,etc. If one of them took a Jart to the head then well that was tragic but the little fucker should have been paying attention.

          I wear a helmet when I cycle now but I’m occasionally doing some serious speed in excess of 35mph in stretches. When I was a kid though, we did not wear helmets. Probably didn’t even think of wearing helmets.

          1. Jarts was way cooler than that Yankee game with the unfortunate name…Corn Hole. The first time I heard that on ESPN, I was like…what the fuck did he just say, cause what I think he said is not a game played in public.

          2. I wear a helmet when I’m on my Ducati, but not a bicycle for fuck’s sake lol

            1. Some well known commenters here wear helmets all of the time, because they are mongoloid retards.

    3. HM,
      What is the best method to learn Spanish besides moving to a Spanish speaking country?
      Thanks

      1. Marrying a Spanish/Latina woman.

          1. Well, if she’s a native speaker…then you’ve won half the battle. Just agree on certain days, you’ll do your best to only communicate in Spanish with her. If you’re able to keep to that without any “cheating”, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you progress.

      2. If I may offer a suggestion try this site: http://www.wordplay.com/ . It’s really good at giving you a starting vocab in a hurry. In fact, a spanish teacher recommended it (that is, a teacher who taught spanish).

          1. You can also try this site: http://www.duolingo.com. I’ve found it a great help in brushing up on my limited and painfully-stilted French. Works for over a dozen languages, including Spanish.

      3. Less-than-half-jokingly, second to moving to a Spanish speaking country the best method is to date a Spanish-speaking girl. Barring that, the best method for you would depend on why you need to learn the language. If you just want to be able converse in the language about everyday topics, then a communicative approach would work the best (I would recommend, take some intro courses at a community college while doing something like Rosetta Stone at home), but if you need it for business or something like that, then you need to make sure that the course you’re taking has the focus on what you need. There are a lot of folks from Spanish speaking countries who offer personal tutoring in Business Spanish via Skype. Whatever method you choose, it should focus on listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

        Secondly, the number one variable is motivation. The higher your motivation to learn the language, the quicker you will learn it. Many researchers divide motivation into two kinds, instrumental (learning it because you need the language to do something (like for work)) and integrative (learning it because you want to participate in the culture). Research has found that integrative motivation has a stronger effect.

        [cont.]

        1. Just some tips in general. Find a genre of Spanish music you like and download some songs to listen to. Even if you don’t understand any of the words, getting your ear used to the sounds of the language helps. If you can stand watching a telenovela, then do so. The curvy actresses help in fostering an integrative motivation (know what I mean? say no more!). But seriously, watch them for the same reason as listening to the songs. Get some index cards and label things around your house in Spanish, so when to go to the kitchen your eye will take in all the vocabulary. Participate in Spanish-language internet forums and chats. You have more time to think when typing, and because it’s the internet, people tend to be more forgiving with spelling and grammar mistakes. And most of all, read. Find texts for learners at your level and read. It’s the best way to get vocabulary, grammar, and just the overall “how people phrase things” in the language.

          Feel free to shoot me an email at my gmail, which is just my handle with no spaces, with any questions.

          1. Thanks. I appreciate the tips.

          2. I’m going to show my wife this. She has been telling me to watch novellas for years to learn. Now that we are planning a trip I’m more motivated.

            1. From now until you’ve mastered the language, you should comment here in Spanish.

              1. From now until you’ve mastered the language, you should comment here in Spanish.

                But Hit ‘n Run doesn’t allow you to use squiggles above or under your letters.

                Because Alissi is language-ist.

                1. Hit ‘n Run doesn’t allow you to use squiggles above or under your letters.

                  Ma?ana is good enough for me!

              2. Ola Prol,
                Que pasa me amigo?

                1. Hola, hombre de Florida. Bien. ?Y t??

            2. Glad you found it useful. Good luck with your learning!

            3. when I was growing up I listened to radio stations in Central and South America. As was mentioned above, I didn’t understand much, but when I did later take Spanish in school I already had the pronunciation. Many years later I’m adequate in conversation, and practice by going to Salvadoran restaurants and ordering in Spanish only.

          3. I’ve found that YouTube videos (How-To’s, tutorials, etc.) are great for learning French. Same could apply to Spanish.

        2. My wife is Peruvian and Guatemalan. I’ve asked her to speak more Spanish to me but it is easier for her just to speak English. I want to learn just because it’s part of her culture and we are trying to do a trip to Peru next year.

          1. I’ve asked her to speak more Spanish to me but it is easier for her just to speak English.

            I can sympathize with that situation, but if you can make an agreement to really stick to Spanish-only days, it would really help your learning. You have the best resource with her to learn the language, and it would be a shame if you couldn’t take advantage of it.

            If I may inquire, do you have any kids? Do they speak Spanish? If so, use them. Kids love teaching their parents something they don’t know.

            1. No kids. I think you are right about motivation. I can find time for movies and games, I just need to make it a priority and stop being lazy.

      4. Moving to Hialeah!

      5. I found that getting a job helps. . . if you can find someone to hire you without being able to speak Spanish in the first place, that is..

    4. Don’t blame the parents? Who in the hell is raising these brats?

      1. It takes a village…

        1. Blame the village, not the inhabitants.

  5. What do you have against asbestos-free crayons? Sure, parents coddle their kids too much and shouldn’t stop them from doing fun, character-building things in the name of safety, but asbestos exposure (whatever amount) isn’t something that kids need to experience to grow up — support them for getting rid of asbestos while at the same time condemn them for the crawling knee pads and toddling helmets. Recognize the nuance instead of trying to apply the same talking points to everything.

    1. So these children are breathing crayons? Or do you just think that asbestos is radioactive?

      1. They’re melting down crayons while playing Breaking Bad pretend .

      2. Arguing about asbestos crayons is one of the stupidest things I can think of to do on a lovely August morning, but I have to ask if toddlers don’t try to put crayons in mouths in Aspartamelandia?

        1. The damaging mechanism of asbestos is inhalation. Eating it has no causal link to cancer.

          Embedding it in wax is probably the safest way to handle it.

          I see no reason for asbestos to be in crayons, but I also see no reason to make this a health scare.

          1. Eating it has no causal link to cancer.

            The null hypothesis on that hasn’t been definitely proven. Hallenbeck and Hess (1977) have pointed the higher incidence of digestive tract cancer people who have worked with asbestos as evidence that ingestion may be a vector. On the other hand, Meek and Grasso (1983) found no abnormalities in the GI tissues of rats who ingested asbestos. Etc. etc. etc.

            I also see no reason to make this a health scare.

            I agree, but I also see no reason to be so snarkily cavalier toward cdwscout’s criticisms of Skenazy.

            1. Am I being lectured about my tone?

              1. It wasn’t really the pronunciation that bothered me.

            2. Yeah, sure, if you cough up asbestos fibers and then ingest them for decades on end, you probably have a slightly higher incidence of digestive tract cancer.

              At an epidemiological level, asbestos is something to be taken seriously. At an individual level, the actual increase in risk you experience from anything other than long term occupational exposure is not worth worrying about.

        2. The point is that the major danger of asbestos is inhaling the dust. In other forms it isn’t such a risk. As far as I know ingesting a tiny bit of it isn’t dangerous.

          1. A story on the original report.

            Seems that only 4 of 28 brands of crayons tested positive for asbestos, they were all from China and they contained less than 1% asbestos by weight.

            Of more concern was the presence of asbestos in fingerprint powder used in spy kits, found in 2 of 21 kits, also all from China and also less than 1% by weight (or regular regulation testing would have caught it.)

            1. If asbestos and all this other crap is as dangerous as we are to believe the human race would have been extinct decades ago! Now excuse me while I don my helmet, protective mask and sterile gloves so I can vacuum the carpet!

              1. Are you really denying the danger of asbestos? There are quite a few people dying of mesothelioma who would like a word with you, in between bouts of coughing up blood.

                1. It’s important to be accurate and truthful about the dangers of things. And asbestos is only a real danger in a fine powder form. Crayons are pretty impossible to make into a fine powder.
                  The fingerprint powder stuff is a bit more worthy of concern.

                2. Let’s ignore the fact that these people were likely two pack a day smokers as well.

                  Most people (read near the sum total) of those who got very ill were moderate to heavy smokers, with medium to large exposures to asbestos, most likely during mining or heavy installation.

                  Using crayons with asbestos traces is likely no larger a threat than a normal, if steady, diet of mushrooms or peanut butter. If a child is subjected to a huge portion of finely ground up crayons for three decades or so, then I think there’s a bigger problem at hand.

            2. I have doubts that “regulatory testing” catches anything.

              I am no longer in the toy business, but was for a while, up to and beyond the lead crisis, and basically, the rules were show me a lab test on a sample that passed.

              So, I can make a fake sample, have that pass and then ship lead paint toys to my heart’s content.

              I don’t understand why anyone would want to do that…poisoning kids to make a few extra bucks doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

          2. I guess I should stop drinking out of aluminum cans because breathing powder aluminum almost killed the Tin man.

            http://www.snopes.com/movies/films/ozebsen.asp

    2. asbestos exposure (whatever amount) isn’t something that kids need to experience to grow up

      Need? No. But by the same token, kid’s don’t necessarily need to be protected from asbestos in *any* amount. At some point, the risk becomes so small as to be practically non-existent. I don’t know much about asbestos risks so I can’t say if the amount in crayons is worth getting upset over, but a zero tolerance mindset is part of what led to the current way of thinking.

      1. Crayons could be half asbestos and cause no risk when used as crayons. It doesn’t hurt you unless you breath tiny particles of it.

    3. What do you have against asbestos-free crayons?

      Yes, I hear toddlers are grinding up aquamarine into a fine powder and snorting it. It’s the latest thing. Might replace butt chugging.

      1. Yes, I hear toddlers are grinding up aquamarine into a fine powder and snorting it.

        True story, a childhood friend of mine, my brother from another mother, actually, used to snort Kool-Aid. He would also eat sheets of of white lined paper we got in school.

        Sadly, he never perused a carnival career.

        1. Hey, I think I knew that guy! He also ate erasers and opened bottles with his teeth, right?

          1. If he’s now working as an Automated Teller Machine repair tech, then yeah!

    4. There is no end to that type of thinking. That is the problem. When a risk becomes so minimal that it is essentially non-existent trying to erase it from your kids lives takes you into crazy parenting.

      Everything has some slight risk. There is nothing you can do that doesn’t have some way to hurt you. When you try to eliminate all risk, all hurt, no matter how small, you get into helicopter parenting.

      I’ve seen little kids wear helmets all day. Because his parents thought he fell more than he should.

  6. This reminded me of an essay I read in a back issue of LIFE magazine (One of the June, 1958 issues, as I recall), called “Let Your Kids Alone” by Robert Paul Smith. I am delighted to discover that it is available online;

    (I tried to link, but the link is too long. Search “Robert Paul Smith Let Your Kids Alone” and pick the “On The Contrary” link.

    (you’ll have to scroll down some).

    Smith argues that Grown-Ups, even Parents, have no business poking their noses into the world of kids. And also that by doing so, we are doing things we don’t want to do (really) for kids who don’t ant them done.

    1958. The Author of “WHERE DID YOU GO?” “OUT” “WHAT DID YOU DO?” “NOTHING”

    He didn’t use the term “Free Range Kids”, because the term “Free Range” was something one ran into in a Western, then. But the fight has depth, and history.

    1. “1958. The Author of “WHERE DID YOU GO?” “OUT” “WHAT DID YOU DO?” “NOTHING””

      I loved that book! It was where I learned to play mumbly-peg. (What? Letting kids play with knives? Oh, the humanities!) I had read about the game in “Tom Sawyer” but didn’t know how to play it until I read Smith’s book.

  7. *stands up and applauds*

    Hopefully we are seeing the beginning of some real pushback. I worry that the current generation (Jesus, I’m not even old…am I really turning into that guy) is in too deep a hole for most to dig out of. But being an optimist, part of me thinks that even they can learn to toughen up if they need to.

    At the very least the next generation will hopefully be able to undo some of the damage.

    1. I also think people will toughen up if/when they have to. And there are plenty of people in that cohort who were not brought up in such a totally sheltered way.

      1. Yeah, and they will come to dominate those who were.

        Maybe there is hope for us after all.

        1. The children of the poor and the down-trodden will take over the world. While the children of the affluent will curl up in a little ball.

          1. Won’t be for the first time.

  8. When my kids toddlers, we used to keep small cacti with the fuzzy-looking spines on the end tables (my mother used to collect them). We left them with easy reach of the kids and would tell them not to touch. Eventually, each kid grabbed a handful of cactus. It took about 20 minutes to get all the tiny little spines out of their hands.

    People used to think we were cruel bastards. But I would patiently explain that I was teaching my kids that I say no for a reason. And I wanted them to learn that lesson before they were tall enough to reach the top of the stove.

    I’d be in jail in today’s environment.

    1. Just wait until the repressed memory therapy ferrets out all manner of detail they “forgot.”

    2. I’d be in jail in today’s environment.

      Only if your friends are assholes.

    3. Go read Rudyad Kipling’s short story “Thrown Away”. It’ll give you nightmares about these coddled little idiots.

      1. I did, years back. Makes one helluva cautionary tale, doesn’t it?

  9. I think it’s an interesting theory, but I’m not sure the helicopter parenting and college PC culture have that much of a causal link. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t much of the microaggression and safe space bs on campus come from faculty and a fairly small minority of the students? It seems like most of the student body is relatively sane, but so many colleges are run by people with messed up priorities which don’t represent the goals of most students and their purpose for being there.

    1. but I’m not sure the helicopter parenting and college PC culture have that much of a causal link. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t much of the microaggression and safe space bs on campus come from faculty and a fairly small minority of the students?

      Not to mention that the term “microagression” dates back to 1970.

      1. So this article is the joining of the natural tendencies toward A. thinking that kids these days are all spoiled by their parents and B. remembering one’s school days as walking to Auschwitz uphill both ways through a blizzard…..when in reality things are as crappy as they’ve ever been, and not much crappier

    2. I think a lot of it comes from public schools. My fourteen year old stepson said he could get suspended for simply using verboten words “retard.” They basically teach kids to run to authority if they hear certain things. I hope to be able to teach my daughter not to be like that. She starts school in a couple weeks. I get sick to the stomach when I think about it.

      1. Yeah, if I ever have kids I’ve already decided I’m homeschooling them

      2. They basically teach kids to run to authority if they hear certain things.

        WHat’s wrong with these kids. Rats got ridiculed unmercifully when I was a kid. They “taught” us not to call people “retard” too, but…

        a. We didn’t actually listen to them and
        b. No one in their right mind would tattle

        How did kids go from being rebellious to being society’s little helpers?

        1. Kids only get rebellious when they have little fear of the outside world. These kids have been trained to fear everything. They wouldn’t dream of being rebellious because that means taking some responsibility for their own safety in a world perceived to be fraught with unmanageable dangers.

        2. School discipline extends beyond school grounds now. So if a kid gets ridiculed or beat up for being a rat, then the rat can go back to the school authorities to get more punishment heaped on the righteous kids who dished out the much-deserved ridicule / beating.

      3. That’s because the public schools are loaded to the gills with administrators who have that exact job function. Eliminate those jobs and you eliminate the “orders” given to the kids to run to the administrators.

        And people can only afford the bloated tax bills that pay for these do-nothing jobs by having easy access to credit to pay for all their other daily expenses. Essentially people are borrowing money to pay for things they never used to borrow for before – but today they have no choice because taxation has skyrocketed.

    3. Most of the “historically disadvantaged” studies (women, blacks, queer, whatever) sign up this, hell they develop it. More than several students take these classes and agree with the content. (There’s a parallel in the “standard social science model”, the blank slate theory.) Then there are opportunists. Some of them want to get rid of a bit of cognitive dissonance, for which cuddly standards are suitable. No cuddly standards no cuddly pretenses and excuses.
      Looks like this is related to “everyone’s equally great, go diversity”. All these increases coincide, which doesn’t look like a coincidence (yeah: no simple correlation), especially as the same idea is at heart (egalitarianism?). Naturally people either believe they are not treated equally yet, or discover that they are treated unfairly when they aren’t better. None of this works when you factor in competitiveness. — I’d like to know what distribution of ambiguous and dissonant preferences lead to this outcome. There has to be some cycle.

  10. Whatever happened to “Stick and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me”?

    1. Well, y’see, the Lberal Intellectual Radical Progressives were all for Free Speech when they were fighting the establishment. Now that they ARE the establishment, they have to come up with reasons why nobody is allowed to point out that they are full of shit.

    2. While non-physical cruelty can sometimes mess a person up, I think that is still a valuable message to give to kids.

    3. Someone went after it with stick and stones.

  11. “This is also the generation that grew up getting trophies for 8th place. My son got one, on a league with nine teams.”

    I really, really hope the 9th place team got nothing.

    1. I’m sure they at least got participation ribbons, but in all likelyhood they got a trophy too. I’m just hoiping the trophies were bigger the higher you placed, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they all looked identical.

      1. I got a participation trophy back in ’73. We used it for target practice later.

        1. Every trophy I got as a kid, either for winning or for participating, was a piece of plastic shit and got chucked.

  12. OT: listening to an interview with Carly Fiorina as she outlines her position on immigration. Sure, being tough on immigration is for some awful reason sine qua non for nomination to the GOP, despite nearly every other issue being drastically more important (entitlement reform? Rolling back the administrative state? Who cares, nothing’s more unamerican than immigrants). So I can’t blame Fiorina for towing that particular lion. And while it’s not for nothing that border control is within the legitimate federal ambit, she pushing to make E-Verify compulsory and denying “amnesty” to employers who recruit illegals. Because if there’s one thing America desperately needs, it’s another overbroad federal bureaucracy imposing another colossal hurdle to employers which resembles a horrible cross-breed between the TSA and federal ID laws, run by the DHS and staffed by yet more life-long bureaucrats.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    1. With Rand polling poorly, it seems increasingly likely that we’ll have to choose between holding our noses for the Republican nomination or throwing our votes away for the Libertarian Party candidate (or not voting at all). E-Verify is a complete deal breaker for me. No way I vote for an R that is in favor of it.

      1. Remember another, even-more-hopeless vote:

        Vote Almanian for President – 2016

        I probably won’t make it any worse.

        And I definitely won’t support building any walls, except in the bathroom so you don’t have to watch everyone else defecate.

        1. How about “DON’T vote for any third party candidate in 2016. The Third Part wouldn’t make things worse if they were elected, but they won’t be. The Democrats WILL.”

          1. *notes CSP in the ‘prolly not voting for me’ column*

            1. The way Jimmy Carter, compromise candidate, arrived in Washington with NO allies, even in his own party, cured me of ever voting for a third party that doesn’t have heavy representation in Congress.

        2. Vote for Cthulhu!! Why choose the lesser evil?

    2. So the 30 million illegals we have here already isn’t enough? We can’t just stop for a few years and get them sorted out and assimilated before we take on more? Sure, why not. They’re mostly going to vote progtard anyway. Your easy/open border support will help tighten the progpressors stranglehold on America and further allow them to take away what little rights we have left.

      But at least indigents can swarm over the border without fear right? We’ll still have that.

    3. Ruining Hewlett-Packard wasn’t enough for Fiorina. Now she wants to do it to the rest of the country. I’d rather have no President at all than see her win.

  13. I’ll have you know that I read this entire article, and was only triggered 37 times.

    In all seriousness, though, my better half is currently working on her doctorate and she wants to be a college professor. Not to indoctrinate or push an agenda, but to A) actually help students and B) push back against this “muh feelings” bullshit. Even as a TA, she has had parents call or visit her office, protesting a grade their precious chilluns received. She’d tell them point blank to fuck off. If a student wants the A, they have to put in the work and effort. So not all hope is lost…

    1. And that, in a nutshell, explains the headlong rush to incorporate some manner of victimhood into their deeply unsettled personas: it excuses their shortcomings. It burdens other, “privileged” groups with the onus of bringing them up to parity.

    2. She sounds like a keeper.

    3. So what’s she plan on doing five years from now, once Academia has spat her out?

      I’d like to think that hope isn’t lost, and perhaps even a corner is being turned, but I would have a back up plan.

    4. I hate to say it, but before she gets tenure she will be required to implement the sort of horseshit she despises and if she doesn’t her career could be quite short.

  14. There are three pressure groups that promote helicopter parenting: helicopter parents, social workers, media personalities.

    In my experience, helicopter parents enforce helicopter parenting out of a mixture of genuine if misguided concern for their kids’ well-being, social signaling, and a fear of being viewed as bad parents.

    The social workers are also acting out of a mixture of genuine if misguided concern, but are also engaging in a typical mindless-enforcement of rules that typifies bureaucratic organization like courts and state institutions.

    Last but not least, the media personalities are stoking people’s fears about their children being hurt incidentally; they really just want people’s attention, and encouraging that the media personalities have the secrets to keep kids from being hurt is a great way to get that attention.

    The social workers are naturally the most dangerous to an individual set of parents. However, other parents, teachers, neighbors etc are quite happy to act as Junior Spies feeding them information about parents who engage in wrongthink.

    1. Sweeping them back requires

      1) a movement or parents that stubbornly refuses to helicopter parent, either quietly or more vocally

      2) a propaganda movement that promotes anti-helicopter parenting themes in multiple forms of media

      3) a legal aid movement that helps parents who are attacked by the courts fight the social workers

      The endpoint of such a fight would be: a cultural expectation that kids get to go out on their own and engage in activities that they initiate; a legal regime that has a more reasonable and nuanced approach to legitimate parental decisions vs endangerment/neglect. It’s hard since nuance always is at a disadvantage to moral panics.

      1. There needs to be advocacy organizations that exist to counter abusive bureaucrats. Using the courts to destroy them when they abuse their power. Progressives and their appointed agents within the government need be shown no mercy. Ever.

    2. social signaling, and a fear of being viewed as bad parents.

      Unfortunately, facebook doesn’t make these second two categories easier to deal with. Leave your daughter in the car for 90 seconds so you can leave an envelope at the counter, there’s a video of it with 90,000 views, and 89,978 comments hoping you get thrown in jail and your kid taken away from you.

  15. Just get the millennials a fucking juice box and be done with it.

    1. Since we’re losing our rights anyway, let’s take control through any means necessary. Then we can liquidate the progtards, or at least force them out of the country with only the clothes on their backs, once that happens we can screen the ones with potential commie leanings and make sure the progs don’t rise again.

      Seriously, at this stage if the game, do we have much to lose?

      1. You’re right; look at Chile. If it weren’t for Pinochet, that country would have joined the dustbin of failed banana republics decades ago.

        I agree that it would be nice to see a more militant, anti-democratic pro-market movement here in the states. Unfortunately, most libertarians are under the delusion that the progs can be reasoned with and converted.

        In truth, the progressive is a perennial revolutionary. No matter how much power it wrests from good and honest people, it will always feign oppression and demand more privileges. Shame, honor, nobility, pride, principle are foreign concepts to it. Its narcissism knows no bounds, its power lust will never be slaked. It deserves to be put down like the subhuman abomination it is.

    2. Boom Paul

  16. I have a bit of a conflict with my wife with this. She’s a mother who believes most of the hype. I mean, she honestly believes that if we let the five year old play outside without standing there and watching her, that some creep in a white van will snatch her. And she’s got the kid afraid to go outside alone. I’m trying to figure out how to get the kid to unlearn some of this crap.

    This weekend, after the fourteen year old stepson was finally able to recite back the four rules without any prompting, I took him out back to do some single-shot practice with the .22 pistol (rather than ask permission from his mom I decided to apologize later). Mom wasn’t very happy, but she got over it. My view on that is that most firearm accidents are a result of kids not knowing anything about them, so I want to make sure that to him they are not a novelty item. Basically I’m trying to save the kid’s life.

    One battle at a time.

    1. that some creep in a white van will snatch her

      Depends on your house’s location in relation to Warty.

      (rather than ask permission from his mom I decided to apologize later).

      sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

      1. Speaking of location, we live on a busy main road with a 55mph speed limit. It’s not like we’re in a residential area. Creepers are the least of my worries.

        1. we live on a busy main road with a 55mph speed limit. It’s not like we’re in a residential area.

          Get one of those invisible fences, and put the shock collar on your kid. When your wife objects, ask her why? You’re just trying to be safe, after all.

          Oh, turn the shock collar way down. I know from experience that people necks are much more sensitive to shock than dog necks.

          1. If it can save even ONE child, it’s worth it, RC.

            Sage advice.

      1. Got that part covered already, but thanks anyway.

        1. These people are good at catching hotlinking. Bastards who don’t allow me to freeload off their bandwidth!

    2. Sounds like you didn’t marry very well and you’ve enabled this person to reproduce.

      I blame you. 😉

      1. Er..stepson…

        Reading comprehension…what is it?

    3. The kid will learn 100x more from how you live your life than what his Mom tells him to do.

      Be bold, be courageous, stand up and be counted, roughhouse when you play with him. Laugh when he hurts himself (assuming it isn’t a real hurt), be open when you’ve failed and tell him what you’re going to do about it, etc. Say, ‘whatever’ a lot.

      I’m serious. Your actual life is so much more than the words you say.

      1. +1,

        You just described my relationship with my son. My wife has to remind us (he is 14 now) to calm down in public because someone is going to say that I beat him. He likes to roughhouse and I do it right back.

        Funny story. Was at neighborhood pool when he was 12 with neighbor kid (also 12). In my mind what does a 12 year old boy want to do at the pool (other than look at girls)? Drown the other 12 year old boy. Our neighbor only wanted to toss a ball around. His dad later told me that his son didn’t want to play with my son any more because my son was too rough. I told him, your son should have the nuts to say something, mine would have listened. Neighbors are full tilt, assault helicopters.

        1. bvandyke-

          I think that’s what pisses me off most about my nephew and my two youngest “cousins once removed”.

          Not one of them has ever had stitches or a broken bone.

          By the time I was twelve, I already had had stitches in both hands, my left knee and my head, three broken bones, three concussions, had bitten a hole in my tongue, and once got full body “road rash” from bailing off the back bumper of a pick-up truck doing 35.

          My brother and I rode our Big Wheels off our 5′ high front porch and also down the road by the local sledding hill (where you always ended by sliding/rolling into the creek), the auxilliary cop who lived down the street was called on us twice a year when we fought, we rode three on a bike down the mountain my grandma lived on (a little sapling didn’t survive- more road rash), blew up mailboxes, launched home-made rockets, had “roman candle” fights, almost blew up the garage (long story), we used the lumberyard down the street as our second playground, the three days/wk local train was our taxi—- and we always had fun!

          You tell them the stories- and they don’t believe you…

    4. The creepy white vans usually have the word POLICE on them.

      1. “It’s a trap!”

      2. They are professional kidnappers.

  17. The good news is…if you raise your kid to not be a pussy, he should be wildly successful living in a world of sheep. Fortune favors the bold!

    Look at the bright side.

    1. Good point. A german shepherd among wolves gets devoured. But, a cockapoo among sheep does okay.

      1. Not when the sheep stampede. Don’t underestimate the power of large crowds of frightened vegetarians.

    2. Unless he gets blind-sided by lawsuits filed under the Anti-Triggering and Microaggression (ATM)Act of 2017.

      1. At which point, it’s time to move to the Gulch.

        1. I’m still working on the refractor ray technology. It’s… more difficult than the book would lead you to believe.

          1. Not once you have the perpetual motion engine.

  18. And it’s not that I blame us parents!

    I don’t blame both parents.

    JW|12.27.13 @ 3:50PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

    That’s pretty much the correct answer in most authoritarian instances.

    “I’ve seen the future and it’s not pretty. It’s an anti-bacterial police state. People on the street without protective padding hide their faces and hurry to their destinations, when one of their 5-Star safety rated, hybrid minivans drive by.”

  19. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

  20. It is affecting the economy more than the schools. No one seems to be noticing this.

    I’ve worked for myself almost my entire adult life. By the time I was in my mid 30s I had gotten somewhere – I owned assets, I had cash flow, etc. But, I began in my early 20s trying different things. By mid 30s in my generation you were supposed to be well on your way. At least you would see who was going to make it by then.

    My youngest son, 28, is a full on entrepreneur. Solid net worth, etc. He does big things. He hangs out with all the ‘young’ entrepreneurs in our City. He’s 28, they’re all 38. And, they’re just getting going. He is miles ahead of them, as he started at 20. They started at 34. They won’t hit their stride until they are pushing 50, and that is late in the game to start getting some solid rewards. By 55 most people are winding down a bit.

    I owned a house at 25. These young guys are thinking of buying something, or have just bought their first place late thirties. And, so on. Many of his high school friends live at home still.

    It is like we put an extra ten years of nothing into everyone’s lives.

    1. It isn’t just among entrepreneurs. Kids today don’t want to work, period. Basic service jobs like retail and fast food used to be considered decent careers with job security. Now the turnover rate in those jobs is through the roof because no one wants to come to work or do anything once they get there.

      1. A pilot friend, ex-military, was talking to a pilot instructor in the air force. He says he has students that see the military shrink twice a week. He thinks 19 out of 20 new students coming up are narcissists. I’ve had the same conversation with a nursing instructor. She thinks there is a narcissism epidemic.

        1. I finished my career (4 years ago) as an instructor pilot. I concur. And the AF is a huge fucking enabler for the little snowflakes.

      2. The thing is, the kids that have the drive necessary to show up on time, in uniform, and reasonably sanitary, at the local McDonalds are all being pushed into unpaid internships or similar “opportunities” by well meaning people who are determined that they “Make something of themselves” , by which is meant “Get a college degree and work at a desk”.

        What’s left are the stoners, the bums, and the stupid.

        The pyramid scheme that is Higher Education in this country (and maybe others, but I know this one) is going to collapse, and I think sooner rather than later. But it hasn’t happened yet, and kids who could be massively productive members of society as eel-employed plumbers or mechanics (or, hell, puppeteers, that poor shmoo) are being herded into four to five very expensive and useless years of college.

        1. Good point. It’s easy to make a living as a young person working retail or practicing a trade, IF you don’t start out with six figures of debt.

          1. I just can’t get that poor schmuck with the Master’s Degree in Puppetry out of my mind. When the f*ck did “hitchhike to LA, get a job running coffee for Jim Henson Studios, and work your way in” turn into “go $30,000 in debt to get a degree in Puppetry from an institution that doesn’t have squat to do with puppets”?

            Everybody I talk to say the guy’s an idiot, but he’s only doing what society told him to do; you wanna do something? Get a degree in it first!

            College Degrees, outside of the science and engineering fields, are for SCHOLARS, not DOERS.

            1. Once upon a time, only the children of the wealthy pursued useless degrees because they could afford to. Now students are encouraged to follow their feelings. Intentions once again trump results.

        2. I live in a rural area where internship opportunities don’t exist. So the local grocery and convenience stores (too rural for fast food) are filled with kids who learned their work ethic on the family farm. It’s pretty cool, actually, to see these kids buck the trend. And it helps that the farm girls are healthy and easy on the eyes.

          1. There’s something lovely about a young woman who, if propositioned in a way she didn’t like, would not whine to the authorities, but simply toss the offender over her shoulder like a quoit.

    2. Work ethic is lacking, and the progtards are making it harder and harder to accomplish anything. I’ve been fucked out of many business opportunities and had my earnings damaged by government interference.

  21. The authors quote a survey of the American College Health Association that found 54 percent of college students surveyed said they had felt “overwhelming anxiety” in the past 12 months, up from 49 percent just five years before.

    So did the rate go up because more students were experiencing overwhelming anxiety or just because more students had infantilized what it means to experience overwhelming anxiety. In my mind “overwhelming anxiety” means you’re in the fetal position, whimpering with dread over your mom’s cancer diagnosis. In their minds it might just be “I didn’t sleep well last night because I have a test tomorrow.”

    1. Since nothing actually bad can happen to them your second scenario is true. But, if you tell yourself over and over that a bad nights sleep is ‘overwhelming’ anxiety, eventually it will be. Or, it already is.

      I have no idea how these kids will handle actual real bad stuff. Because it is coming down the pipe, that is for sure. No one gets through life without it.

    2. I think this study means that 54% of college students need to be sold to Port Said as eunuchs and harem meat.

      Useless little twits.

      If college makes you feel “overwhelming anxiety” what the f*ck are you going to do when you get audited? Curl up and crisp at the ends like a beetle an a torch flame?

      1. If the system ever collapses these kids will be the first to go. No real loss. Maybe start my own harem with a a few of the cuter ones.

        1. You don’t have to wait for the collapse; just become a minor government official. Heck, it worked for Clinton.

    3. I had a bad anxiety attack, leading to some depression, my first month or so of my freshman year. I had never experienced academic failure and I was overwhelmed. It got better, but was always an issue until I switched majors. Turned out I wanted to be what today they call a ‘data scientist’ but back then I majored in math & computer science, which were very theoretical. I needed them as a tool, much as they taught engineering students then (and presumably now)

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  23. My wife told me yesterday that she saw where James Harrison, the linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, had his son return a ‘participation’ trophy. He could get a trophy when he earned it.
    http://www.latimes.com/sports/…..story.html

    1. That was in the ‘sports’ section of the Chron; thanks for linking

  24. No it’s far more cold blooded and insidious than this. It’s not helplessness or naivete it’s insufferable pathological narcissism borne of telling them that they’ve always been right about everything their entire lives and that the key to success is screaming and pushing people. Most college students have no actual deep seated affinities for the causes they themselves claim to believe in. They simply see them as opportunities to push people around and dominate them in order to get what they want – which is to dominate and bully others. Deep seated anger in and of itself as its own goal.

    1. Definitely an aspect of it, entitlement.

  25. What today’s college kids need is a warm cup of milk, a graham cracker a nice little mat for nap time.

  26. Maybe after college infant nap time, daddy Obama will come read Peter Potamus books aloud. After Peter Potamus has been cleared as safe, of course. Last thing anyone needs is some unsafe literature triggering some poopy pants feelings in anyone.

  27. “Because that’s how we have been taught to raise our children these past 20 or 30 years: thin-skinned, super-sensitive, and primed to turn to the authorities?parents, teachers, and now deans?any time they feel the slightest bit uncomfortable or aggrieved.”

    My goodness, you’ve just described the Democrat/Progressive/Socialist goal – citizens who instinctively turn to an authority figure – the State – to address the smallest of life’s vagaries. The conspiracy theorist in me sees this quite clearly now. For heaven’s sake, don’t vote for those awful Reps who (allegedly) want to cut government down to just the military and the courts; who’ll kiss your ouchies and stand up for you in the world?

    1. They’re not merely being primed to turn to the authorities over every issue, regardless of how small or insignificant, they’re being fully indoctrinated into authoritarianism as the next crop of absolute authoritarians.

  28. Hi Lenore,

    Here is an article about a free range 8 year old who was tortured, raped and died in a recycling bin.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/cri…..ed-stabbed

    maybe there are more reasons to raise a child in a protective manner than to unleash a PC banshee upon college campuses than you think.

    1. True, and there’s probably one who got crushed by some Russian space equipment falling down from the sky. So maybe it [i]is[/i] better to stay inside at all times.

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  32. For instance, asking Asian or Hispanic students where they were born could come across as a hint that the speaker does not consider the other student totally American. That’s the “aggression.”

    That’s easy to fix: “Hey, you look Asian, but you sound so dull and dumb that I am forced to conclude that you were born in the US, don’t speak any language other than English, and probably never even left the country. Can you confirm?”

    Would that kind of question also be considered a “microagression”?

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  34. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.online-jobs9.com

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