The 11-year-old’s shot to deep center caromed off the fence, driving in two runs. And where was our hero? On third base?
No. He was on first, crying, because he hadn’t hit a home run. It didn’t matter that he had helped his team. His attitude was one of entitlement — he “deserved” a roundtripper, but being “denied” that, he did what came naturally: he threw a tantrum.
And why not? He is the product of the “helicopter generation,” where parents, teachers, administrators, and coaches hover over every single thing our children do, sanitizing all adversity within their spheres of influence.
The problem arises when these children step outside their all-protective bubble and run into Real Life. The result is an entire generation unable to process, let alone deal with, things that don’t go their way.
Most are “merely” dysfunctional. But for some, any rejection leads to violence, snapping when something finally doesn’t go their way. Someone doesn’t like them, they get disciplined or fired — and they go on a rampage.
Much of the “reasoning” behind hovering is to prevent and stop “bullying,” which, if you listen to some, has become an epidemic, a virus infecting schools and playgrounds which must be eradicated if we are to save the young generation.
But the truth is that: A) bullying is not more prevalent now, and B) thanks to the true bullies — hovering adults pushing politically correct ”solutions,” muscling aside and shouting down anyone espousing the voice of reason — that generation is already lost, wandering like deer in headlights.
We now have college grads expecting $125,000 for their first job (with Mom and Dad attending job interviews and intervening in the hiring process), and school officials banning tag and kick ball to combat “bullying,” but in reality is simply students picking teams and settling disputes by themselves.
Truly inappropriate actions can be handled by employing shame, from sitting at the front of the bus to performing degrading tasks during public detention. Despite the naysayers’ position that feel-good hug-ins are the only form of conflict resolution, shame works.
Ironically, as more ridiculous things are placed under the bullying banner, the less people pay attention. Like the boy who cried wolf, the more we shout that everything is bullying and harassment, real bullying cases get lost in the shuffle, victimizing the bullied a second time.
We have warped a generation, producing manic children conditioned to fear everything, from walking to the bus stop to playing cops-and-robbers. Everything is so precisely planned that parents are now picking their kids’ teams for backyard games! Children’s creativity has been replaced with a structure so unnatural that social skills are nearly nonexistent.
To avoid “hurt feelings,” bullies masquerading as coaches and league officials often don’t keep score at sports games, and league standings are frequently taken off-line so as to not offend the last-place team. Everyone gets a trophy because we have mandated a homogenous society, and individual achievement is all too often frowned upon.
Our attempt to whitewash all which is “unfair” (aka life lessons) has resulted in a generation that doesn’t know how to fail. Instead, children are growing up in an artificial world of absolutes where everything must be 100 percent guaranteed safe.
Not that long ago, school doors were never locked, children played by themselves, and losing teams worked harder, yet there were virtually no shootings or stabbings, and bullying was kept in check. Imagine that.
We have unwittingly become the people we are protecting our children from. It’s time to break the unnatural cocoon by permanently grounding helicopter parents. If we don’t, we’ll crash and burn. And nothing could be a greater disservice to our children.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.
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