When Hand-Holding Goes Too Far: Why Coddled College Kids Crash

When Hand-Holding Goes Too Far: Why Coddled College Kids Crash

It's time to cut the cord.

It is the role of the parents to socialize their children to become productive members of society. However, the infantilizing of America’s college students has gone too far. We go to college to begin our launch into the world of adulthood; however, this is impeded by parents who coddle their children in an attempt to ensure that their child will not experience failure. Failure, once a natural part of growth and a part of the path to success, has become a taboo. Debate, once a healthy part of classroom discussions, now leads to hurt feelings and the enforcement of “trigger warnings.” Our culture has changed, and instead of teaching young adults about the power and importance of independence, we are breeding a culture of sissies and cowards.

There are many ways in which I have personally observed parents of my friends, classmates, and peers coddling their children. Parents are constantly praising their children even when praise is not warranted. Of course, encouragement is always appropriate and is an important way to improve a student’s self-esteem. However, indiscriminate praise leads to the over-valuing of a student’s success which can then promote narcissistic attitudes and behaviors. Additionally, college is a place where students are expected to try new things and push themselves outside of their comfort zones. Therefore, it is inappropriate to constantly applaud a person for doing what is expected of him or her.

“Trigger Warnings” were originally created to alert readers or viewers that a piece of published material may cause anxiety or distress for people dealing with a trauma or grief. I am in no way diminishing the importance of “trigger warnings,” as long as it is used in the correct environment. If students demand trigger warnings before a discussion in an academic class, then how can they ever expect to be exposed to material that will push them outside of their comfort zones? The whole point of attending rigorous classes in college is to learn to think critically, learn to be self-reflexive, and to be exposed to new material. The demand for “trigger warnings” in the classroom is a definite way to make sure that you will not be challenged or have to discuss issues that may cause discomfort, completely minimizing the whole point of engagement in discussions during a college class.

Lastly, there are too many parents who are “failing to launch” their children into society. In fact, there has been a new syndrome, “Failure to Launch Syndrome” adopted by psychologists and psychiatrists when treating adolescents who are having a difficult time transitioning into phases of development that require an increased need for independence and autonomy. There needs to be a balance, and parents and children need to find the balance between dependence and independence.

College students in particular are at a crucial point in their lifetimes where they need to learn to function without mommy and daddy. Too often, students are basing their decisions on the expectations of their parents. Too often, students are turning to their parents to get advice on how to draft an email to a professor. Too often, students are turning to their parents to help obtain an internship for the upcoming summer. Not often enough, are parents cutting the cord and encouraging their children to be autonomous.

Cover Image Credit: The Atlantic

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To The Girl Who's Lonely, It's Time To Recognize Your Worth

Your value is not based on what other people think of you.

Dear Lonely Girl,

You are not alone. I know it's hard, and we all feel lonely sometimes. We don't always do well at taking care of each other, and we start to question our self-worth. Please know that you are more than enough just by being you.

It's OK to be lonely. Nothing is wrong with you because you want to be around other people or you're hoping for someone to love you in the way you wish they would. I pray that you find the strength to take care of yourself despite any unfulfilled hopes and desires. Don't rely on other people for your happiness.

Unfortunately, you will be disappointed. People are imperfect. Find the beauty in the things that surround you and what you're doing each day.

There is so much in the rollercoaster of life that makes living colorful. Remember that there are aspects of life that matter to you and things you are passionate about. Continue to work to be inspired. There's some beauty in loneliness. You might come to discover more about yourself than you initially thought you could. Know that someone out there cares about you, even if human beings are imperfect in expressing love.

I hope that you have even one person that you connect with that cares about you.

Your value is not based on what other people think of you.

Your identity is so much more than that.

Treat yourself well. Life is too short - you should be collecting experiences. Even if it's by yourself, go to that movie. Take the road trip. Go find out something about yourself that you may not discover another way. Just because someone has not expressed an undying devotion to you does not mean all hope is lost. You are still beautiful. You have thoughts and ideas that matter. Your struggles, hopes, and dreams deserve to be known. If today was hard, tomorrow will be better.

Feeling lonely is a little easier if you like being with yourself. I hope that you can see your self-worth and beauty as much as those who love you can.

This letter is as much to you as it is to myself.


A girl who's also lonely sometimes

Cover Image Credit: @hellodarlingblog

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