GENERATION SNOWFLAKE: People Today Are Missing Out on the Strength of Adversity

Written by Candace Hardin on April 13, 2017

It has become common to see young people from two to thirty-two plus having meltdowns in any and all situations. Everyone has a condition that supposedly gives them license to act out at will.

Some have this, some have that, some didn’t get enough Cheerios as a child etc. It has become an epidemic of excuses and maladies that preclude some from functioning in the proper manner at the proper time.

Is there something in the water, or is it a much deeper problem?

In a blog post by Rhonda Stephens, the solution to some of society’s woes may be found. Her post titled, Parenting – Are We Getting a Raw Deal, brings up the differences in the parent/child relationship of the 70’s and today’s parent/child codependence or coddle-dependent existence.

Today’s parent worries about a child’s fulfillment, comfort and overall environment, to the point that the parent does without or makes a conscience effort to control and maintain their offspring’s world in every way, to the point of extreme negligence on their relationships and lives.

Sure children need round the clock care up until a certain age, but this trend is continuing well into adulthood.

Every little bump soothed, every little dream come true is not doing a child a favor, nor is it building character.

The truth is that adversity is what builds character and makes a person strong.

The catch phrase now is “Stop Bullying!”

Bullying is no good, but has been within human interaction for countless centuries. There will always be someone who bullies someone else. A bully draws strength from intimidation and fear.

Therefore, the only way to “cure” a bully is through strength.

Like on the movie, A Christmas Story, based on the book by Jean Shepard, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, Ralphie, his friends and little brother were constantly harassed and abused by the hometown bullies, Flick and Schwartz. s

Finally, after a bad day, Ralphie can take no more from the duo and jumps on Flick, pounding him until his nose is bloodied, while cursing in a style that would make his old man who “worked in profanity like an artist works in oils, it was his true medium,” proud.

Colleges today have safe spaces where no one can disagree and no “micro aggressions,” i.e. anyone who has a contrary opinion, can enter.

College was once a place of deep thought and lively debate, where like and unlike minds gathered to learn and be exposed to ideas beyond the world of childhood.

Forget that; today’s institutes of higher learning probably have a Debate Club consisting of a group that gets together with only those with whom they fully agree and everyone gets a trophy for participating.

A parent that fails to provide boundaries and consequences creates an emotional cripple who will be unable to maintain an adult relationship, such as marriage, as neither one is able or willing to compromise or sacrifice for anyone else, nor can they accept that anything is their fault.

They cannot raise children as that requires an unselfishness that they are also unwilling to cultivate within themselves. That is precisely why there are so many grandparents raising their grandchildren now.

How about drug abuse? Heroin, opiates and the abuse of prescription drugs is at an all-time high as well.

If an unfortunate event happens, and it will, reality cannot be dealt with, nor should it have to be borne! Therefore, escape into a euphoric utopia where reality isn’t biting is needed, even though responsibilities remain. Hence, someone else has to do the hard work for those who have never had it to do.

Adversity and coping with same is key in human development. It builds character. The small problems of childhood have to be learned, experienced and conquered, so the large problems of life as an adult will not drive a person to substance abuse, dereliction and suicide.

If parents return to their proper role as the grownups in charge of the house, and children to their place as subjects to grown up’s whims and NOT the other way around, perhaps civilized society could return.

If the “Raw Deal” Ms. Stephens describes above is continued, it is highly possible that society will fall into anarchy, clan wars, lawlessness and despair.

photo credit: Modified from:; CC BY-NC 2.0

Share if you agree there are advantages to facing adversity bravely.

Candace Hardin
Candace Hardin resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She is fluent in Spanish and a student of Latin and history. She is a columnist on and has a blog, Originally from North Carolina, her writing and beliefs have been heavily influenced by the Appalachian culture and tradition.