Are you familiar with the term ‘snowflake’?.  One meaning is a ‘flake of snow; especially a feathery ice crystal’.  However, the newer definition perhaps more familiar to people in this day and age is a ‘political insult for someone who is perceived as too sensitive’.  Snowflakes are deemed as self-centred individuals who have the belief that they are the only one affected by a situation or that their views are the only ones that matter.

The snowflake term seems to be banded about here, there and everywhere recently.  However, there’s a good reason for that – so many people seem to be offended … by absolutely everything!!

I’ve been interested to learn why so many people are adopting these overly-sensitive, overly-offended personality traits?  Is this anything their parents could have prevented?

I read an article a couple of years ago about parents in a small UK town who had been accused of raising snowflake children after complaining they had been forced – on one occasion – to walk half a mile to school after the bus driver had had to drop them off there due to bad weather.  God forbid a child having to walk half a mile!  Years ago, kids may have had to walk miles and miles to school, without so much as a mini groan.  What example are parents setting to their children in whinging about such a thing? 

I read another post by a college lecturer whose students were entering the final few minutes of an exam.  There was a huge bang brought about from a student who had decided to bodyslam the other side of the unlocked examination room door.  The disturbance alarmed all the other students.  As it turned out, this bodyslamming student had misread his exam timetable and had just turned up for the exam as it was about to end.  However, instead of calmly trying to resolve the situation with the lecturer, he made the decision to be overtly disruptive; affecting the concentration and nerves of the other students who had turned up on time and were nearing completion.  A prime example of believing only he mattered.

This kind of behaviour is becoming more commonplace in young people of today.  Although I alluded to the fact earlier that parents could prevent such behaviour, I should point out that I’m not saying these parents are bad.  In fact, quite the opposite – I think they often try so hard, they create snowflake children in the process; by trying to provide them with a perfect, stress-free life.  But that just isn’t reality.

Parents often give children exactly what they want.  It may feel like the right thing to do – but it isn’t.  Kids need to start figuring things out for themselves instead of letting their parents do it all for them.  Yes, parents can be there for guidance and support but teaching a child or young person to do something for themselves can pay dividends.  Obviously they will make mistakes on the way but mistakes are a great way to shape them for the better. 

Some kids are offended by actual words – for example, errors pointed out in their work.  The child may see their parents’ comments as a huge criticism and believe that they’re not good enough.  This behaviour needs to be stopped in its tracks.  Parents should always explain things in detail to them and give good feedback along with the bad.  Children should then be able to see the logic in the parents’ comments and process accordingly, instead of feeling insulted. 

Emotions can be strong and no-one should try to change a person’s inner self but it is possible to help them better understand how to handle emotions.  For example, in the instance of an angry child, there is no use telling them not to be angry.  However, teaching them to recognise the emotion and how to handle it is a much better concept.

Of course, parents want happy, balanced lives for their children but mollycoddling them could end up causing quite the opposite.

I’d love to see snowflake parenting change for the better; instead of overprotecting and taking over, these behaviours should be replaced with encouragement, explanations and support.  

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