Shortly after I read this very provocative post by David Kristofferson, I saw a story in Education Week that suicide rates among young Americans have recently soared.  

Quoting data from federal sources, it said:

Suicide rates for teens between the ages of 15 and 19 increased by 76 percent between 2007 and 2017.  And the suicide rate for 10- to 14-year-olds nearly tripled over that same time period, according to CDC’s data.

Kristofferson writes that something is clearly wrong with the way we raise our children. His own district in California surveyed high school students and reported that nearly a third of them describe themselves as”sad.” A sizable fraction have recently used drugs or alcohol.

He then goes on to contrast two parenting styles: the wholesome Dutch approach, which produces”the happiest children in the world” and the strict Tiger Mom approach, which establishes rigid standards of behavior: all work and no play, a phenomenon that captured media attention a few years ago.

As a grandmother who was once a very loving non-Tiger Mom, I think there is something terribly wrong with the absurd pressure we put on our children today. What they need most of all, after their basic needs are met, is unconditional love, the knowledge that someone is crazy about them. That’s a line I heard many years ago from a celebrated Yale child psychologist, Dr. Alfred Solnit: Every child needs to know that someone is crazy about her or him.