Are we harming our kids by coddling them? Jonathan Haidt on the Coddling of the American Mind

Are we coddling our kids? In our attempt to love and protect our young people are we really doing them  a disservice by undermining their ability to learn from failure and recover from setbacks?  These are just some of the issues addressed by renowned researcher Jonathan Haidt in his new book, written Greg Lukianoff, entitled, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.

I hope you will take some time to listen to a recent interview of Dr. Haidt on the Gospel Coalition website. It’s entitled Jonathan Haidt on the Coddling of the American Mind  and you can find it by clicking HERE. 

I believe that Haidt’s work challenges us as a congregation to identify ways to disciple young people and their parents so that young people become more resilient and capable as they seek to love and serve others as Jesus would have us do.

Please listen to the podcast and consider reading the book (Im starting to read it today). Please tell me what you think about his insights.

Some background: Professor Haidt is a secular psychologist with a Jewish background, but he is committed to engaging Christians in a way that is marked by sincere interest and respect, something that is missing from people in his field. One my Sunday evening rituals is to read the newest research articles in the areas of marriage and  psychology. Over the years I have learned a great deal from Dr. Haidt, who has distinguished himself in the area of the Psychology of morality and virtue. His book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion is simply amazing. I have to admit that Haidt has a special place in my “heart” because I was so intrigued by his work that  I thought I might try a “Hail Mary” by sending him an email with some questions about his methods. The professor was kind enough to send me a very thoughtful email, along with some research instruments and computer files to analyse textual data for moral themes. This is not the kind of thing you expect to get from very busy, world class scholars, but it’s clear that he is committed to engaging the wider public in his work.



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