How to raise mentally tough people

If there is one thing missing from most young people's educational experience these days is mental toughness. Nobody (well, OK, maybe not nobody but very few people) want to make kids suffer even the smallest discomfort, physical or otherwise. Kids don't have to wait a long time for a treat or a present. They get massive treats for small accomplishments. They get handed the phone the minute they start fussing. And then we wonder how they grow up to be demanding, tyrannical teenagers who cannot function outside their comfort zone.

Mental toughness and resilience aren't things that suddenly, magically get bestowed upon oneself when oneself is ready. They're things you learn by habit and practice. Here the great Maria Popova reminds us of this truth and also that the wonderful and timeless Seneca already said most of what needed to be said on that topic.

Yes, it's OK to make kids practice going without. It's OK to make them wait for good things. It's OK to reward them for good grades with a hug instead of an ice cream cake. And it certainly is OK to restrict electronic devices to very long car rides and other special events. It'll make them tougher, in a good way.

Learning to take things in stride

The crazy world of hyper-competitive pre-k education (continued)