“A bulldozer style of parenting, while terribly well-intentioned and meant to “protect” the child from short-term harm, ultimately results in a psychologically fragile child, fearful and avoidant of failure, with never-learned coping strategies and poor resilience.”

An aged-care nurse was recently telling me that their nursing home was seeing most of their World War II veterans pass away, to be replaced by baby boomers. “You know something though,” she quipped “compared to the WWIIs, the baby boomers, well … they’re so … emotionally needy!”

I found this comment very amusing (possibly more than I should have given the context), but as a grand-daughter of four WWII veterans, I knew exactly what she was talking about. My grandparents lived through the Great Depression and World War II. They were all, as a result, tough old birds.

They also had a great sense of perspective. They had all lost dearly loved ones in brutal circumstances and did not waste time stressing over what we would now term “first world problems”.

But surely, I hear you cry, something like a war causes untold psychological damage and widespread mental health problems! Well here’s the conundrum: during WWII and the period shortly after, mental health-related mortality was at its lowest.

Now there’s a range of reasons for this beyond the scope of this article. But one aspect that most psychologists agree upon is that working together to find solutions to overcome a serious problem (Hitler), even when it involves high risk and high cost, is surprisingly good for building community resilience. It also keeps your individual focus on the bigger picture and prevents you from ruminating and dwelling on a range of perceived negatives, that relatively speaking, aren’t that important after all.

Learn more about this parenting style and if you are one of those parents:


Bulldozer Parents: creating psychologically fragile children
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