The Coddling of American Children

The Coddling of American Children Is a Boon to Beijing

By Ron Munden — 11/22/2021

Editor’s note:  For over 30 years I have thought that the downfall of the United States from its dominant world power position to a  second tier power would happen because of  a failure to educate our children. 

I still believe this but the pace of the decline is being aided by the accelerants – civil unrest, climate change and income inequality.

Today I was on the distribution list of an email from a friend.  The email said:

Wall Street Journal: The Coddling of American Children Is a Boon to Beijing

This article in the Tiger Mom vain.  I am getting very close to being “old” and therefore of course believe the younger generations are coddled. I do believe public schools no longer teach but baby sit and don’t do a good job of babysitting. Growing up I knew only one person who attended private school and that was one of my best friends Colin and he only attended grades 1 – 3 in a private school.  Today private schools (vs. public schools) provide a distinct advantage to their students.

I worry that our average national scoring on STEM subjects is in a free fall and this doesn’t make one think the country as a whole will continue to be a leader.  Then again maybe we will get smart and allow anyone with a doctorate or maybe just a master in STEM subjects to stay in our country after they graduate.

Of course, there are exceptions to everything I have written above but in general the above is more correct than incorrect.

He included a link to the article.  Here is a little of the article and the link.

The Coddling of American Children Is a Boon to Beijing

In China, my son had to study hard. Here in the U.S., he just needs to bring a ‘healthy snack’ to school.

By Habi Zhang

Nov. 21, 2021 

As a Chinese doctoral student raising a young son in the U.S., I am mystified by how American elementary schools coddle students. In China, schools are run like boot camps. What do the therapeutic comforts America showers on its youth portend for a growing competition with China?

I recently registered my son in the third grade at a New Jersey public school. Hattie had recently finished two years of elementary school in Chengdu, China, where he trotted off to school each day with a backpack stuffed with thick textbooks and materials for practices and quizzes. Here he leaves for school with little in his backpack other than a required “healthy snack.”


My son is not a genius, but he started studying math at an early age. When he was 5, I taught him fractions. Two years later, I introduced him to algebra. It is a core belief in Chinese society that talent can be trained, so schools should be tough on children. Chinese students score at the top of international math and science tests.

This is not a philosophy shared by American schools. On Friday night my son came home announcing in bewilderment that he didn’t have any homework. In China students tend to receive twice as much homework on the weekend, given the two days to complete it. How will America compete with a China determined to train the best mathematicians, scientists and engineers?

To see the complete article click here


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