This is the type of Free Press reporting that keeps me coming back. I need to read this powerful piece more than once, but off the bat it is a plea to parents to be parents. The other adults in your children's lives, including teachers, doctors, and psychologists as well as the government and media, may be harmful to your children's health. Parenting isn't something you can do in between the "important" parts of your life. It is a job and just as when there is a medical epidemic (real, not contrived) you may need to quarantine your family, there is an epidemic of horrible ideas swirling around the world right now. Going along with the crowd is abdicating responsibility.

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Our college freshman son lost his phone a few months ago and we could not get him a new one for over a week. He said it was the best week of his life, that he did not realize how much time he wasted on it. He needs a phone for many things at school, most importantly 2 factor authentication to get into his Canvas account (where all of his schoolwork is), but he said it was really eye opening and has changed his perspective. Said he now oftentimes leaves his phone in his dorm purposely.

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I have a teenage daughter. We lived in a very progressive suburb of Chicago. She was depressed, gender confused and started self harming. This was pretty common in her middle school. Nearly every kid I knew had "mental health issues" and was seeing a therapist. I listened in on her therapy sessions and I never heard them talk about CBT techniques and cognitive distortions. I know them well because I did CBT myself during a dark time in my life and I am a huge believer.

I read "The Coddling" right as covid hit and it really jumped out at me how we were using all of these reverse CBT principles to deal with covid as well. And ofc if you were to make a graph, I'm sure there would be a direct relationship between how (big L) Liberal a community is and how many reverse CBT ideas were being cultivated in that community. So I watched all of these kids in my community, including my own, become more depressed and anxious. And instead of teachers and parents helping them, they were using reverse CBT techniques themselves. "Well we are in a deadly pandemic" and "this could be over if it weren't for all the selfish conservatives who just won't wear their masks or take their vaccines" or ofc the Lorenz inspired late stage capitalism and climate change stuff.

Contextualizing was also off limits. How dare anyone tell these kids that Covid is like a cold to them when MILLIONS of ppl are dying??!! And then we told them they were selfish for meeting with friends in person or even showing their faces in public! So they all retreated to tik tok and Instagram where the algorithms drug them further into the postmodernist worldview that they have no agency, they are either oppressed or oppressors, nobody understands them and the world is full of hate.

In summer 2023 we moved to Georgia (a purple suburb of Atlanta) and my daughter started high school here. As Brian Kemp was famously the first governor to open schools, these kids missed far less school due to Covid. There is also a very obvious difference in the kids here. My husband and I keep saying it feels like the 90s when we were kids. While they can be a little bit "meaner" to each other (like in the 90s), they just seem less guarded, more confident and def less angry. And the change in my daughter had been shocking. She is 1000X more confident, doing much better in school, has not had any urge to cut herself and she even looks so much better. She's taking better care of herself. My 10yo even refers to the "old (or Illinois) ____" and "Georgia ____".

Anyways, I just wanted to share this anecdote. There are a few really smart and courageous ppl who might get us out of this mess, and Haidt and Lukianoff (along with Bari and some of her colleagues) are chief among them.

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Climate anxiety, gender anxiety, racial anxiety, body dysmorphia, social anxiety- is anyone surprised?

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I'm not sure liberal v conservative really gets to it. Our HS daughter and most of her friends wouldn't necessarily think of themselves as political (liberal or conservative), but what they are being taught in school is to blame, get angry and insist people apologize if they say makes them makes you feel bad. It's the opposite of the 'sticks and stones' approach we were taught and it seems like an obvious contributor to all the anxiety and depression we are seeing. My evidence is only anecdotal, but it's really clear that they are being taught you must get angry when you hear things you don't like and insist the person who said it apologize and admit to what they did. I would imagine kids who are drawn to this approach are also more likely to be drawn to liberal causes.

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I’m licensed mental health counselor who generally never agrees with anything anyone says. But this at least seems plausible. Honestly college girls seem to quit therapy the fastest when challenged to change distorted thinking. The problem is shopping around for an affirming therapist that will never do any of that is easy.

I think you’re missing the religious aspect of it though. These distortions, with woke progressives, exist by design and are maintained. Not developed outside of their awareness. Behavior change with these people is much harder because of that.

Teaching them to think logically and to question their emotional reactions is counter to the whole ideology. So first you have to grapple with the ideology before therapy can actually start. Which poses its own ethical dilemma since I can’t just go around imposing my world view on clients. So a therapist has to be very good at threading the needle through left-wing ideology enough to challenge the thinking without attempting to red pill the person.

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I have been closely following this topic since around 2015 when my own daughter was about 13. At 3 we were told she fits diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum and she received recommended early intervention services. Mostly she has always been slightly delayed on milestones but always arrived eventually. She had occupational therapy in elementary school and she hated being singled out or being treated differently. At 13 she was dx’d with ADHD -again, all she ever desired was to fit in and be treated normally. By middle school she was coming home saying girls at her lunch table are depressed, suicidal and lesbian or transgender. Time for another intervention! I never permitted her to use tumblr and I informed her she was not permitted to sit with that group anymore or socialize with them.

As a parent for YEARS I had dealt with behavioral therapists, occupational therapists, annual IEP meetings with schools -and it sucked. I was NOT going down this road. My daughter did not need to come up with a new issue, she already had one!

As if overnight, kids, especially teen girls are self diagnosing with autism, adhd, gender dysphoria, depression, suicidal ideation. Like they’re wishing for the exact thing that caused my own kid to struggle to fit in.

The real deal, who truly struggles with being out of synch with life WANTS to be treated as “normal” as much as possible, WANTS to succeed in life with relationships, academics and independently living as an adult. It was never an identity for her. Others made it one for her and then for themselves. Even the mental health professionals and teachers -treated her as a diagnosis and did not see HER. We advocated for her and now she advocates for herself and she will never be a victim or allow anyone keep her in a box.

Her first psychiatrist recommended an lgbt group and my daughter had to inform her she wasn’t lgbt. How, when, why, did this become linked to autism spectrum/adhd?

It pisses me off.

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I would LOVE for Tik Tok to get banned, PLEASE make it so.

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I haven’t read through the article yet but from the subtitle I just had to comment. As a parent of a 6 and 9 yo without cell phones, I’d love to get a movement going where we “just say no” to phones, smartphones with social media in particular. We know they’re bad but people keep giving their kids phones cause “everyone else is doing it.” Would you give your kid some cocaine, a bottle of Jack Daniels, a loaded handgun and the keys to your vintage Porsche, then tell them to have a fun night? No, because those could be harmful. Same with smartphones.

I also host exchange students (teenagers) and to watch their inability to hold a polite conversation with an adult, and their inability to put their phone down is disturbing to say the least. Not to mention the fact that they’re still at an age where they’re not skeptical of technology companies and the data they’re collecting on you, nor the psychological effects it has on you. It’s a bad combo.

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How about exploring if there's something just fundamentally wrong with liberal ideology, especially as it's been presented by increasingly fanatical leftists over the past few years? It's not just the trigger warnings and safe spaces, it's the left's complete abandonment of individual rights, due process, and equal treatment under the law.

I'm a huge fan of Haidt and Lukianoff, especially FIRE.org, but this angle seems to be off limits.

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That “Every time I try to get ahead, something or somebody stops me.” graph is TELLING.

Some of my friends laugh at me when I say social media is the devil and toxic. I feel real bad for the younger generation today. Part of the blame goes directly to the parents who are MY age. Terrible.

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Mar 13, 2023·edited Mar 13, 2023

The absence of any discussion of the epidemic of gender transitioning among both sexes, but especially girls, is glaring and difficult to justify. Prof. Haidt discusses "gender" numerous times as a qualifier between males and females, without once mentioning the unprecedented increase in girls seeking gender TRANSITION services, first described at the U.K.'s Tavistock gender service, beginning in around 2011 and continuing to the present day. The graph shows the rise:

"The total number of referrals for 2018/19 in England alone is 624 boys and 1,740 girls. In less than a decade there has been a 1,460% increase in referrals of boys and a staggering 5,337% increase in girls." https://www.transgendertrend.com/surge-referral-rates-girls-tavistock-continues-rise/

The U.K. is just one country. There is a worldwide epidemic of transgender identification in children and adolescents, but especially girls, abetted by the medical establishment and even the public schools, which now tell first graders that they can be the sex of their choice. The coining of a new term, "ROGD" (Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria) as the result of a study by Dr. Lisa Littman in 2018, took hold because therapists were seeing the phenomenon all over the world and recognized that a new form of social contagion was afoot.

If ever there was a bellwether for the uptick in mental illness in girls, this is it. A 5,337% increase deserves a mention, don't you think?

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Mar 13, 2023·edited Mar 14, 2023

"We are now 11 years into the largest epidemic of adolescent mental illness ever recorded" Interesting how this tends to also align itself with gender affirmation, especially amongst adolescent females. At first there was a denial that transgenderism was a form of mental illness (dysphoria). However that changed to gender affirmation medical intervention/ surgery as being the cure for dysphoria. However it turned out there is literally no scientific empirical evidence this is true; it was literally made up (practically every study done on transgenderism shows the vast majority suffering from transgenderism turn out to be either homosexual or will grow out it). The reality is one of the primary symptoms of dysphoria is depression and having suicidal tendencies, and while affirmation and medical intervention tends to cloud the depression temporarily, due to being caught up and distracted by the misguided belief they are curing themselves ( pushed by over zealous advocates), eventually the depression and suicidal tendencies return, often within 6 years of medical intervention, which is often exasperated by being abandoned and ridiculed by the transsexual community, if they start to question whether affirmation was the correct course to truly make their lives better. IOW transgenderism affirmation is unfortunately nothing more than a cruel trend, that is leaving devastated women permanently sterile due to hormone therapy and mutilated by surgery. What I found profoundly sad was most transgender men and women were most regretful because they realized they simply could never actually change their sex, that they were surgically altered to appear to be the opposite sex (and would have to take powerful drugs their entire life to continue the illusion), but it would forever be an illusion; and they will always remain the sex they were born as.

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Thanks for this, Bari. First rate piece, by a first rate mind(s).

Yes. Academia. Defund, dismantle and radically re-imagine it--now.

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The unholy marriage of harmful products made by corporations and harmful policies made by government is damaging society. Our weak and compromised president won’t even ban ccp TikTok, which is digital opoum. Gen Z and all of us are under assault from the WEF Wehrmacht. See it for what it is and take measures to protect you and your loved ones from their bullets: https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/how-to-save-private-ryan

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