You Cannot Raise Snowflakes in Jesus’ Name

“What you are describing is not a crisis; it is life.”

I find myself making that assertion often as I talk to parents. The parent will describe a situation where someone teased their child, or spoke a harsh word to them, and then ask me, “How should we respond?” Usually, what they are describing is normal stuff that happens between children in a fallen world. I tell them what they are describing it is not a crisis; it is life. Their responsibility is to coach their child on how to appropriately respond. Typically, the parent responds to me with shock and I hear phrases like: “But it hurts their feelings.” “They are a sensitive child.” It doesn’t dawn on them that their child’s sensitivity could be the major problem.

Frequently, parents place the blame on other children for their child’s reaction. They position their child as a victim. Focusing on the child a parent has no control over while neglecting and opportunity to teach the child they do have control over is unwise. The responsibility of Christian parents is to train their child how to appropriately respond to every situation in a way that glorifies God and displays self-sacrificial courage. For instance, if kids are teasing your son at school in the way kids often do, you should find out how he is responding. If the answer is by pouting or crying, that is most often a self-centered overreaction. Sometimes, if he laughed along, or said with a grin, “Who cares what you guys think?” but still interacts normally with them later, the teasing would often stop.

Inordinate Self-focus

This approach is not a case of blaming the victim.

A mildly teased child is not a victim, but rather a human being learning how to interact with other humans in a sinful world. Pouting or crying because of mild teasing reveals an inordinate self-focus in the child’s heart. Why are they so easily controlled by what others say to them? Why are they hyper-sensitive, touchy, and easily offended? Those self-oriented traits are not helpful in life nor do they lead in the direction of personal contentment. Parents ought to be thankful for the opportunity to lead their children through these types of encounters because they provide an excellent training ground for the formation of others-centered Christian character.

C.S. Lewis famously said in Mere Christianity that true Christian humility, “is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” The apostle Paul exhorts, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4), and describes this as reflecting the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5). Living out Paul’s admonition demands a bit of thick skin that parents are to help their children develop. How can we love our neighbor when we are self-obsessed about how every interaction makes us feel. We are to love our neighbor, even if our neighbor is a jerk. Christian parents, are you training your children toward living this cruciform (cross-shaped) worldview out in their daily lives?

Mollycoddling is Not Life Preparation

Today’s parents often go to ludicrous lengths attempting to remove all risk from their children’s lives and protect them from any negative assessment. There are very real consequences in the child’s life when parents raise their children in this self-referential environment. Children are taught that they have a right not to hear anything they do not agree with, and when they do, they should take it personally. This mollycoddling of our children does not prepare them for life.

I recently saw a brochure that defined bullying to include teasing, name-calling, having your things bothered, rumors, verbal commentary, taunting, graffiti, insensitivity, gestures, and being excluded from friendship groups. If bullying means almost everything, then it means nothing. Bullying used to mean the use of force, threats, abuse, in order to coerce and dominate others in a habitual way, usually involving an imbalance of power. Real bullying is a crisis, but the expanded definition would mean almost any interaction your child perceives as negative can be labeled bullying. The ludicrous expansion of the definition provides cover for real bullies.

Hypersensitivity + Entitlement = Anxiety and Discontentment

All of this is counterproductive, and Christian parents, of all people, should understand its harm. When we train our children to be hypersensitive and to overreact about everything anyone says to them, we are discipling them toward anxiety. And we are also creating a worldview where counting others more significant than yourself or to loving your enemies is unintelligible. The apostle Paul was not debilitated by personal criticism, he never defended himself against personal insults, but at the same time he defended the gospel and his apostolic authority with every fiber of his being. Why? Because Paul was gospel-focused and others-centered and not self-referential. Personal criticism of him did not hinder gospel proclamation to others but confusion about the gospel would do so.

Too often, Christian parents rear their children in a deadly combination of hypersensitivity and a belligerent sense of entitlement. That combination will most certainly produce discontentment and gospel apathy. South Carolina basketball coach Frank Martin recently made waves when he said, “You know what makes me sick to my stomach? When grown people say that kids have changed. Kids haven’t changed. Kids don’t know anything about anything. We’ve changed as adults. We demand less of kids. We expect less of kids. We make their lives easier instead of preparing them for what life is truly about. We’re the ones that have changed.” The tendency today is to blame the younger generation, but Martin is correct to note that
kids often reflect the culture their parents have cultivated.

Not a Crisis

There are a few things in life that are legitimately a crisis and we ought to be willing to acknowledge a genuine crisis as such. But,

your child being mildly teased or insulted at school is not a crisis. Your child sitting the bench on their sports team is not a crisis. A teacher or coach speaking harshly to your child is not a crisis. Your child not getting the part in the school play is not a crisis. Your child getting cut from a sports team is not a crisis. Your child striking out to lose the game is not a crisis. All of these things may be unpleasant, but they are opportunities for Christian parents to instruct their children, discipling them in a cruciform worldview.

Are you training your children to be good soldiers of Christ Jesus who engage in spiritual war? Or are you training them to be hyper-sensitive snowflakes who are easily offended by the smallest slight as they prepare for a spiritual vacation? The latter is a cruel way to send them out into the world. What about teaching your children to shake off the mild teasing without it controlling them while at the same time praying for the one doing the teasing? We certainly do not want our children to develop a hard-hearted stoicism. Nevertheless, the Christ-exalting sensitivity we want them to possess is to be more concerned and sensitive about others than themselves. Paul writes, “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself” (Rom 15:2-3a)—parent accordingly.

By |March 31st, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

About the Author:

David E. Prince is pastor of preaching and vision at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky and assistant professor of Christian preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of In the Arena and Church with Jesus as the Hero. He blogs at Prince on Preaching and frequently writes for The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, For the Church, the BGEA and Preaching Today

40 Comments

  1. A Great Book Study April 1, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Excellent advice. Thank you!

  2. Heather April 1, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I was a girl who matured early. When I was 11, every day the boys on the school bus would taunt me and say all kinds of sexually charged things to me, asking me if I was still a virgin and telling me I should give so-and-so a blow job, and that’s the mild stuff. That’s just verbal. Laugh it off? Is that not an imbalance of power? What do you say the Christian response to that is? The teachers and bus drivers do nothing.

  3. David April 1, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks! A great book study

  4. David April 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Heather,

    What you describe is horrific. The perpetrators should have been kicked off the bus, expelled from school, and possibly criminally charged for threat of sexual assault. It most definitely fits into the category of “the use of force, threats, abuse, in order to coerce and dominate others in a habitual way, usually involving an imbalance of power. Real bullying is a crisis,” which I explained the article. And yes, the fact that you were a female receiving sexually charged comments from a male is inherently an in balance of physical power. I am so sorry you experienced this.

    Blessing,
    David

  5. […] http://www.davidprince.com/2017/03/31/cannot-raise-snowflakes-jesus-name/ This article gives a great and biblical perspective on the snowflake culture which is permeating the classroom. David Prince, the author, explains that “mild teasing” is not a major life crisis, but rather a normal life event. The definitions of bullying have become outrageous in today’s schools. Teachers and parents need to use these normal life events to teach their children how to deal with issues in life. […]

  6. Robin M April 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I am reading this article through a link from Tim Challies. I would add that homeschooling in high school can contribute to this problem with sensitivity in the “real world.” I can say that because we did it. I would not recommend it again in many cases, especially for distance college-bound students. Why? Not so much that parents are especially “sheltering” their children from the “real world,” however a lot of the interaction that homeschoolers have is with other Christian families in the church and the homeschooling community. To put is simply, they do not often have interaction with “mean people,” so that when they go off to college they can be “thrown to the wolves,” without their parents around to teach them how to handle it. Does that make sense?

    Homeschooling has its benefits. I’m not broad swiping it to say it’s not a good option for education. I just think that these situations have to be taken into consideration. Is it better to send the child to a private or public school while he or she is living at home so that any negative treatment can be worked out with the parents guiding the response to be in a Christ-honoring manner? I submit that it is.

    I used to tell my children in a teasing way that they better watch “Judge Judy,” to see how the world really is!

    SDG

  7. Heather April 2, 2017 at 7:17 am

    David,

    I appreciate your response. But I do have a problem with you finding the “expanded definition” of bullying to be illegitimate. As someone who experienced a tremendous amount of teasing (in addition to what I mentioned above), I know first-hand what it is like to have an entire group of people gang up on someone. To me, mild teasing comes from those who generally treat one well and might even be considered friends. We all deserve some ribbing from time to time for doing or saying something dumb and should learn to laugh at ourselves for some quirky trait we exhibit. But, teasing that is mean-spirited and comes from those who are not friends and habitually exclude another is not teasing – it is harassment. This harassment could be sexual, as in what I mentioned above, or not. At lunch in elementary school, the kids at the half of the table I sat with (by seat assignment – I had no choice) teased me every day because I did not know the current music and movie stars because MTV and certain other entertainment was banned in my Christian home. In 4th grade, I was the only girl not invited to another female classmate’s birthday party. I was repeatedly teased for being tall, for being smart, and for being a bit of a tomboy. Starting when I was in kindergarten or first grade, the older boys in the neighborhood would ride around the block and when they passed by my house, they would call me names. They only did this to me, not to my sister. In 6th grade, a boy would push all my things off my desk every time he passed by me. I was also a new kid that year because my family moved from out of state, and I was excluded because I made friends with the most unpopular girl (who happened to have problems with bed-wetting and experienced her own unfair amount of teasing and exclusion) because she was nice to me. When I was in 8th grade and playing on the basketball team, I came back to my locker after a game and found that my favorite shirt had been cut up. I didn’t cry – I was just bewildered. I could not understand why I was teased from almost every direction, almost every kid, for many different reasons, and I had very few friends to counteract the exclusion I experienced. All this falls under your what you call “mild teasing”, according to your definition of real bullying.

    I did learn to develop a thick skin. I am a classically-trained musician and have had my fair share of criticism over the years as I learned and voluntarily sat under teachers and adjudicators. Your post makes me think that you have not really experienced the kind of exclusion from groups that comes when a community of kids decides that one is not worthy of acceptance. The expanded definition of bullying is needed because some kids are treated horribly, and it is not just a matter of physical harm or threats, especially in the case of girls.

    You are correct that being cut from a team or not getting a part in a play is not a crisis. Neither is that teasing. However, I could also tell you about a 1st grade art teacher who criticized me because I put apples under my tree and not just in it, my 4th grade teacher who told me that the nativity scene shadow box that I made for an assignment that showed my family’s Christmas traditions was not acceptable because it was religious, a 6th grade teacher who told me she didn’t like having smart kids like me in her class because we were always called out for special activities, and male teachers who gave me once-overs in 7th grade and after.

    I agree with your overall point that we are not to be self-centered. I also believe that my experiences have given me a bit of a radar for people who are hurting and excluded themselves, and given me a willingness to be a friend to the friendless. But, I was hurting a tremendous amount myself and to say “develop a thick skin” is much too simplistic. I really think you need to reformulate your idea of what bullying is. Some people are absolutely bombarded with “teasing” and other negativity. What is the Christian response? Mine was to homeschool my kids, in part because of my own experiences. I have learned that homeschooling allowed them to grow up to be comfortable in their own skin, which is helping them to be more confident as their world expands. Perhaps kids need to learn to toughen up, but even mild teasing – if it is experienced enough – can seriously harm a kid’s feelings of self worth.

    Heather

  8. Robin M April 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Heather, may I ask what did your parents do while all this was happening to you? I think that sometimes we go through things that we find to be hurtful and almost unbearable to find out the Lord’s purpose for us. In your case, although you describe having a “thick skin,” you also have an empathetic and tender heart for others who may be bullied. Maybe that’s why you went through that.

    If you are homeschooling your children at a young age – elementary and maybe even middle school – I applaud you. However, you may want to consider what homeschooling in high school can do in some situations where they have been sheltered from the “meanness” of the world. See my comment above. They eventually have to face that, homeschooling or not. And the results can be disastrous if they get “thrown to the wolves,” after having been homeschooling through all grades.

    There are no easy answers. What you went through was horrendous. Those things never happened to me or to anyone that I knew of. I went to school in the 60s and 70s. Wow, school environments must be very evil places now. What happened?

    I’m so sorry you went through all that. May God heal those wounds.

  9. David April 2, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Heather,

    We don’t have to see it exactly the same way. I appreciate you interacting with the article.

    David

  10. Check out | HeadHeartHand Blog April 3, 2017 at 1:01 am

    […] You Cannot Raise Snowflakes in Jesus’ Name An excellent word to snowflakes and their parents from David Prince: […]

  11. Mont April 3, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Heather: Did the 1st grade teacher criticize you, or was it your drawing that was critiized (critiqued?)?
    That you remember this and include it in your life-list of instances of victomhood may reveal more about your sensitive personality than about the teacher. However, the 4th grade story was an early experience of the persecution Jesus said we would face as His followers.That was also not bullying.
    I was offended.
    I was treated rudely.
    I was disappointed.
    I was not included.
    I was persecuted for the gospel’s sake.
    I was bullied.
    These statements aren’t all the same.
    While these examples may overlap at times, they are not equivalent in all cases.
    My story is probably different from yours –
    As a seven year old child I tearfully told my mother that no one liked me – everyone treats me badly. The best counsel she ever gave me: “if EVERYONE dislikes you, maybe the problem isn’t with them, but with you. Never forgot. Spent the rest of my life trying to know the difference between common teasing and true bullying.
    I’m pretty sure we’ve all experienced both.
    Sadly, some people experience the kind of bullying that you endured on the school bus – – but they are experiencing it in their homes or in the workplace daily.
    As true as that is, parents who elevate every slight and offense to the level of “bullying” aren’t helping their children to prepare for the sometimes cruel, real world.
    Thank you for telling your story so that we keep a balanced sensitivity and remember to stand up for the vulnerable – while we also try to bring up strong children.

  12. highplainsparson April 3, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    When I was growing up, if you were actually being bullied, your dad would help by teaching you how to throw a punch. You were expected to take care of the “crisis” yourself.

  13. Robin M April 3, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    highplainsparson that might get you in some big time trouble now, not to mention that you might be confronted with something than the bully’s fist!

  14. Na April 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Enjoyed the article. Wanted to mention that the CS Lewis quote you mentioned is not a CS Lewis quote. It is believed to have been inspired by a section in Mere Christianity but Rick Warren actually first put it in print in the Purpose Driven Life (Day 19 entitled “Cultivating Community”). The CS Lewis quote is still very powerful, but lengthier, on the subject of humility from the chapter, “The Great Sin”:

    “Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call ‘humble’ nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.

    If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.”

  15. Michele Robertson April 5, 2017 at 11:04 am

    I’m sorry Heather that you aren’t being heard. And the only final comment he gave was that, we will basically just have to agree to disagree. The trouble with producing “thick skinned” people is that they have lost their sensitivity to what others are going through. I have story similar to yours Heather so I totally get where you are coming from.

    So you’re saying Mr. Prince, is that we all have to toughen up and be more “other centered”, and that being offended is being entitled and self centered. I honestly don’t think that a young child who barely has a concept of who their “self” is, being told on a daily basis that they are ugly or their clothes are stupid are sitting there feeling sorry for themselves when they cry. They lack the understanding that what the other kids are saying about them has less to do with themselves then what is going on inside of the other child, who also has no true sense of self and they try to make themselves feel better about their own lack by putting another person down. It would be better to teach them what to do with their feelings, then to just tell them not to get offended. Quite often it is the people with sensitivities that are the most “other centered” people on the planet. They wouldn’t dream of saying a bad thing to someone else to hurt them on purpose and if they find out they’ve hurt someone they apologize, and aren’t flippant about it or making the other person feel like they are being overly sensitive. Words DO hurt, just as much as a punch in the face. Your flippant attitude about it and towards Heather leads me to believe you’ve never truly experienced this first hand.

    I think there is a huge difference in teaching about good sportsmanship, learning how to fail well, that it’s not the end of the world if a child fails, or isn’t picked for something special, than lumping mean words into the mix of what not to be sensitive about. In order to navigate this cruel world.

    And basically what I’m hearing is that the real world out there consists of people who can say whatever they like and we just sit there with our ears and mouths shut. Is that it? So if I’m offended by the “f” word, than it’s my own lack of a thick skin? Anymore people use the f word in sentences as often as they use “he” or “she”. Effing this and Effing that. And excuse me if that offends my ears. Excuse me if it offends my daughters ears. This is the REAL world we are living in so get used to it and get over it. Develop a thick skin. Don’t bother yourself with the fact that respect for other people doesn’t exist in this real world. Bottom line is, you can’t expect respect anywhere anymore, even it seems among Christian brothers and sisters, or ministers and preachers. “What I said offended you? Well that’s too bad sweetheart. Don’t be a snowflake. Develop a thick skin, and get over it.” “And while you’re at it, you better teach your kids that too.” Aren’t we taught to guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus? So if I’m trying to guard my heart, and my mind, and also that of my daughter’s until she is capable of guarding them in her own relationship with Christ, I’m doing something wrong?

    To the other comment…homeschooling is not the problem. Parenting is the problem. You can teach your child what the real world is really like without throwing them to the wolves at an even younger age.

    So now, not only have I been labeled ugly, a crybaby, and other things ad nauseum, I’m also labeled a “snowflake”.

    A child’s mind is like a computer. Whatever you program into it, that is what you will get back out. After what I have endured in my life I have taught my daughter that others matter, what you say to another can and will hurt them. People have feelings and feelings should be respected. If you would not want something said to you, do not say it to someone else. I have taught her to respect others, but I have also taught her she is worthy of that same respect. But according to your criteria and that of another commentator she will also get the label of snowflake, because she was homeschooled through high school. Some people aren’t meant to be thrown to the wolves.

    The realities of this world are different everywhere. India has a cast system that no one can get out of. The inner cities are falling apart, abandoned and nearly forgotten. Some women are forced to be covered from head to toe with only a slit for their eyes to see. What the “REAL” world to some is not the “REAL” world for others. Some live in complete seclusion. Some live in Amish communities. That is their “REAL” world. There is a lot of anger and hatred and bitterness that fills up in people and spews out as all sorts of ugliness. Are we to just sit back and accept this as the “REAL” world. It is the world that was created by sin. But those who have the mind of Christ shouldn’t be developing a thick skin to protect ourselves with. God gifts some people with sensitivities because these are the people who have compassion and show respect regardless of how they are treated. I’d rather teach my daughter to learn how to navigate through the sensitivities with which God has gifted her with, how to cope with hurt and pain and still remain open, then to just teach her to develop a thick skin and run the risk of her losing those sensitivities and with it her other centeredness.

    I think you are wrong to label people. You are basically no better than the next person name calling.

    “Don’t raise “snowflakes” you say. It’s no wonder Heather also took exception to what you wrote because she felt it too. You could have titled it, “How to teach your children to navigate through the harsh realities of life.” But maybe that was too long. Obviously “snowflakes” would catch people’s attention better eh? Well I hope you have developed a thick skin to handle the critique of your article. Which I think needs a little work.

    And again Heather, I’m sorry you didn’t feel heard. I heard you and I understand your feelings. I have been down this road before with other well meaning “shepherds”. They are better at devouring the weaker sheep than truly standing alongside of them, helping them to heal and grow. It breaks my heart.

  16. Dora April 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    I totally agree with Heather and Michelle. Mild bullying such as name calling is much different than physical bullying and constant daily mean spirited bullying. My kids and I suffered from the mean bullying. I was also told to “toughen up” and told my kids to ignore the name calling. When it is constant and daily and mean and hateful and no matter how much you ignore it, it continues then it’s beyond mild bullying. When it’s reached the point your child doesn’t want to go to school, is severely depressed and crying daily for fear of the Mean bully then it’s an issue more than they can possibly handle themselves.

  17. Robin M April 5, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    To Michelle: Why all the anger?

    I never wrote that homeschooling in and of itself was the problem. And I also didn’t write to “throw the children to the wolves,” at a younger age. Are you 100% certain that homeschooling parents can’t make mistakes, too? Or public school parents, or Christian school parents?

    Yes, parenting can be a problem. We are all flawed. I’m thankful for Scriptural Truths to turn to whether or not “my ideas” of parenting are working or not. There has got to be humility in all that we do for the glory or God, no matter how zealous we are to raise children who will pursue righteousness. II Timothy 2:22

    You are projecting a lot of anger and judgement to people involved in this article and comments. That’s ironic considering that you are criticizing the term of snowflake.

    I don’t think David Prince was flippant, either. It’s his article, and I’m sure he probably doesn’t have the time to continue to defend the details that are being brought up. So he graciously wrote that we can agree to disagree. What’s flippant about that? I’ve had similar things happen when I’ve commented online to articles.

    Whatever we “program,” into a child’s mind, as you put it, you write we will get back out. Perhaps you didn’t mean for that statement to sound so presumptuous. Only the Holy Spirit works in God’s timing in their lives. That doesn’t take away the Scriptural responsibility for us to train them as God commands. Prov. 22:6

    As far as “thick skin,” I seriously doubt David Prince was proposing that a person (or child) not have any sensitivities and empathy at all. We have the right to be offended, however, it’s how we react (or teach our children to) through a Scriptural grid that helps build the right balance of emotional maturity that matters in the overall scheme of eternity.

    SDG

  18. Michele Robertson April 5, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Robin,
    I went back and read again what you said, and even though you did not say to throw them to the wolves at a younger age, in both comments you were really trying to put forward that you believed that homeschooling through High School was a bad idea. And though I get why you felt that way, I think it is for each parent to figure out for themselves based on their own child. Understanding that some children are born with sensitivities that do have to be handled appropriately and each child handles life differently. Some because of their own makeup and some because of how they are raised. I have homeschooled my daughter through High School and I have also given her opportunities to interact with others outside of the “circle” so to speak. We have had LOTS of frank discussions about “mean” people as you say. Part of my anger stems from the fact of your suggesting it is a bad idea, even for Heather, if she homeschools, to not do it past a certain grade. That would be up to whatever the Lord has called her to do. Whether you are well meaning in your advice or not.

    Secondly, the reason for my anger, is that when someone like Heather speaks up about her story and saying why she disagrees with something a pastor has written, and is met at the end with what basically amounts to “we don’t have to agree on this”. It feels to me as like her concerns get brushed aside. I feel like a lot of things were lumped in together that are not even the same. Do I agree that kids should be taught good sportsmanship, that they need to learn how to handle failure with a good attitude, yes I do. I can also agree that how we react to the things that are said to us matter. However, I did NOT appreciate what he considered as mild teasing as being something so lightly treated, NOR do I think the term “snowflake” is appropriate at all. That term has been thrown around all over the place in regards to people being upset about Trump winning. I did not expect it to be used by a preacher talking about how little kids ought to be raised. In my opinion it is still name calling.

    You said that you grew up in the 60’s and 70’s and have no experience with what Heather endured. I did. From the age of 6, starting at a new school, because of a short hair cut and my name, the kids thought I was a boy. Almost from the start they picked on me, made of my clothes, my hair, wouldn’t play with me. I was the new kid, what did they know about me? How at age 6 could I have possibly been so self focused as David was saying, for that to be the reason that all of this name calling hurt my feelings. I was told by my parents to “consider the source”, I didn’t know what that meant. My dad would say, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”. which a a boldface lie. Words do hurt. So maybe my parents needed to do a better job at teaching me how to handle the “mean” kids. But the more I grew, I think I was pretty aware the world was full of “mean” kids, and just telling me to let go of it or “consider the source” or “it’s all in how you react to it”, weren’t enough to stop it from happening. Every day, the same thing. I honestly grew to hate school. I think there is a way to make our kids aware of what the “real” world is like without constantly subjecting them to it.

    Also because of my parents divorce while I was in High School, and my low self esteem from the constant barrage of “you’re no good”, I ended up in a spiritually abusive cult for 20 years. It’s a very long story I’m not going into right now. However, just because someone is a minister or a preacher doesn’t always make them right. Abuse happens. It is very sad.

    Most of my anger is regarding the label of “snowflake” (because it IS a label) for kids who might be sensitive and may need a lot of help learning how to navigate this “real” world. It has been my experience that telling a sensitive kid to toughen up or react differently when they are wounded deeply only adds to them feeling like a failure and less than everyone else. Like I guess there is something wrong with me and I’ll never live up the someone else’s standard of maturity. It is not helpful at all. So yeah, I stand up for others like Heather and I push back at things like this, because although well meaning, it has in my opinion the reverse affect. A little understanding and some decent dialogue would go a long way. So if I’m wrong for being angry and expressing it, well, I guess than I am wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time someone said I was, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

    See the thing is, David defined what he sees as a problem, but did not go into how to help parents dialogue with their kids to help them. For example what to say to them, other than “this is not a crisis”. Maybe in some kids minds it is a crisis, and telling them that it’s not is disregarding how they feel or see things. Feelings are neither right or wrong, they are just feelings, and I can agree that how we handle them makes all the difference. So maybe he could advise on what to say, giving the child some empowerment on how he/she could handle it differently. What could they say to the other person, or what could they say to themselves. Sensitive people have a lot of negative self talk, and many have to work really hard to move beyond that. So maybe a follow up for parents to help teach their kids to handle it better. And not just say, don’t raise a snowflake. I don’t see how it’s helpful to point out a problem, but not help with tangible ideas for a solution.

    I’m sincerely glad that you never had to experience what Heather, or I or Dora and others have experienced. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It’s debilitating.

  19. Robin M April 5, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Michelle, perhaps I should clarify. It seems you are taking what I’ve written and inferring by your own definitions what you have decided I meant. You brought up my comments on homeschooling, and you have now proposed that they may not have been well intentioned, so I will answer your charges. I, like Dr. Prince, am not going to spend a lot of time to defend or belabor my point. That is not edifying to brothers and sisters in Christ. Proverbs 10:19

    Your writing “really trying to put forward” that “homeschooling is bad” past a certain age are your words. I wrote my opinion as “it CAN be a bad idea,” and “in MANY cases,” and “in SOME situations.” Those are not words declaring ALL homeschooling is bad. My opinion on homeschooling in high school pertained to the original subject. You have a right to your opinion, too, and I haven’t added “my meaning” to your words. It would be easier to have a discourse with you without the anger. Ephesians 4:29

    You are correct that I wrote that I don’t recall that (bullying) happening in schools in my day. My comment was about schools. Schools. Is school the only place, though, that children can have problems? You don’t know me, so you have no idea what I have been through. I will not jump on the bandwagon of people whining about all that happened to them as a child. Philippians 4:13-14 That is not healthy for Christians. Shouldn’t we be spending our time instead asking, “what did Christ have to endure to pay the price for my wretched sin?”

    That is not to say I don’t have sympathy and empathy for the feelings of others. I’ve jumped on my own pity-party bandwagon plenty of times. Plenty. However, if I claim that Scripture is all of God’s Word and I want to obey it, I have to let things go so that my feelings don’t become my idol. Hebrews 12:1

    I agree with what Dr. Prince stated in the article. He has a lot more education in theology that I do as a layperson. I do not know him personally, however I truly think his intent is to be helpful in his advice to Christian parents.

    SDG

  20. Karen Herron April 6, 2017 at 1:39 am

    I was mistreated as a child too. It started in 4th grade by a girl who was jealous of me and wanted to hurt me. She worked hard at turning my friends against me, but little by little succeeded. It went on for three years getting worse and worse. As I was beat down by insults, I became less and less confident of who I was, and that stayed with me for years and I even still see that lack of confidence raise its ugly head here and there in my life. Having said all that, today I had an “aha” moment when I read David’s article, along with a deep regret that I had not been equipped with better tools back then to handle the situation in which I found myself. I needed some real focused attention from my parents to learn how to genuinely respond with good humor and the love of Christ toward those who were mistreating me. If my parents would have prayed together with me for my “enemies?” (who I so wished were my friends), that would have been a huge step toward healing for me. Instead of dissolving into the despair of self pity and even self-loathing at times, I would have looked for ways to love the unlovely, bless those who persecuted me, and pray for those who despitefully used me. Instead of being filled with resentment toward my enemies, I could have worked to be an overcomer with the love that only comes from Christ, not wasting those years with my eyes turned in on myself. Becoming thick skinned toward myself, doesn’t necessarily correlate to being insensitive to others. Not at all! There could have been a huge amount of growth as a real servant of Christ for me during though years, Thanks, David, for this excellent article, in which you spelled these concepts out so articulately.

  21. Read This! 04.06.17 - Borrowed Light April 6, 2017 at 7:23 am

    […] You Cannot Raise Snowflakes in Jesus’ Name […]

  22. Michele Robertson April 6, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Robin,
    I guess that is the problem with discourse on the internet, that not being face to face with another person, lots of things can be inferred.

    On the one hand you asked me “why all the anger”, I tried the best I knew how to explain the things that bothered me about this article and about some of the comments I read. Now it appears that you are saying it is “whining” since you said you will not join in with all the other whiners. I’m trying to figure out how telling our story is the same as whining?

    I own the fact that there are some things in my life that happened when I was younger that do still affect me, and I’ve been working most of my life to try and overcome the things said to me that swirl around in my head. Jesus being in my life is a huge part of that. From what I can read though, if the Lord didn’t expect His people to be dealing with negative emotions or even expressing their hurts and disappointments or even at times their anger, then I wonder why Lamentations is in the Bible, or Psalms for that matter. David spent a lot of time expressing his negative emotions and he was a man after God’s own heart. Was he whining?

    I can appreciate that you like David Prince and what he said, however, I have learned not to place man on a pedestal, and I learned it the hard way. I once believed that I was only a lay person without all the education of one who has studied theology, and that they knew more than I did. Turns out, they are still human and sin just like all the rest of us.

    You say I don’t know you and you are correct. You don’t know me either, or what I have studied, or the things I know or don’t know. But just because someone has titles attached to their name does not make them any more correct in the eyes of God than someone who does not. THAT was precisely what Jesus got angry about. His anger was towards the religious leaders who were trying to weigh men down with all of their own ideas.

    I apologize if I have taken anything that has been said out of context or inferred things that weren’t there. That was never my intention. Yes there were some things that were said that stirred up some anger. If I sinned in my anger, that is on me. God know’s my heart better than anyone. He knows exactly how to deal with me as well.

    I know that He understands my hurts and my sorrows. He understands everything about me. Same as He does you.
    I agree, in a multitude of words, sin is not lacking. You asked some questions, I tried to answer. Sometimes lots of words are necessary for explanation, not for pity. And sometimes things need to be addressed. This article has been shared on Face Book, and I was clearly not the only one who took exception to the use of the term “snowflakes”, as another also thought it ill used, and wondered why anyone would use a derogatory name in reference to people. You mentioned not being edifying, well to me, that was not edifying.

    While I agree that there are many people who go around as victims and feeling sorry for themselves all the time, there are some who are just trying to heal from years of ridicule or verbal abuse, whether in school or out of school. They’ve been told repeatedly they just need to toughen up, but it’s not helpful. Some may make their feelings an idol, but some are just trying to quiet the negative voices in their heads that replay all the bad things said to them. I don’t believe it’s their intention to keep focusing on it, as a matter of fact we’d really like to not think about it at all. It’s just there and for some just won’t go away no matter how hard they ignore it or ask for healing. I will continue to ask the Lord to heal me and make me a stronger person.

  23. Ken April 6, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I was intrigued by the responses to this article. I am sorry for those who were hurt so badly during their childhood years and the scars those hurts have left. But I don’t think the author was addressing such circumstances; it seemed pretty clear to me that he was dealing with the typical dose of teasing and bullying that all kids face in school (or church), not the exceptional circumstances like these.

    But what was missing from these responses was an explanation of how you dealt with these hurtful things. I know you were hurt: what I don’t know is what you did about it. Did you pray about it? Did you pray for your enemies? Did you bless those who cursed you? Did you see God answer any prayers? Or, did you feel that God abandoned you and wasn’t there for you? Was it a spiritual crisis, or only an emotional one? Why did you leave out such an important part of the story – especially since that seemed to be the main part of the article: how kids with the benefit of Christian parents learn to respond to others in the discipleship process.

    For the sake of balance, perhaps my more positive experience will be helpful to some parent reading this. My cross to bear was somewhat different: I wasn’t bullied, but I was extremely shy: painfully shy. I was unquestionably the most shy kid in school, and everyone knew it. But I was also – to my knowledge – the only Christian in my public elementary school, and to me, school was my mission field. I awoke every morning excited about the opportunity to represent Christ before a lost world. Though I rarely spoke a word to my classmates, somehow they knew that I cared about them; somehow they just knew. Whenever they had a problem, I was the one they asked to pray. So, they seemed to like and respect me okay. (It didn’t hurt that I also made good grades; supposedly, I was the smartest kid in school. But that always puzzled me: I never talked about my grades. In fact, I tried to keep it a secret and downplay it, because I didn’t want to be known as “the smart kid”; I wanted to be known as “the Christ-like kid.” But somehow, they always knew that, too. So fortunately, having good grades didn’t bring teasing; it brought respect that a Christian didn’t have to be dumb just because he believed in the Bible.)

    But shyness is not to be confused with timidity and fear. Shyness and being introverted is a temperament; fear is an emotion that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit. God has not given us the spirit of fear. Sure, it was awkward, but I was not afraid to be the only kid in school bowing my head and saying grace before lunch in the cafeteria, or restraining from participating in certain activities because of my Christian convictions, or pushing back when my 5th grade teacher tried on more than one occasion to make me omit the Bible from my writing assignments. There was the occasional insecure bully who mistook my shyness for timidity and thought he could bully me because I was an “easy target.” I had to defend myself. I got into a few fights and punched a few kids. Even then, I tried to do it in Christ-like ways. After slugging a fellow, I might remark with a nod and a wink, “I only slugged ya because I love you in Christ. Sometimes, love hurts. If you keep messing with me, I’m gonna have to show you some more love.” It doesn’t always work, but in my experience the old adage was true: when you stand up to most bullies, they will leave you alone.
    But by 6th grade, I was tired of being so painfully shy (and all the insulting remarks that unceasingly came my way because of it: “Do you know how to talk?” “Hey, I’ll give a quarter if you say something” – as if I were a trained monkey who spoke on command.) But mostly, it bothered me because I knew that I needed to do more than live out my faith: I needed to be able to articulate it and verbalize it to my classmates. How could I witness to people if I couldn’t talk to people? It was not a sin to be introverted, but it was a sin to let my God-given temperament become a liability to the gospel and an excuse not to witness, and I knew it. I HAD to step out of my comfort zone. So I began to pray in earnest that God would help me overcome my shyness. Without going into details, over the course of the next year or so, God slowly began answering that prayer. By the end of 7th grade, classmates were saying things like, “Wow. You sure have changed. You never used to say a word; now you talk all the time!” or, “Wow, I didn’t know you were so funny!” etc. That year (7th grade), I saw two friends come to faith in Christ. Today we are still friends, and they are living for God (I’m 53 now).

    Back in 3rd grade, a jerk of a kid stole something of mine. He didn’t know that I saw him do it. Rather than confronting him, I prayed for him and that God would cause him to return it. Shortly thereafter, he pretended to “find” the “lost” item and returned it to me. Four years later in 7th grade (an eternity to a kid), I found myself speaking to this jerk during a recess break. Out of the clear blue sky, he asked, “Do you remember that time in 3rd grade when you lost such and such item?” I chuckled and replied, “Yeah, I remember when you stole that and later pretended like you found it for me.” He was shocked, and said, “You knew all this time that I had stolen it? Why didn’t you report me to the teacher, and why were you still nice to me?” I don’t recall my exact answer, but I used that occasion for a brief gospel presentation: we all sin and make mistakes, but God loves us anyway and sent Christ to die for us, etc.

    Here’s the point of all this: we all struggle with selfishness and self-absorption, but we must teach our kids to look beyond ourselves and feelings to the needs of others. They must learn to see their classmates – not simply as mean kids or jerks – but as they really are: lost, blind, unsaved people on their way to Hell. We must teach them to pray for them – not resent them. In this regard, the designation “snowflake” doesn’t bother me because Paul said that we must all learn to endure hardness as soldiers of Christ (2 Tim. 2:3). And we shouldn’t teach our kids to “wait” until they are adults to start living out their faith: they need to be serious-minded disciples of Christ now, even as kids. Joseph, David, Daniel, Samuel and many others in Scripture illustrate that God uses even kids to further His kingdom. But what good is a kid to the Kingdom who is more concerned with his own feelings than the fact that people are going to Hell?

    Of course, there are kids who don’t come from Christian families and who therefore don’t have the teaching, the worldview, and a good support system at home. But that’s not what the author of this article is talking about. He’s talking about Christian parents and how they should be discipling their kids and giving them the skills to respond appropriately.

  24. Michele Robertson April 6, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Ken,
    I was not raised by parents who dealt with conflict well, so therefore did not teach me how to handle what I was dealing with appropriately. I was pretty much left to myself. I didn’t understand about praying for my enemies until later in life, which I do now on a regular basis. I have read several books on emotional healing, have prayed for healing and help when I struggle in these areas. I am in no way completely healed, nor my interactions with people perfect. I do the best I know how. I have also tried to correct what went wrong with me in teaching my daughter. I was in a bad spiritual environment for nearly 20 years where shaming and abusive confrontation was the norm. I have been set free from that about 5 years ago and am still in the healing process. I have a long way to go. Trusting the Lord is with me and it’s all in His hands.

    It is clear that there are those who feel I have misunderstood this article, that is fine. For as many people as there are on this planet there are just as many differing opinions and ways of doing things or ways they think are right. All you have to do is look how many different denominations there are, sects of Christianity, and religions in this world. All we can do is try to hear one another. I am trying to listen to what others are saying, albeit imperfectly, and I pray that they would be willing to hear what I am saying, and what others are saying.

    I’m going to give it a rest now. Thank you.

  25. Robin M April 6, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Michelle, there is no problem with discourse on the internet relating to this article and the comments. If I read an article, I interpret the words as to what they mean. Writing “can” is not the same as writing “will.”

    I say and write what I mean and I’m careful to choose and often edit my words, although I’m definitely not claiming to be perfect.

    So, no, in my opinion, the problem is not the internet, the problem CAN BE our lack of humility and wanting to be argumentative and getting easily offended, hence, the definition of the snowflake type. Inference of another person’s words is trying to “read between the lines.” It really isn’t a good use of a believer’s time. Ephesians 5:16, Psalm 90:20.

    I believe that Christians shouldn’t whine. That’s what I wrote and that’s what I meant. So, who am I addressing that to? ALL believers, including myself. It is SIN to complain. What has God given to us undeserving sinners? Unmerited Grace. We should let that sink in when we are tempted to whine.

    If someone (a Christian) needs more help for emotional issues and to talk things out, then there are ministers, counselors, doctors and gifted brothers and sisters for that. Dr. Prince’s article is written with Scripture-based instruction to parents on raising children.

    We are to be salt and light to an unbelieving world. Matthew 5:13-16. If we whine and act like a victim alongside the lost, then how are we going to look different? We are supposed to be have a countenance that causes people to ask for the reason of the hope that is in us .I Peter 3:15

    Yes, Ken got it right! He used the situation to try to be salt and light instead of complaining. Michelle and Heather, you have probably done that, too!

    I made a typo for the Scripture verse above that refers to not complaining. It should be Philippians 3:13-14, not Philippians 4.

    As far as the lamentations and discouragement at times in Scripture is concerned, please share a Scripture verse(s) where this is presented as something good. The people written about in Scripture were sinners, too! So, yes, there was grumbling and complaining. Manna got boring. That didn’t make it okay to sin. Adam blamed Eve. So, we don’t have to wonder why we blame and complain all these years later, do we?

    God is sovereign, period. He is sovereign over the things that happen to us at different ages, at different times, at different places and with different people. It’s not about us.

    Please note: Everything I’ve written above, I am preaching to myself here, also, oh wretched sinner that I am. I am just as guilty of being argumentative, whining, angry, blaming, sarcastic and having pity-parties. Please don’t read into this that I am trying reprimand others because I have conquered all sin on my own. I am most gratefully saved by Grace and left here to do whatever service the Lord has appointed for me to do. Ephesians 2:10

    SDG

  26. Michele Robertson April 6, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    You asked a question about Scripture regarding lamenting,

    Lamentations 3:15-22 Jeremiah lamented before the Lord, he talked about his distress, he talked about what was happening to him. Yet he then added that he knew God would take care of him.

    Also Psalm 13, it’s a pretty powerful thing David was asking God the hard questions. “How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” in the end in verse 6 he says “I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

    There are many other Psalms that also have David lamenting and through that coming to praise the Lord for all He has done.

    https://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/2012/11/15/complaining-or-lamenting/

  27. Robin M April 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks, Michelle, I will definitely read and study those passages when I have some time to do that thoroughly. Both are profound and instructive. I think that we are probably on the same page with different way of describing what we mean. Laments that were made to God by Jeremiah and David are not what I would consider to be the same as complaining and whining (to other people), does that make sense? Good discourse to dig in Scripture – the best place for us to find answers!

  28. Susan Redding April 6, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Only God knows each individual person’s heart and what they have endured or inflicted. This thought of being “over sensitive” is a bit judgemental. Until you’ve walked in another person’s shoes, or moccasins, I wouldn’t think one would have the authority or right to be advising a thing. People that aren’t willing to help someone, by turning something positive in their lives into something ugly, really shouldn’t be allowed to teach, coach, preach, or mentor.

  29. […] Let your kids take a hit […]

  30. Robin M April 7, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Michelle, those passages are instructive for us. Lamenting (grieving) isn’t what I was calling a sin. Complaining and whining is. Two different things. Yes, lamenting or grieving in prayer to God and the realization of His goodness and sovereignty over all is for our growth and sanctification at a particular time. Complaining, whining, “carrying baggage,” and those kinds of “woe is me,” comments or conversations is sin because it is essentially saying that we think God isn’t doing the best for us. If you want to continue this conversation and take it off these comments my email is solas795@yahoo.com. May God bless you!

  31. […] You Cannot Raise Snowflakes in Jesus Name. Wisdom from David Prince for our new age of parenting. […]

  32. Janet Errett April 8, 2017 at 5:37 am

    I believe man is supposed to evolve. Each generation is more spirituality progressed than the prior. God expects us to be tough but also compassionate caring more about others than ourselves. When we do not teach our children to love one another and defend those who are treated badly in bravery, we pay the consequences. There is a literal feeding frenzy in our schools of abuse and cruelty. It has exploded exponentially in recent years because Satan has been loosed. We are being tried. 98% of high school children test positive for sociopathy. Their frontal lobes are not fully developed. When I was a child we were taught to respect all people and if we were found mistreating others we were quickly brought by our ear to a place where our ego got put in its place of humility. We all have our own little sociopaths to raise. It’s our responsibility as Parents to see to it that they cause no harm to others. It’s the Christ centered that end up doing the most harm by watching idly as others are abused and excluding them for fear they my be bullied next. We are raising a generation of self centered cowards because they will not stand up for truth and righteousness. This doesn’t serve the bullies or the group that allows it to continue in silence or complicity. The school shootings and bombings attest to this. What a dangerous irresponsible one sided way to look at the bullied. These children don’t commit suicide because their parents didn’t make them tough enough. The mentaly weak among them don’t blow up schools or shoot them up because their parents failure. The adversary had the power to take them over because we as adults fail to teach all our children Charity the pure love of Christ. And guess what? If we don’t teach our children to bravely stand up for the marginalised to look the devil in the face and sacrifice themselves for someone else, they are good for nothing in the eyes of God. If ye have everything and lack one thing.. Charity the pure love of Christ , ye have nothing.

  33. rrprewett April 8, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I might be older than at least some of you commenting here. But back in the day when I was a kid (I graduated from high school in 1976) bullying was not unknown. I mean real bullying — things like attacking someone and punching them repeatedly in the stomach until they collapsed to the ground, barely able to believe. I mean things like a pack of boys chasing someone down on the playground, tackling them on asphalt or hard dirt, dog piling on top of them, and beating them until they cried for mercy or repeatedly said something humiliating that they were ordered to say. (“Say it again, louder! We can’t hear you!”)

    I was a target of bullies. I don’t say that to whine; I’m simply stating a fact. The way I was told to deal with it by adults was this: “No one likes a tattletale. You should be happy he hit you in the stomach; it means he likes you! Boys will be boys, you know!” That was the repeated message, even when boys decided one day to pull up girls dresses forcefully at every opportunity, even tearing some dresses in the process.

    So I stopped telling. I didn’t want to whine; I didn’t want to be a tattletale. My mother had gone to an all girls school where she was one of the most popular students, so she had no wisdom to offer. She thought I was just being a whiner.

    So when I read the Book of Psalms for the first time, I was shocked. King David was SUCH a whiner! Why didn’t God punish him because of his weepy complaints and emotional carrying on?

    Oh, because what he suffered was so much more serious. I was just being overly sensitive. What I was enduring was trivial. That’s the message I got.

    My husband has expressed shock that I didn’t seek help or justice for some truly appalling things that happened in high school. Huh? Long before then, going to adults for help had been long drilled out of me, to the point that it never entered my mind, or the minds of my friends who suffered worse than I did at school — I wasn’t being taught by the alcoholic, lecherous scoundrel who drank from his flask while supposedly teaching kids how to drive after school.

    Again, I’m not whining. I’m offering a cautionary tale. In our efforts not to “create” whiny crybabies or “snowflakes”, let’s make sure we are not silencing those who are being abused, or stifling the voices of those who are truly being victimized. Because, when we do, we perpetuate injustice. When we do, we often teach daughters not to stand up for themselves and assert their boundaries, but to accept bullying as their lot in life. Sometimes we are even raising our daughters to be easy targets for even worse abuse than bullying at school.

    I know. I was that easy target. It is only by the grace of God that I was not victimized, abused, and traumatized by more men than I have been.

    God can overcome and heal even horrendous trauma. I know that as well. But of all the powerful testimonies I’ve heard about “resurrection after trauma”, I’ve never encountered one in which healing took place in silence. We all had to face and begin speaking out about what we suffered.

    Urging people to speak of their painful pasts only in private, to pastors or counselors, does not give hope to those still suffering. Victims of sexual trauma tend to feel we are isolated, as if we are the “only ones”. Hearing the stories of others has a powerful impact that nonsurvivors cannot fathom.

    I have a painting on my wall that is a dramatic and constant reminder that, for my sake and the sake of others, I will no longer be silenced. Even if people think I am a whiner. Even if it makes some people uncomfortable. But if my words sound the alarm for one set of parents, or offer hope to one survivor, it’s worth ruffling the feathers of those who think I should “forget and move on”.

    When I echo the words of Corrie ten Boom that there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still”, they mean little if I never say anything of the pit. That is the power of my testimony.

  34. rrprewett April 8, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Correction: “things like attacking someone and punching them repeatedly in the stomach until they collapsed to the ground, barely able to believe” — the last word should be “breathe”. Although I remember having a difficult time believing this was happening to me during the first few attacks.

  35. rrprewett April 8, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    About “mild teasing”: a teacher gave a powerful demonstration to his class about this, with help from one of the biggest, toughest guys on the football team.

    He lightly, gently poked the guy on the arm. “Does that hurt?”

    “Of course not!” laughed the student.

    He kept poking the same spot, with the same light touch. Still it didn’t hurt. The teacher went on and on. The student admitted it was getting uncomfortable. The teacher persisted, on and on, the same light, gentle poke at the same spot.

    “Hey, its starting to bug me!” announced the student, but he had agreed beforehand, knowing what would happen.

    The teacher kept poking the same spot, lightly but relentlessly. What felt OK at first no longer did. In the final end, the tough guy student had a bruise on his arm that was sore to touch.

    The kids who had been worn down by relentless “light teasing” no longer felt like defective weaklings. Some of the other kids realized that what might be funny once or twice — or even more — can become painful if it goes on and on, especially if there seems no hope of it ever ending.

    What’s even worse is that, when we tease, even though we might mean well, we might have no idea if we are poking an open wound or an unhealed injury.

    I wasn’t being a weakling or a precious snowflake when I didn’t kneel at church awhile back; I was recovering from knee surgery. Just because the evidence of my injury and surgery was hidden from view didn’t make it any less painful.

  36. Billie echols April 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Interesting discussion…I have been teased in my younger years but nothing I considered bullying. I did have the feeling that Prince wasn’t hard enough on the bully! Have known a young man (in class with my son) who has always been bullied. To me, the bully hasn’t much character. If they find they can get by with it, they never stop.
    The young man I referred to eventually committed suicide.

  37. Stephanie Forsyth April 9, 2017 at 10:02 am

    I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t judge sensitive people and call them “snowflakes”. It’s actually pretty telling of what side of the bullying YOU must have been on as a child. Maybe YOU should take some time to think back to all the “harmless teasing” you did as a child. This might be one of the least Christian “advice” articles I’ve read in ages.

  38. Ken April 9, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    You’ve got me wondering about this. Jesus called His own disciples “fools” and “slow of heart” (Luke 24:25). Paul also called some of the Corinthians “fools” (1 Cor. 15:36), and he also characterized some of the brethren in our churches as being “lazy,” “busybodies,” “gossipers,” etc. (2 Thess. 3:11; 1 Tim. 5:13). So, if the expression “snowflake” were in use in the first century, maybe Jesus and Paul would have used it. I’m wondering if being called a “snowflake” is any worse than being called a “fool”?

  39. Robin M April 9, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Ken, you get it.

    The irony of these comments is probably not lost of Dr. Prince. We have met the problem, and the problem is us – parents and grandparents included. The term is new – snowflake. The behavior is not. There is “nothing new under the sun.” In our lifetimes, WE were “snowflakes” when we complained and whined about various and sundry things. Remember the 60s protesters (now grandparents), about women’s lib, and pollution, Vietnam, and (fill in the blank where we were “poor little victims”)?

    The past terminology may not have been “snowflake,” however we would claim justification for our sin because we had all this “baggage” from our childhoods. And so, later arriving at adulthood, we had all the answers that it’s really all our parents’ (or insert another person, event, teacher or bully) fault that we are the way we are.

    So where did the current crop of little sinners get their complaining and over-sensitivity (have to have that safe space because my candidate didn’t win) from? From their sinful parents…….. maybe. Or maybe, just maybe, like the article indicates, life just happens.

    So Christians, what do we do about it? Keep defending the “victim” behavior and berate (not just respectfully disagree with) the writer for having a different opinion (albeit a Scripturally-based one) from yours? The fact that so many of these comments are almost belligerent toward the author attests that it’s not just millennials who may have the “snowflake” attitude. We’d better check OUR attitude in view of Scripture.

    This isn’t about the bully, people. Not one of us can turn a non-believing bully’s “heart of stone into a heart of flesh.” To write an article on how bad bullies are would be to state the obvious: we live in a fallen world.

    We can, as brothers and sisters in Christ, agree to disagree in a respectful way. Some comments of those disagreeing with the author do not include Scripture citations. Looking to Scripture is the better way to discuss a topic with such profound disagreements. It also takes the discussion off of it being “what happened to me,” and puts the focus where it belongs – “what does God’s Word say about it?”

    God is sovereign, period. Psalm 103:19 When we whine and complain, we are saying that He is not, and that, brothers and sisters, is sin.

  40. Patty April 9, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    I have read all the comments and to me everyone is saying the same thing just in different ways. Yes things are different with each generations. To me the bottom line is communication it is our job as Parents or guardians to have a relationship with our children that no matter what they can come to us and tell us how they are feeling. Together we should pray and figure out how to handle the problem. Today there is real bulling and then there is teasing and both adults and children alike need to know the difference.

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