Knowing the waters are treacherous, I'm going to add some thoughts to the discussion anyway. There is no one-solution-fits-all model and it all needs an Aristotelean balance. IMHO, some amount of / quantity of / experience with adversity in childhood helps children learn, grow and develop the coping skills needed to deal with the many adversities life will throw at them. That's an easy thing to say, but it brings us back to the broader issues I noted: What is the right amount of adversity - what is a healthy amount of challenges and disappointment versus an overwhelming amount that damages the child for life? Unfortunately, each child is different and every parent must try and find the right balance that works for their child. Some will flourish under a lot of early challenges while some will do best with very small doses combined with much support until they can handle more - every parent just has to do his or her best trying to find the right mix for their child (which also changes as the child grows and is different for each child even in the same family). And that's why it's hard. Sure, most (I think) would agree that children need some amount of adversity and challenges to develop the skills to grow into adults able to cope with life's pressures and problems. Great, the theory is sound; it is applying it in the real world in a customized way to every single child that is challenging. And as Lizzie points out, this assumes every parent is able to work through that equation for their child, but if your parents, as Lizzie's mom did, lived a real life "The Grapes of Wrath" and are broken themselves, well then, good luck with them being able to carefully calibrate a set of challenges for their own children.