A fellow psychologist says I paint with too broad a brush concerning the devastating effect mental health professional advice has had on children. He claims that some changes in parenting practice since the 1960s have been beneficial and gives more involved fathers as an example. Hold that thought.

In the 1960s, American parents turned from elders to professional “experts” -- people such as yours truly -- for childrearing advice. The new experts cut from whole cloth a childrearing philosophy that was 180 degrees removed from tradition. The centerpiece of the new point of view is the notion that high self-esteem is a good thing, and parents should do all in their power to ensure their children acquire it.

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