Parents are letting their kids be kids, instead of treating their children like they'll be adults one day. Even schools are avoiding leaving anybody behind. But we live in a world of 6 billion people, where 100 is the average IQ score, where the reality is not everybody is good enough, smart enough, or well liked. This isn't Lake Woebegon.
This self-esteem delusion can backfire. Parents seeking special lables for their children who are having difficulty in school. Telling kids they're smart too often can actually discourage them from skills that require hard work. College kids spend more money than they have with expectations of getting paid more than they will when they graduate. Relationships can come with expectations of "fairy tail romance," and are difficult to maintain when each person is so self-centered. Adults acquire mortgages for houses higher than they can comfortably afford with expectations that their house value will rise.
But there are also benefits to this type of thinking. People don't just see themselves as another cog in the wheel. While being self-centered might prevent one from doing volunteer work, it might also incline one towards believing they can make a difference in this world, and acting on it. And I would also say that the same sense of self importance is also pushing young adults away from that old-time religion.
Atheism is on the rise. Now, this surely has to do with an age when information of all kinds is directly at our fingertips. It is clear that many people who deny evolution just don't know how evolution really works. But I'd say that a sense of independence is just as important to this new wave of people denying the existence of the holy spirit who are not too scared to say so.
Religion is a form of control of the masses; strict rules with strict retribution (in the next life). Religion teaches you that you are one of many, and that you can't save yourself, only god can do that for you. Atheism frees a person to make their own decisions and choices in life, and face those consequences on their own. I think this way of looking
I'd like to think that, as kids grow up and reject the religion of the masses, they will also realize the weight of personal responsibility in this world. As they learn to think for themselves, I'd hope they keep in mind that we are all connected, and that helping others can be a way of helping ourselves.