Where did I go wrong? (That is a rhetorical question by the way, please don't answer that via a comment.)
Warning: I am about to say something my parents used to say about me and my generation.
Children today are too soft, they need to suck it up and deal with adversity.
In their lives not-so-great things will happen and they they have to learn to deal with them. Maybe it'll be a referee's bad call that costs them the championship game or maybe they don't get asked to the prom. Less-than-wonderful things do and will happen! Crying, complaining and even a little bleeding does not mean that everyone in their life should stop what they're doing, swoop in, and rescue them from their "agony."
Things I think make kids soft:
1) Air conditioning. Kids are too comfortable. Always.
2) Cell phones. Need something? Just call!
3) Hand sanitizer. Despite over-protective parent panic, germs won't (usually)
kill you. I played in a sandbox. And I ate sand.
4) Bottled water. You mean water comes from the tap?
5) Cable tv/remote control/DVR. Kids no longer need to discuss, debate, or
fight it out to decide what show to watch. And what if they miss their favorite
show? Well, they'll never need to know that misery.
6) Microwave ovens. The wait time for food has been cut so drastically that
kids almost never experience hunger. Wanting to eat and needing to eat have
become the same thing.
Obviously parents can't (and probably don't want to) make these comforts disappear from their children's lives, but they can pause, breathe, and think for a moment or two before trying to solve their child's problem or rush to soothe their hurt ego. Easier said than done, I know, but isn't it worth a shot when it means that a better problem solver and more independent person just might be your child's future?