I had previously told him about the name calling and insults inflicted on me when I was a pupil, but I had always just considered this to be the funny stuff that happens to you when you are growing up.

I would never think of myself as being bullied, not only because I didn't feel like a victim, but mainly as I was giving out the same abuse back to those other kids.

But my son's question made me realise the generational shift in the thinking around bullying.

What to me had been the 'give and take' of growing up which helps you deal with the difficult issues of adulthood as they arise, to him my reminisces had been something that should not have been allowed to happen.

While schools should do everything possible to stop their students from being bullied, psychologist Jonathan Haidt fears that our anti-bullying policies have caused the unintended consequences of making future generations lack the mental resilience to deal with the modern world.

The author of The Righteous Mind and social psychologist at the University of Virginia in the USA, compared the definition of bullying in the 1970s to how we define it today.

Forty years ago, bullying was a repeated, intentional act of aggression against a child where the bully was in a position of power over their victim.

Over the years, the repeated and intentional elements have been lost and now bullying is defined as what the victim perceives has happened to them.

This is not to diminish the appalling short and long term effects that bullying has on those subjected to it and schools are right to tackle this abuse vigorously.

However, according to Haidt, the various anti-bullying policies instigated in schools has led to increasing stress and anxiety levels amongst young adults.

He also believes our school culture of no tolerance to bullying has lead to a generation of adults, who are not only unable to cope with life's set-backs, but are also quick to find offence in even the most innocuous things.

At the end of last year, Collins English Dictionary added 'snowflake generation' to its words of the year list.

This was defined as "The young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations."

This age group is the first to have experienced anti-bullying policies in their schools from their first day in primary through to their last at high school. Could there be a connection?

It could be argued that universities have been the first institutions to adapt to the new breed of adult, with some being overly protective of the sensitivities of their students.

Not long ago, sombreros that had been handed out by a local restaurant were banned from a Fresher's Ball at the University of East Anglia in England as they were deemed to be offensive when not worn by a Mexican.

It is in other areas of higher education that this desire to protect is less silly but more worrying. A growing number of universities in the UK are issuing trigger warnings before lectures on Christianity, popular culture, history, forensic science, photography, politics and law to alert students that the subject matter might be distressing.

But how can young people prepare for the adult world if we are to protect them from the fact that real life is distressing.

As part of the English syllabus in Scotland, pupils can expect to be learn about incest in A View from the Bridge, violence against women in Of Mice and Men or the holocaust Shooting Stars.

All difficult, awkward subjects but necessary for the full education of our young people. It would be a real loss if this desire to protect young people stretched to the things we teach them in school.

Haidt contends that this over-sensitivity in adulthood correlates with our looser definition of what bullying is: "There’s no longer a connection to physical violence, it no longer requires repetition, and it no longer requires intent. If someone feels excluded or marginalised by a single event, they have been bullied, and there’s zero tolerance for that."

Most school teachers will have experience of this.

For example, the pupil who reports an incident of bullying to you where you struggle to see why a random name calling should be so judged.

Sometimes it is even the teacher who is considered to be the culprit; when a pupil is told to stop behaving so childishly and they respond that they are offended by the teacher's judgemental language.

And pupils are happy to be offended on behalf of others; I have had pupils question the use of the phrase ' a black sheep' as it could be considered racist.

Universities are reporting increasing number of students seeking counselling due to anxiety and other stress related issues while seven out of ten workers aged between 18-24 have phoned in sick due to a stress related illness during 2012.

It could be argued these figures suggest that as our definition of bullying has widened, so the ability of the young adults who were recently schooled to cope with stress has weakened.

Haidt recommends that where a school has an anti-bullying policy, it also has an 'anti-coddling' one, which is not to tell pupils just to ignore it.

Rather Haidt suggests that we should  build the resilience of our pupils just as much as we show no tolerance to bullying, so that adults are not rendered fragile by their childhoods.

Resilience building lessons such as the Australian Bounce Back programme could go a long way to giving young people the tools, not only to deal with bullying but also the trials and tribulations of adulthood without becoming stressed or anxious.

Unfortunately bullying won't go away, but we shouldn't allow our desire to protect our children render them unable to deal with the world.