May 272013

English: A colorful depiction of Maslow's Hier...


Maybe I’m too grumpy to write this right now but most of you have been with me for a long time.  I trust you’ll forgive me should that become necessary.  And if not?  I wish you well.  I mean no offense.


I’m sick of self esteem.  I’m tired of talking about it. Hearing about it. Worrying about it. Building it. Protecting it.  Blah, blah, blah.

How can a woman who has been an advocate for kids and families for decades make such an inflammatory statement?

That’s simple: I think our collective obsession with self esteem may actually be hurting kids.  It’s a term that gets thrown about as a well-meaning but lazy mental shortcut.  Self-esteem has become the holy grail of modern parenting.

On the other hand, when I’m not frustrated and ranting, I’m able to hear those statements for what they are: love, concern and a laudable desire to protect.

Here’s the fundamental problem: we can’t give self-esteem to anyone.  It’s an inside job.

As parents, teachers and coaches the best we can hope for is to create conditions that allow our kids to have the experiences they need to discover and embrace their own innate beauty and worth.  Try, fail, try again, succeed.  Hug, kiss.  Praise, scold.  Love the hell out of ’em. Trust the process.  Rinse, lather, repeat.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.