I have no problem telling my kids I love them and I'm proud of them. I have no issue telling them they did a good job on something they've worked hard at. But I am not comfortable with the idea that we must constantly feed our kids' self esteem. There are articles all over the place about developing your child's self esteem. I hear it all day long on parenting shows, in parenting forums, and in literature sent home from school. I'm all for praising for a job well done but I worry that this over-the-top concern for a child's self worth is going to give us a generation of self centered, spoiled, selfish adults. We cannot all be the best at everything. We cannot all win all the time. Are we teaching our children to deal with loss and disappointment or are we making them fully incapable of dealing with the negative in life because it doesn't make them feel good about themselves? Just wondering if I'm alone in this worry. Are we building healthy self values or are we digging our own graves?
ETA: There's a picture that has been circulating on Facebook for a few months now with a quote on it that has really inspired this post. It says, "Parents need to fill a child's bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes to drain it dry...." -Alvin Price
Something about this quote does not set right with me. Something about it screams at me that my only job is to make my kids feel good about themselves. I may be reading too much into it. And in this post I'm not talking about a healthy sense of self worth. I'm talking about the over the top I-can-do-no-wrong sense that I'm seeing in spades lately.
on May. 22, 2013 at 10:50 PM