The 3 Barriers to Educating and Raising Citizens of Character

Part I: The Cult of Self Esteem

Parent praises childMany families and schools have become locked in the debilitating grip of the “Cult of Self-esteem,” a prevalent mindset in our homes and schools suggesting that kids need to feel good about themselves all the time. The premise behind this mindset says, “If we make kids feel good about themselves, they will do great things.” It’s time to peer through the other end of the telescope: if kids do great things, they will feel good about themselves.

Kids were not meant to feel good all the time. The journey to gain genuine self-esteem requires them to endure difficulties and overcome obstacles along the way. They will likely feel a dearth of self-esteem before the journey ends. Although self-esteem is not a gift bestowed for the asking, once earned, it can never be taken away. The Cult of Self-esteem has directly contributed to many of the specific problems we have in our schools today—from absenteeism and cheating to drug use, guns and violence. In effect, these behaviors have become the substitutes for the effort, sacrifice, and hardship necessary for cultivating authentic self-esteem.

On to Part II: The Achievatron