Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Teach Your Children Well"

I keep rehashing a column I read in our paper this morning. John Rosemond is a family psychologist and has a weekly parenting column in our newspaper. The title of his column today was "Teaching Self-Esteem Not Best Method."

He states, "In the 1960's, American parents stopped going to their elders for advice and began going instead to mental health professionals--people like me." To sum this up, he is saying that professionals came up with something new; that high self-esteem is a good thing and all parents should make sure their children acquire it. It sounded good and was easy to market.

The evidence is now in that says people with high self-regard possess low regard for others. People with high self-esteem want to be served and paid attention to. The comment that caught my attention was "So to the question, 'Isn't it possible for a child to have high self-esteem and a high level of respect for others?' the answer is an unequivocal no."

Parents say they want their children to be confident. There is no evidence that people who are humble, modest, and possess high regard for others lack the belief they are capable of dealing with life's challenges. "The Amish do not value or promote high self-esteem. They call it being prideful."

And then there is the commonsense test. "Would you rather be employed by, work along-side, be close friends with, be married to a person with high self-esteem or a person who is humble and modest?" He finishes his column by saying that high self-esteem "has damaged children, families, schools and culture and we should begin the invigorating, rejuvenating process of finding our way back home."

I can remember when I was a young mother, all this self-esteem gobbledygook was coming out in books, etc. I am the first to admit that being a parent is a tough job. You do as your common sense guides you. You do as you saw your parents do, if it was right or not. This was your guide. You just do what you can, pray about it and keep your fingers crossed that your children will become caring and successful adults and parents themselves.

I do feel that too many books are being written and too many people are reading them. If a child can learn common sense by observing, a love for mankind and all that we are given in this world and a love of God, they can become parents and teach their own children that humility, modesty and love for one another is what can keep our world at peace.


  1. Somehow things got all twisted, Susan. Expectations were put aside and complete acceptance became the rule. Add to that a society that rewards you for breathing and you have a recipe for disaster. This is a really interesting premise. Folks who have managed young people are all too familiar with the syndrome. There are wonderful young people out there but we've raised a generation that hasn't learned that respect is something you earn, it's not an entitlement.

  2. I agree but in today's world that's almost impossible. Because of the fast lifestyle, families are rarely together in the same place. How can kids learn from example if they rarely see the example? And also what Mary said. Entitlement is doing great damage to our culture.

    Hooray for the psychologist for stating the truth.

    - Suzanne

  3. Dave K.10:57 AM

    Susan, even though I have never been a parent I totally agree with your child rearing philosophy. That is the way the three of us boys were raised. It worked for generations. Common sense was the rule. Today common sense is dead and buried along with personal responsibility.

  4. You should have seen the looks of shock and horror, on the faces of the other parents (at Rochelle School of the Arts), when I mentioned that we didn't need to have popsicle and pizza parties every time the kids accomplished something. You would have thought that my middle name was Hitler.

  5. Anonymous3:11 PM

    Susan, you are absolutely, right on. I was in graduate school in the mid 60s being propagandized with all of that self actualization make-them-feel good crap. Carl Rogers was the god of psychology back then.

    I fought back then and actually gained respect from some of those liberal let-them-do-whatever makes them feel good types. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of those of my generation who had the same indoctrination passing it on when they went out into the real world.

    The best thing that came from that movement was that we should really listen to what was being said. RW

  6. I see your point but when you raised us it was two-parents families with the Dad working and Mom at home. Unfortunetly that is not a realistic lifestyle in this economy, mainly because of the cost of health insurance. My generation is doing the best it can to raise kids with responsibilities, service to community and with goals and achievement. There is a lot more self-sacrifice for parents to do better for their kids so they can have a better life. Kids also have part in families, not the seen and not heard philosophy anymore. My kids aren't handed everything, they know they have to work and go to school to have a decent life. You and Dad did a good job with us according to our family, friends and co-workers. E