Now that a new school year is starting, one is bound to run across a lot of articles like this. You can find them online or, I bet, a lot of the various women’s and mom’s magazines will run them. It’s all about building self esteem in children. And it’s all a great, big, fly-drawing, steaming pile of bovine manure!
If I hear yet another person whining about developing children’s adequate level of self esteem, I’m going to punch them in the face hard enough to cause serious permanent damage…the kind that will give them a low self esteem, develop body image disorders, and leave them spending thousands of their hard-earned dollars in therapists’ offices trying to get in touch with their inner child and learning to love themselves.
As a person who primarily earns his living teaching in college, the self esteem movement has just about driven me to the end of my rope. This is a movement that has been turning people who have started grade school roughly in the 90s and afterward into sniveling, whining, near-psychopathically self-centered douche bags.
Is low self esteem really the biggest problem America’s children are contending with? Looking at some research comparing U.S. kids to those in the rest of the world, I think not. Guess what, folks: American kids have the highest levels of self esteem in the world. But not only do we seem to think we’re God’s gift to everything, but usually people who are the least competent, the most inept, also have the highest levels of self esteem.
And yes, incompetence and ineptitude are really important concepts. Sometimes people need to be told that they SUCK! But in the world of the self esteem movement, we have seen an educational system that tries to create a good self image among children by telling them that they are always perfect, they are flawless, they are the greatest in the world no matter what they do, and that no one has a right to ever criticize them or correct them…EVER!
This is an outrage and something that this culture will be paying a higher and higher price for with every passing year. You see, all the people who are incapable of finding China on a map, who don’t know who the U.S. fought in World War 2 (by the latest estimate, that’s about 40 some percent of the American population), who can’t name the first President of the United States, who don’t know who the governor of their own state is, who have no idea who the Vice President is, are people who all have a very high self esteem, who are in touch with their feelings, and who have learned to feel good about themselves and know that they’re special and unique little gifts to humanity from God, and they all have very unique and very important other abilities.
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