Since the 1980s, parents have been told by child psychologists, doctors, and other parenting experts that self-esteem is KEY to raising a successful child. But after about 30 years of everyone thinking they’re the best at everything because mom said so (and because they got a trophy for showing up), professionals are changing their tune. Desperate to raise kids who would become responsible, functional adults, and not liking what she was seeing in her four kids at home, mom Heidi Landes went on a search to find out what she was missing.
“How am I going to get them to college, when I can’t even get them out the door with two shoes on?” she asked herself.
The answer she discovered, as she outlines in her TEDx talk below (SO worth 10 minutes of your time!!) is NOT by teaching them self-esteem.
After decades of research on kids who were taught high self-esteem, Dr. Roy Baumeister and his team at the University of Florida concluded in 2003 that “High self-esteem does not prevent children from smoking, drinking, taking drugs, or engaging in early sex. If anything, high self-esteem fosters experimentation, which may increase early sexual activity or drinking, but in general effects of self-esteem are negligible.”
Talk about your all-time parenting backfires.