DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #89

Dear Granddaddy, how do you build self-esteem? Brett- mother.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Well, Brett, I’d think your love and close relationship with your kids will build their self-esteem. Just knowing you love them will give them comfort and help them to trust that everything is somehow going to be okay. And as a loving mom, your guidance without too much help or doing things for them will build their self-confidence and self-esteem. And of course, as their mom, I’m sure you’re their never ending cheerleader as well, so that, too, will help build their self-esteem.

Now with all that said, Brett, I want you to know that when I was in graduate school back in the early 1990’s, building a kid’s self-esteem was the hot topic. It was being talked about everywhere I went, by every professor, I met as well as in every school I have worked in since then.

Now, a whole generation later, we can get a better look at the results of a generation of building our youth’s self-esteem. But before we go any further, let me say that there is a fine line between building a kid’s self-esteem and creating a child who feels entitled. It’s a very fine line that is moving with the ebbs and flows of the passing years.

Brett, as a society, we haven’t done a very good job of knowing where that fine moving line is currently located. We have missed our mark, and it appears that we have raised a generation of kids who are less able, instead of more able, than the generation before them. We have also raised a generation of kids who don’t want to work very hard and feel entitled to whatever they want. And they seem to want all of it, and they want all of it right now.

So, Brett, I would like to conclude by telling you that perhaps we should not be focused any longer on raising kids with high self-esteem, but rather, maybe we should simplify things and just focus our time and energy on raising good kids. Wouldn’t you agree with me?

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Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared in several of the world’s Top Ten Podcasts, and over 100 television and radio shows. He now also has a weekly TV show of his own. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: