OF SPECIAL INTEREST TO PARENTS AND EDUCATORS

Self-esteem, right doing, and satisfaction

Helping children to have high self-esteem has been a goal in American education for the past twenty-five years. Recently, however, the concept of self-esteem training has become a topic of public controversy. Its advocates point to results in students' higher academic achievements and other contributions to the community. Some, however, say that this training can encourage children to feel good about themselves irresponsibly—without corresponding achievement—and that this egotism, when threatened, can lead them into trouble, even into violent behavior. The Boston Sunday Globe, March 31, 1996 . Robert Reasoner, president of the International Council for Self Esteem in Port Ludlow, Washington, says, "I think there's a great deal of confusion about self-esteem." He contends that it's not about giving children unwarranted praise, but about giving them respect and holding them accountable for their actions—for what they do. The Christian Science Monitor, April 4, 1996 .

Surely everyone can agree that self-esteem should result in right doing. Perhaps, then, the emphasis in education, both at home and in school, should be on nurturing in young people the kind of self-esteem that naturally leads to right doing and grows with right doing. What is this self-esteem? It's the self-esteem that comes from knowing God, our creator, and knowing the intrinsic worth of ourselves and others as His children.

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Editorial
Breaking the habit of fear
May 27, 1996
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