How Parents Can Help Kids Avoid the ‘Self-Esteem Trap’

[ 0 ] August 5, 2015 |

Too many parents today have sky-high expectations of their children, which can only lead to disappointment both from parents and from children if they can’t deliver. So how can parents avoid overparenting and help encourage a healthy, encouraging relationship with their children?

Watch psychologist Polly Young-Eisendrath, author of The Self-Esteem Trap: Raising Confident and Compassionate Kids in an Age of Self-Importance, talk about overparenting and the “self-esteem trap”:

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“The first thing is to, look at the big picture,” Young-Eisendrath recommends. “What is it you’re aiming for? Are you aiming to bring into the world a good citizen, with good character, someone who’s going to be happy, who’s going to fit in and roll with life. Or are you aiming to bring in someone who’s obsessively self-conscious and who’s always worried about being perfect, who might be seeking power and status but will continue to be pretty restless?”

As parents, we tend to look at our feelings and what other parents are doing, which leads us to be “trapped” in that cultural context of self-importance and perfectionism in this day and age, she added. We need to teach our kids to be in the “present” environment, instead.

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“What we know now from a lot of research is, that doesn’t lead to happiness,” Young-Eisendrath continued. “It leads instead to a lot of over focus on one’s self, a lot of self-consciousness.”

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Category: 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival, Parenting, Relationships, Videos

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About Polly Young-Eisendrath: Polly Young-Eisendrath, Ph.D., is an engaging and imaginative speaker, a Jungian analyst, a psychologist and an author. An experienced clinician and teacher, she is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of [...]
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