017: Don’t bother trying to increase your child’s self-esteem



When I first started researching this episode I thought it would be a bit of a slam-dunk.  Self-esteem is a good thing, right?
I was really surprised to find that there’s little evidence that self-esteem helps children to do better in school, or even be happier, so there’s a good deal of disagreement among psychologists about whether encouraging self-esteem is necessarily a good thing.
This episode digs into these issues to understand (as much as scientists currently can) the benefits of self-esteem – and what qualities parents might want to encourage in their children in place of self-esteem to enable better outcomes.  It also touches on our self-esteem as parents – because don’t we all want to think that our child is just a little bit special, so we know we’re good parents?


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