Tag Archives: self-esteem parenting

Fixing the Self-Esteem Train Wreck

The self-esteem generation may be fixing the cultural train wreck caused by the average Baby Boomer parent.

But before I talk about how the Self-Esteem Generation—known as the Me, Me, Me people or the Millennials—are going to do this, I want to point out some of the damage the Baby Boomer parents have already heaped on their children.

First, what has led modern soldiers to become twice as susceptible to suicide?

When I was in the U.S. Marines in the 1960s, we lived in communal barracks—we did not have our own TV or our own rooms—and there are stark psychological differences between today’s 20-somethings and the mindsets of veterans of past generations, according to David Rudd, co-founder and scientific director of the National Center for Veteran Studies based at the University of Utah.

Today, “Entitlement has grown in younger generations and society has embraced that, giving in to the entitlement … The military has made decisions in accommodating these kinds of requests for more privacy and more seclusion by isolating (soldiers) even further.” Source: WND

Second, from The Huffington Post we learn that “They (the Millennials) appear choosy or picky … they want work to have meaning, and they love being heard by supervisors even though they’re young and have no experience. How does one find meaning pushing a broom or working at a fast-food joint?

Their work ethic appears low … but seventy-one percent want coworkers to be like a second family, and work should be fun. What happens if work isn’t fun and there is no other job available?

Fifty percent would rather have no job, than have a job they hate, but who pays the bills if you refuse to work: daddy, mommy, uncle, aunt, grandpa, grandma?

Seventy-six percent believe “my boss could learn a lot from me.”

Sixty-five percent say “I should be mentoring older coworkers when it comes to tech and getting things done.” If you have a low work ethic, how is that going to compute?

Sixty percent agree “if I can’t find a job I like, I will try and figure out a way to create my own job.” Imagine, everyone will be the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, and once they are all rich and famous who is going to do the boring jobs that are not fun—robots?

A full 70 percent of Millennials say they need me time at work, almost twice as much as Baby Boomers.

But there may be hope on the horizon because Millennials as (married or unmarried) parents might be raising children that may not join the ranks of the Me, Me, Me Generation, because Resilience is the new buzzword these days (in young parenting circles). It permeates contemporary non-fiction within the genre of parenting books and beyond. Gone are the days of Baby Einstein and trophies just for showing up (a product of the self-esteem movement).

Now the emphasis is on learning through failure and character building. It’s on healing through the tough skin you develop after a fall. Learning through natural resistance and appropriately measured adversity are the new Mozart sonatas for developing children. But learning through trial and error can only happen if we dare to remove the bubblewrap. And hence Millennials will have to allow their children to experience risks and disappointment they never faced. Source: Millennials as Parents – Multigenerational Living May Build a Modern Village  Anne Boysen

And if Millennial parents succeed in fixing the self-esteem train wreck their parents caused, America will owe them a debt of gratitude they are sure to collect.

Discover The Results of Parenting Gone Wrong


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”


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What parenting method works best?

  1. The self-esteem boosting, follow your dreams and be happy all the time parenting method that many white parents in America practice.
  2. The practice known as tiger parenting as seen in Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and/or Anchee Min’s The Cooked Seed—both memoirs.

Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor of Yahoo! Shine reported on May 9 about “a recently released decade-long study of 444 Chinese-American families shows that the effect tiger parents have on their kids is almost exactly the opposite,” and that a controlling Chinese-style parent does not drive his or her child to success.

The conclusion was that “Tiger parenting doesn’t produce superior outcomes in kids.”

I disagree, and here’s why:

Studying 444 Chinese-American families does not provide enough information.

Instead, the study should expand in its scope and include all Asian Americans in addition to Pacific Islanders, because these cultures encourage stricter parenting methods and place a higher value on education compared to the wishy-washy style of the average White American parent who talks to his/her child less than five minutes a day and allows the child to divide his/her daily time watching about 10 hours of TV, listing to music, hanging out with friends, playing video games, spending time on sites such as Facebook, sending text messages, etc.

The results:

  • Suicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity, 1990-2010 (all ages):

In twenty years, the suicide rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders never cracked 7% and even improved from 6.63% in 1990 to 6.24% by 2010.

For American Whites, the suicide rate was 13.3% in 1990 and climbed to 14.13% by 2010—more than twice the suicide rate of Asian/Pacific Islanders.

Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

  • Unemployment rate by race for March 2013 (all ages):

The White American unemployment was 6.9%.

The Asian-American was 5% (the lowest employment rate among all racial groups)

Source: United States Department of Labor

  • Divorce rate by race:

Whites had the highest divorce rate in America at 27%.  African American’s were a distant second at 22% and Hispanics at 20%.

The Asian-American divorce rate was 8%—less than a third of the White divorce rate.

Source: Assisted

  • Drug use by race (all ages):

“Of the major racial/ethnic groups, the rate of drug use is highest among the American Indian/Native American population (10.6%) and those reporting mixed race (11.2%), followed by African Americans (7.7%), Hispanics (6.8%), and whites at (6.6%).

The lowest rates were found among the Asian population at 3.2%—less than half that of whites.


  • Money Income of Households—Percent Distribution by Income Level, Race, in Constant (2009) Dollars: 1990 to 2009:

1990 White = $49,686 (Medium income in dollars)
2009 white = $51,861

1990 Asian = $61,170
2009 Asian = $65,469

Source: US Census, Table 690

  • STD Health Equity – Rates by Race or Ethnicity:

In 2011, Whites had 1.7 times the reported gonorrhea rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders

In 2011, Whites had 1.4 times the reported chlamydia rates of Asians/Pacific Islanders

In 2011, whites had 1.4 times the reported syphilis rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders

Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Life Expectancy by Race:

The average life expectancy of an Asian-America in the United States is 84.56 years, but for White Americans it is only 78.74 years.

Source: World Life

  • Birth Rates (Live Births) per 1,000 Females Aged 15–19 Years, by Race … 2000–2011:

White = 22 per 1,000

Asian/Pacific Islander = 10 per 1,000—less than half that of white females aged 15-19.


  • Education:

50 percent of Asian Americans in comparison to 31 percent of the total U.S. population had earned at least a bachelor’s degree, and about 48 percent of Asian Americans were employed in management, professional and related occupations, compared with 40 percent of the white population

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

In Conclusion: “Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success, according to a comprehensive nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center.”

In addition, the Pew Research Center says, “Their living arrangements align with these values. They are more likely than all American adults to be married (59% vs. 51%); their newborns are less likely than all U.S. newborns to have an unmarried mother (16% vs. 41%); and their children are more likely than all U.S. children to be raised in a household with two married parents (80% vs. 63%).”

The average White parent is obsessed with his/her child’s self-esteem and happiness, while the average Asian-American parent practices a parenting philosophy known as tiger parenting that most whites detest.

Considering the information in this post, what parenting method has the best long-term results for a longer, healthier better quality of life? Please leave a comment with your answer.

Discover The Truth about American Education


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”


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The results of parenting gone wrong – Part 2/2

As a teacher, I used brainstorming activities in my classroom. After all, I was taught and told to use brainstorming. The concept was to accept what anyone said as correct and worthy of being written down, so we wouldn’t bruise or injure a child’s self-esteem.

However,  Lehrer writes, “Keith Sawyer, a psychologist at Washington University, has summarized the science: ‘Decades of research have consistently shown that brainstorming groups think of far fewer ideas than the same number of people who work alone and later pool their ideas.'”

In fact, in Does Brainstorming For New Ideas Really Work? (Business Insider, March 27, 2012), it was reported that experiments where it is okay to debate and criticize (constructive criticism no doubt) generated nearly 25 percent more ideas and findings show that debate and criticism do not inhibit ideas but, rather, stimulate them…

These results prove that the self-esteem’s brainstorming mantra of refraining from judging or negating ideas is wrong. In other words, brainstorming (a product of the self-esteem movement) did not unleash the potential of the group. Instead the technique suppressed it, making each individual less creative.

In addition, Stephanie Hallett writing for the Huffington Post reported, “Barely half of Americans over the age 18 are married, according to a new report from the Pew Research Institute. The number of couples married in 2010 dropped a startling 5 percent from the previous year, and the overall number of married couples has declined by more than 20 percentage points since 1960.”

Now, let’s look at the face in that mirror again. The self-esteem movement among parents gained serious momentum in the 1960s and by the late 1970s, it was a force in the public schools leading to grade inflation and a feel-good atmosphere for students. At the same time, marriages declined in addition to an increase in a weakening of parent-child relationships, while creativity in America isn’t what it could be.

In conclusion, it is obvious that self-esteem parenting led to the weakening of the parent-child relationship, is responsible in the decline of traditional marriage and has inhibited creativity, which will hurt the United States in the long run.

Is this an example of the domino theory in practice?

Return to The results of parenting gone wrong – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

Learn more from  Recognizing Good Parenting


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The results of parenting gone wrong – Part 1/2

Do not blame the teachers.  Do not blame the public schools.  If you are not a tiger mother or father and consider yourself to be an average American parent concerned about the self esteem of your child/children, look in a mirror and blame the person you see in the glass for what you are about to discover from this post.

The articles I will refer to in this post will help explain the point I want to make. The first piece I’ll mention was posted on PJ Media and although I disagree with many of the posts I’ve read on this Blog, since it is obvious the site is biased toward conservatism and the GOP, for once I agree with PJ Media’s Daily Digest in The Unteachables: A Generation that Cannot Learn.

PJ says, “The unteachable student has been told all her life that she is excellent: gifted, creative, insightful, thoughtful, able to succeed at whatever she tries, full of potential and innate ability.”

It all started with the self-esteem parenting movement, which I have ranted about before in previous posts. PJ says and I agree: “Rather than forming cheerful, self-directed learners, the pedagogy of self-esteem has often created disaffected, passive pupils, bored precisely because they were never forced to learn… The emphasis on feeling good… prevents rather than encourages the real satisfactions of learning.”

I recommend clicking on PJ’s link above and read the entire post.

In addition, I believe that the decline in traditional marriage and the traditional family that is often the foundation and strength of a nation is also the result of the self-esteem movement, which leads me to the next article I’m going to refer to.

In The Stranger in Your Family, AARP Magazine (April/May 2012 issue), Meredith Maran reports on the rise in parent-child estrangements. In Maran’s piece, San Francisco psychologist Joshua Coleman, PhD. blames what’s behind such family fractures on a me-first mentality that he says is weakening parent-child relationships.

When Coleman launched a six-session seminar on intergenerational conflict, he expected that about 50 parents might sign up. Instead, he got 400.  He says, “Little binds adult children to their parents these days, beyond whether the relationship feels good to them.”

Remember, “feeling good” is the foundation of the self-esteem parenting movement, which leads me to the next article. Jonah Lehrer writing Group Think, The brainstorming myth for The New Yorker (January 30, 2012) reports, “The thing that distinguishes brainstorming from other types of group activity—was the absence of criticism and negative feedback. If people were worried that their ideas might be ridiculed by the group, the process would fail.”

Continued on May 22, 2012 in The results of parenting gone wrong – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

Discover The Self-Esteem Train Wreck


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What, Me Worry about Debt! – I’ve got self-esteem protecting me – Part 3/3

What looming disaster has the self-esteem movement created?

Rachel Dwyer of Ohio State University says, “By age 28, those students may be realizing that they overestimated how much money they were going to earn in their jobs. When they took out the loans, they may have thought they would pay off their debts easily, and it is turning out that it is not as easy as they had hoped.”

According to The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid, these debts range from $10,000 to more than $100,000.  In fact, a total of more than $1.7 trillion in federal education loans have been made since beginning of the loan programs.

Link to the entire program of Your Life, Your Money

In addition, the estimated total private student loans outstanding as of June 30, 2009 were approximately 157.8 billion.  The overall total education loans outstanding, federal and private, was about $763.4 billion in 2009.

When I wrote this post, the Student Loan Debt Clock said that number now stood at more than $900 billion dollars.

If we go back to the beginning of this series of posts, you will recall that many of these young adults also carry credit cards beyond the student loans and undergraduates are carrying record-high credit card balances. Source: Credit

The average (mean) balance grew to $3,173, the highest in the years the study has been conducted. Twenty-one percent of undergraduates had balances of between $3,000 and $7,000, also up from the last study.

In addition, close to one-fifth of seniors carried balances greater than $7,000, while the average college graduate has nearly $20,000 in credit card debt. (Source: Sallie Mae, “How Undergraduate Students Use Credit Cards,” April 2009)

The results of this study has revealed that the movement to boost vanity among our children for the last five decades has created a debt crises that many young adults may struggle for decades to pay off while sacrificing a better lifestyle than their parents may have experienced.

Even more disturbing is a piece by Lori Gottlieb in the Atlantic, How to Land Your Kid in Therapy, which deals with why the obsession with our children’s (self-esteem) happiness may be dooming them with unhappy adulthoods. I will write summary of this long article in another post (Gottlieb’s Atlantic piece ran 12 pages printed).

Return to What, Me Worry about Debt! – Part 2 or return to Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


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The Parenting Dilemma

Parents are the primary key to a child’s future success and development.  One example is a neighbor couple that raised two children—a son and a daughter both over 30 today and college graduates.

I understand the son has a Ph.D. in alternative energy and the daughter a BA in design from a university in Hawaii.  The son has had no problem finding jobs that pay well. He even bought a home at a time when many Americans are losing theirs.

Recently, the mother and I talked about the parenting debate that was sparked by an essay in The Wall Street Journal. It was obvious that she wasn’t an “average” American parent but she wasn’t a Tiger Mother either.

It seems this neighbor mother told her son she felt as if Amy Chua, the Tiger Mother, had attacked her in The Wall Street Journal essay, but the son with the Ph.D. explained what Chua wrote wasn’t meant to be a criticism of all American parents.

Later, the mother sent me an e-mail saying, “The style of parenting I like involves appropriate choices and consequences. 

“The child gets to chose between walking or riding to school but not between going to school or not, between doing homework after school or after dinner—not whether or not to do it.

“If the child refuses to wear a coat on a cold day then they get cold and next time they wear a coat (natural consequences).”

A CBS News Report says the average American teen sends 17,000 text messages a month.

The mother still couldn’t bring herself to read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Amy Chua’s memoir.  She said it would make her angry.

However, I am angry, but at a different sort of parent—the ones that followed the “Pied Piper of Self Esteem” in the 1960s making my job as a teacher more difficult for much of my teaching carrier (1975 – 2005).

A fellow teacher and friend still in the classroom says it’s worse now than when I left in 2005. He spends so much time documenting contacts with the “average” American parent he doesn’t have time to correct and record grades. 

He had to hire a retired teacher to correct for him at $25 an hour.

Studies show the “average” American parent talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day while the “average” American child spends about 10 hours a day watching TV, social networking on Facebook, playing video games or sending text messages on mobile phones.

Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. described a different parenting model, “On average, Asian parents use more discipline and insist upon hard work more than Western parents. And on average, their kids do better.”

Dr. Twenge writing in Psychology Today said, “Asian Americans have the lowest self-esteem of any ethnic group in the U.S., but achieve the best academic performance (and, among adults, the lowest unemployment rate).”

“Oh, well, everyone does it!”  However, does that make it right?

If the “average” Asian-American parent represents strict parenting and the soft, obsessive self-esteem parent represent the “average” American, what do we call parents between the two, which might describe my neighbor?

After all, “average” does not mean everyone. Average is a “norm” or the largest represented group in a population, which still leaves plenty of room for millions of horrible parents that beat their children and sexually molest them.

Child says, “(American) children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect.… Ninety percent of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way; 68% are abused by family members.”

Did you know there are almost a million teens or children that belong to violent street gangs in the US? LA is the street-gang capital of America with 100,000.

Most of the gang bangers I taught earned FAILING grades and a thousand phone calls couldn’t change that.

Does “Parenting with Choices and Natural Consequences” describe the middle ground between the soft, self-esteem “norm” and the “average” Asian-American Tiger Parent?

Learn how to Recognize Bad and/or Good Parenting


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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