RSS

Tag Archives: self-esteem

Are the good-old Politically Correct Parent Wars heating up?

When Amy Chua came out with her memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother in 2011, thanks to The Wall Street Journal’s headline Why Chinese Mothers Are Superiora headline that Chua didn’t write—a firestorm of criticism was unleashed. Chua even received death threats and because I defended her parenting methods in the Amazon forum for her memoir, my own published work was attacked for the first time in more than three years by a small rash of 1-star reviews.

Get ready for the next Parenting Wars, because Chua has another book coming out this February called The Triple Package, and it’s already been attacked by critics who hate her parenting methods. In this nonfiction book, Amy Chua is not alone. Her husband Jed Rubenfeld is the co-author; Rubenfeld is an author in his own right with several novels under his belt—his The Interpretation of Murder, an international bestseller that’s sold more than one-million copies worldwide has enough 1 and 2-star reviews of his book on Amazon to lower its average to 3.7 out of 5 stars. Is it possible that his wife’s politically-correct critics punished him for just being her husband? If so, these are despicable people; they are bullies—proof that there are many Americans who hate anything that goes against what they believe regardless of the facts, and the message is strong: “If you prove what I think is wrong, I’ll gang up on you and see that you pay for it!”

Information for The Triple Package on Amazon says, “Americans are taught that everyone is equal, that no group is superior to another. But remarkably, all of America’s most successful groups believe (even if they don’t say so aloud) that they’re exceptional, chosen, and superior in some way. Americans are taught that self-esteem—feeling good about yourself—is the key to a successful life. But in all of America’s most successful groups, people tend to feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves. America today spreads a message of immediate gratification, living for the moment. But all of America’s most successful groups cultivate heightened discipline and impulse control.”

If you watch the following embedded video (with more than 90,000 views), you will hear The (two) Young Turks crucify Chua and Rubenfeld as racists and elitists. But how can this be true when the authors are only pointing out cultural traits that offer advantages that may lead to success later in life—cultural traits found among Nigerians who are black; Chinese and Indians who are Asian; Iranians who are Middle Eastern and Muslims; Lebanese-Americans; Mormons—a minority among religions—who are not Christians; Cubans who are Latino, and Jews who may be found all over the world representing people of all races and ethnic groups. For instance, there are Chinese Jews, Egyptian Jews, Moroccan Jews, Indian Jews; etc.  It’s even estimated that there are more than 200,000 African-American Jews.

In fact, a piece on The Triple Package that appeared at the NationalPost.org concluded: “sociologists and anthropologists said that despite its merits, the discussion of cultural difference inevitably becomes a minefield of assumptions, stereotypes and political correctness, especially when considered in the Western context.”

Are the critics who hate Chua and Rubenfeld’s message denialists who refuse to accept facts that prove we’re not all born—and raised—equally, and does that make the critics a different type of elitist—one who is more dangerous?

I’m convinced that what the Young Turks say in the first video reveals more about how political correctness guides the average American’s thinking, because I was attacked on Diane Ravitch’s Blog by another commenter when I dared to point out that every racial group has a different average IQ. Such talk was called racist—even though studies show this fact is true.

In addition, my wife and I watched a documentary called First Position. It was excellent and even though it wasn’t about parenting and the focus was on youth ballet, the underlying theme had everything to do with parenting.

One blurb on Amazon said: “Every year, thousands of aspiring dancers enter one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix, where lifelong dreams are at stake. In the final round, with hundreds competing for only a handful of elite scholarships and contracts, practice and discipline are paramount, and nothing short of perfection is expected.”

In the film, we see parents supporting, encouraging; even pressuring [I’m sure that Chua’s critics will claim this is another example of bullying] their kids not to give up. Does that make those parents wrong too? I don’t think so.

There is no instant gratification in youth ballet. To stand a chance at success means spending long hours practicing ballet moves even when in severe crippling pain—and only a few can succeed and reach the top while many fail and every child is aware of the odds. There are no false assumptions. These kids live in a world that is not pumped up with hollow promises that their dreams will come true just because they dream it.

Chua and Rubenfeld’s Triple Package and the film First Position make a strong case against the self-esteem driven, politically-correct method for parenting in the United States.

The truth is that we are not all born equal, and there are no guaranteesnone—that what a child dreams will come true.

But the law and other people should treat us as equals; no one should be denied the opportunity to at least attempt to achieve their goals and dreams. Like a lottery, we should at least be allowed to buy a ticket.

That means some of us will have to work harder at the chance to succeed at what we want out of life, and it helps to have tough parents pushing, encouraging—maybe even using a few bully tactics through tough love—to push a child/teen to go that extra mile. Dreaming is not enough.

_______________________

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!”

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Price of Inflating Self-esteem: Part 2/4

In 2002, The No Child Left Behind Act was voted into law by Congress and signed by President G. W. Bush. I think this law was a result of pressure from Baby Boomer parents that belonged to the cult of self-esteem, because this law only holds the schools and teachers accountable for education—not the students. If you read the provisions of this act, you will discover that students have no responsibility to learn—none. The responsibility for students to learn is all on the backs of the teachers and the schools.

Merriam-Webster says confidence means “faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way,” and I think the best way to build confidence is to learn how to be successful through failure and hard work.

The same dictionary says self-esteem means the same as self-conceit. Synonyms for self-esteem are ego, pridefulness, self-regard, self-respect, and the antonyms—the opposite meaning—are humbleness, humility and modesty.

The Attraction Forums.com says, “To better understand confidence let’s first clear up some really common misconceptions between confidence and self-esteem. The two are related but are not the same. Confidence is how effective a person feels in a given situation or dealing with a specific task. Self-esteem is how much a person likes themselves and how worthy they feel of receiving good things in life. A person can feel good about themselves (high self-esteem) while not feeling positive about their skill-set in a certain area (confidence).”

And students and adults with a high sense of inflated self-esteem hate to fail.

Today, there are about 80 million Millennials (ages 13 – 32)—also known as Generation Y, mostly the children of the Baby Boomers—in the U.S, but how many are at a high risk of being a member of the ME ME ME Generation that the Time Magazine piece talks about?

Continued on May 5, 2013 in The Price of Inflating Self-esteem: Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

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!”

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 7/7

I found two easy solutions that may help eliminate or reduce some of the bad habits of America’s Cultural Revolution that have plagued the United States since the 1960s—poor diet and damage caused by the self-esteem movement.

The first solution comes from the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Costco Connection.

In Being Bob Harper, The Costco Connection asked, “Is how you eat today different from when you were growing up?”

Harper’s answer was yes. He said, “I had to reprogram how I ate and what I ate from how I used to eat.”

In addition, Harper said, “People don’t like change. People get nervous when they have to actually look at themselves…” However, “we have a lot of bad habits that simply have to be broken.”

Harper’s advice is to drink lots of water at each meal. He describes a real breakfast as oatmeal (I suggest steel cut oats), eggs (one a day and not fried) or plain Greek yogurt, doctored up with berries and nuts, apples and berries every day along with other fibrous fruits…

In fact, WebMD lists foods that Boost Your Mood and Energy Level. For example: apples, avoid sweets while eating whole grain and whole-wheat bread; cashews, almonds and hazelnuts; Brazil nuts, salmon, leafy greens, fiber, water, and fresh produce.

Traverse Bay Farms also says, “Bananas are one of the world’s finest foods for supplying fuel energy.”

Harper says, “If I had to place it on a priority list, nutrition would be number one and exercise would be number two.”

The second solution that may help reverse the damage caused by the false self-esteem parenting method comes from a book I read years ago, which I used to guide me through changes in my lifestyle to rid myself of a few habits I did not want.

What To Say When You Talk to Your Self by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. was released in hardcover in 1986. Parents and want-to-be parents are urged to follow the advice in this self-help book and change those bad habits that might lead to raising children with an inflated, false sense of self-esteem so they do not grow up to be narcissists eating a poor diet and valuing fun over merit.

In fact, Helmstetter’s advice may help people change an unhealthy lifestyle so exercise and healthy food become a daily routine—a healthy habit.

The book’s description on Amazon says, “You don’t have to be crazy to talk to yourself! We all talk to ourselves all of the time, usually without realizing it. And most of what we tell ourselves is negative, counterproductive and damaging, preventing us from enjoying a fulfilled and successful life. Shad Helmstetter’s simple but profound techniques, based on an understanding of the processes of the human brain, have enabled thousands of people to get back in control of their lives (it worked for me). By learning how to talk to yourself in new ways, you will notice a dramatic improvement in all areas of your life. You will feel better and accomplish more. It will help you achieve more at work and at home, lose weight, overcome fears, stop smoking and become more confident. And it works. Helmstetter is a bestselling author of many personal growth books, and the leading authority in the field of Self-Talk.”

“What to Say When You Talk to Your Self” also comes as an audio version. If you buy a copy, listen to it a few times before you start improving your life and the future adult life of your child or children.

Return to The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 6 or start with 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.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 4/4

“Born out of the Church Growth movement,” Je Gibson says, “the self-esteem movement in the church has been said to be part of an effort to bring more people back to church; the gospel being compromised in an effort to preach to people’s felt needs and to be a positive and relevant force in people’s lives.”

By 1990, the influence of Schuller surely outshines any impact that California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos had on the self-esteem movement when his Task Force report sold 60,000 copies making it a state government bestseller.

Let us not forget that Schuller preached to over 25 million worldwide. So, who had the larger audience and thus more influence?

The results of Pastor Robert Schuller’s influence on the already century old self-esteem movement may be discovered in Self-Esteem: Why? Why Not? from Catholic Culture.org.

In 2011, Msgr. Cormac Burke, writing for Catholic Cutlure.org, said, “Self-esteem or self-worth ideas of a thoroughly secularist nature inspire educational texts in widespread use for Catholic religious instruction in not a few countries. I had the occasion some time ago to go through the books used in one country as a common syllabus for all Christians (including Catholics) for primary religious education. The Grade One book (for six-year-olds) opens not with God but with “Myself.” A tone of unqualified self-acceptance is already set in the same book: “God is happy with us”; “Thank you Lord for making me just as I am.”

Burke writes that one section heading was “Working for God: Developing Self-esteem in Ourselves and Others”.

In conclusion, it is easy to see that conservative talk show host Dennis Prager’s claim and biased opinion that the self-esteem movement started with California Democratic Assemblyman John Vasconcellos in 1986 is a fraud, since the movement had its start in 1886 — more than a century before Vasconcellos and his California Task Force issued the report on self-esteem and eight years after Pastor Robert Schuller promoted “IT” in Self Esteem: The New Reformation.

The history of the self-esteem movement spans 125 years and Vasconcellos joined the movement 104 years after its launch at the top of that mountain. By the time he entered the self-esteem arena, the movement had already gained momentum and there was no way to stop it.

In fact, Vasconcellos may have been influenced by Pastor Robert Schuller, as it is obvious millions of others were.

Vasconcellos, at best, was just another misguided individual that joined the self-esteem mob and influenced the thinking of maybe a few thousand people.

Dennis Prager and his Parrots (used as a metaphor for his fans) may believe what they want, but the facts tell a different reality. Prager is either a fraud or ignorant of the history behind the self-esteem movement, and he is misleading millions—again.

Return to The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 3 or start with Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, click it and then follow directions.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 3/4

For Dennis Prager and his Parrots to discover the beginning of the self-esteem movement, they would have to travel back to the later nineteenth century when John Dewey discussed the importance of the self in his 1886 work, Psychology.

However, Prager’s Parrots would also learn that William James first used the term “self-esteem” with an explicit scientific definition in 1892.

A key task in socializing children, in James’s view, involved helping them gain the capacity to develop “self”.

The popularization of psychology and the growing notion that children often needed expert help brought concerns about self-esteem to greater attention during the 1920s and 1930s, and during the 1950s and 1960s the connection between self-esteem and supportive school program was fully forged.

Then in 1967, Stanley Coopersmith identified what he believed was a link between self-esteem and frailty, noting the “indications that in children domination, rejection, and severe punishment result in lowered self-esteem.”  Source: Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society on Self-Esteem

In addition, years before Vasconcellos chaired the Self-Esteem Task Force in California, there was Pastor Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral.

In 1982, Schuller published his 177-page hardcover Self Esteem: The New Reformation (four years before the California Task Force and eight years before Vasconcellos report was released).

From 1995 to 2000, Schuller also hosted a one-hour live coast-to-coast radio show, which gained popularity, and from 1976 to 2008, he was seen regularly on the Hour of Power and from 2006 through 2008 the Hour of Power had over 25 million viewers worldwide making it the number one watched religious show and him the most listened to orator in the world.”

The Impact of Church Growth on Self Esteem Movement by Je Gibson says, “Pastor Robert Schuller, founder of Crystal Cathedral, is often given credit as the pioneer of what has commonly been referred to as the Church Growth Movement.”

Continued on October 19, 2011 in The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 4 or return to Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, click it and then follow directions.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,