‘You can do anything’

Saturday Night Live celebrates the self-esteem of the YouTube generation in this skit.

Self-esteem is making your kids weak and dumb, warns Gawker.

About Joanne


  1. Stacy in NJ says:

    Harry Potter’s got an American accent! Who knew?!

  2. I seem to remember that a trigger for the self-esteem movement was a study reporting that high-achieving students had high self-esteem. As usual, the ed world jumped to the conclusion that the latter caused the former and ignored the likely possibility that the former caused the latter. Tell the little slackers that they are wonderful and their sloppy, incoherent and inaccurate work is wonderful and they will do great things! Hearing teachers or parents tell them that they are behaving like spoiled brats and not working hard enough would warp them forever! Red-pencil the spelling, grammar and arithmetic errors; horrors! In the old days, self-control was of primary importance; self-esteem wasn’t even on the radar.

    I also seem to remember reading that criminals have – unreasonably – high self-esteem and commit crimes because others don’t give them what they feel they deserve. Entitlement mentality, anyone?

    • California State Sen. John Vasconcellos was a great promoter of the self-esteem movement. He funded a study of the effects of self-esteem on school success, welfare dependency, criminal behavior, etc. The researchers saw the chicken-egg issue clearly and concluded there’s no evidence that high self-esteem causes success. They also pointed out that juvenile delinquents often have high self-esteem. In addition, high-achieving students often have low-self esteem, because they set very high goals for themselves.

      Researchers did not produce the results Vasco wanted, but it didn’t stop schools from adopting various self-esteem programs, often over the objections of experienced teachers.

  3. You can always tell when a practical parent chimes in. Great comment, mom.