By: Deirdre Littlefield
We need to bring humility back to our children. We have been taught to praise everything they do to raise their self-esteem. We have told them how great they are for everyday tasks and have rewarded them in every area from academics to sports to citizenship. We, as a society, have replaced expectations with accolades in hopes of raising their self worth.
It’s not working. Our children are constantly looking externally for something that should come from the inside. They have been taught to believe that if they excel at their activities they are successful. I wonder what will happen when all of the activities end. Our children will have to go into the world and will not have a cheering audience or a measure of how many likes they are receiving.
Let’s replace the praise with a little humility. Our children know what they excel at; we don’t need to tell them constantly. It is worth mentioning when we see them being kind, generous or hardworking. We should not be afraid to let our children fail and then meet them with a hug. That is where growth occurs, it’s where self-esteem is built.
Gratitude and gloating cannot coexist. Teaching our children to be thankful automatically keeps them humble. A humble human being knows their strengths and their weaknesses. They will go into the world ready to showcase their talents because they are not afraid of being criticized.
With daily practice, I hope to send each of my sons into this world with just a touch of humility.