Real Self-Esteem: Trophies for Everyone?

Medals for Everyone

Medals for Everyone

I briefly discuss real self-esteem, which grows out of real accomplishments and the esteem of people around you, and false self-esteem, which is artificially maintained, in the book chapter “Self-Esteem and Attachment Type.”

One of the themes of honest relationships based on reality is avoiding false self-esteem. The 1970s “self-esteem movement” attempted to give self-esteem to all children by giving awards and recognition to all regardless of achievement. Children are born with a sense of fairness, and children continuously told they are fabulous when they can see they have not done well at something learn that adults lie to them and that they are really not special at all. Only awards for real achievement can build solid self-esteem, and the achievements are more important than the rewards.

Reason has a poll on the topic: “57 Percent of Americans Say Only Kids Who Win Should Get Trophies.” Naturally there are big differences in who understands tough love and who doesn’t, but on the whole most people understand that rewards for everyone (at least after the age of 5!) makes the rewards meaningless and breeds cynicism.

The poll captures the difference in attitudes between “tough love,” fiscally conservative sorts, who favor awards for real achievement, and the soft squishes who think big government can give away happiness in the form of programs and benefits, who want trophies for everyone (and tend to oppose recognition of high achievement):

The competitive desire for winners to be rewarded correlates with fiscal conservatism. Among those who only think winners should get a trophy, 64 percent have a favorable view of capitalism, 64 percent thinks markets better solve problems than government, and 63 percent favor smaller government providing fewer services. In contrast, among those who think all kids should get a trophy, a plurality (49%) have an unfavorable view of capitalism, 50 percent thinks a strong government better solves problems than the free market, and 54 percent favor larger government providing more services.

Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.


More on education and child development :

Student Loan Debt: Problems in Divorce
Early Child Development: The High Cost of Abuse and Neglect
Child Welfare Ideas: Every Child Gets a Government Guardian!
Tuitions Inflated, Product Degraded, Student Debts Unsustainable
Free Range Kids vs Paranoid Child Welfare Authorities
“Crying It Out” – Parental Malpractice!
Brazilian For-Profit Universities Bring Quality With Quantity
The Affordable, Effective University: Indiana and Mitch Daniels
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
“Attachment Parenting” – Good Idea Taken Too Far?
Public Schools in Poor Districts: For Control Not Education
YA Dystopias vs Heinlein et al: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Steven Pinker on Harvard and Meritocracy
Social Justice Warriors, Jihadists, and Neo-Nazis: Constructed Identities

Leave a Reply