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Self-Esteem and Happiness  

I kind of like the series idea so thought I would start a new series on self-esteem this month.  Self-esteem isn’t just about parenting or kids as it affects all of us.  Nevertheless, it tends to be something that we focus on a lot with children so I thought it would be appropriate in this space.

You may be surprised with what I end up writing about here.  While self-esteem, or an overall sense of being worthwhile, is an important component of happiness for children and adults, much of the focus on self-esteem over the past twenty years has missed the boat.  Much of what we do in the name of self-esteem can in fact be damaging to happiness.  It can also interfere with healthy emotional development in children and get in the way of their being successful adults later in their life.

We will get into more details over the next few months, but the one part I will talk about here is that a focus on self-esteem can lead us to be too focused on ourselves and our accomplishments.  Too much self-focus can lead to unhappiness.  In fact, if we really take on the conscious act of focusing on ourselves to improve our self-esteem, it often makes us feel worse.  More attention focused on others tends to make us happier.

Over the next few months we will look at the relationship between self-esteem and happiness and how you can foster healthy self-esteem for you and your children.