Success & Prosperity Blog

Raising Kids with High Self-Esteem

self-esteem for kids
By Randy Gage in Critical Thinking, Success, Prosperity.

A Special Message to Parents…

We’ve spent the last week or so exploring ways to build healthier self-esteem.  Now I’d like to continue the series with a special message to parents.  Because if your kids don’t have a healthy self-esteem, they won’t be able to manifest all the prosperity they could be capable of. 

Dear parents:

Please stop fucking up your kids. Because they’re ruining the world for the rest of us.

Yes I get that they’re precious, unique little snowflakes. But stop giving them participation trophies. Stop protecting them from every little setback in life.

They don’t need to protest speakers at their university that they find offensive or threatening. Tell them to just not buy a goddamned ticket. Stop telling them that they are amazing at things they are actually dreadful at.

You’re not building healthy self-esteem by enabling these habits. You’re making them neurotic, insecure and entitled.

Love them enough to tell them the truth, coming from a place of love. Love them enough to let them fail at some things. Love them enough to learn who they really are, and be happy with that person.  

Dear parents:

For your kids to grow up prosperous and not entitled, they have to feel a sense of self worth.  They have to love themselves.  And to do that, they first have to like themselves.  So a couple of basic things to start with:

Don’t withhold your love and make it conditional on doing things that please you.  (Like playing the sport you wish you would have been good at, or choosing the career you really wanted to do.)  Love them just because you love them.  Unconditionally.

Don’t hover over them like a helicopter.  Let them explore and find their way.  Allow them to fall off a bike a couple times, skin their knee, and experience some setbacks.  If you protect them from all harm, they will never be prepared for the actual adversity they will experience in the world.

Don’t question their sexuality.  If they tell you that they are gay, bi, non-binary, or the opposite gender you think they are – believe them.  They know this intuitively on a soulful introspective level no one outside them can understand.  Don’t scare them with your Stone Age sky god religious pronouncements, suggest they are defective, or try to “fix” them.  Just because you may have been infected with erroneous information about sexuality from organized religion, doesn’t mean you have to perpetuate it.  (Learn the science and the facts.)  Love them as they are.  Become the shield that protects them from a cruel world as they figure things out.

Don’t think you’re being their friend and acting cool by telling them expressions like, “my little dummy,” or giving them nicknames like gordito or fatso.  Show them that Barack Obama has big ears, Julia Roberts has a big nose, Tom Cruise has dyslexia, and the beauty of humanity is we each have our idiosyncrasies.  Those are our strengths not our flaws, and they don’t have to stop us from living a happy, harmonious and prosperous life.

Don’t compare them unfavorably to their siblings in areas like grades, sports, or special talents.  Celebrate the special gifts that each child possesses, and help them develop their unique strengths.

Don’t spank them.  The data is in on this and it’s undisputable.  Spanking is harmful to children and can cause long term effects.  (And please don’t argue the point because your dad tanned your ass with the belt, or your abuela welded a mean chancleta.  Look how fucked up you turned out.)

Help them make better diet and exercise choices.  Don’t jump from baby food to happy meals.  Don’t allow them to become a sugar junkie.  Feed them fruits and vegetables.  Children should perspire and get dirty, see sunshine and breath fresh air.

Start a structured process to teach them financial literacy.  Allow them to learn the pleasure of earning money and free enterprise.  Stop doling out an allowance and create incomes for doing housework and other chores.  Teach your children to save money.  By the time they are fifteen, start teaching them to invest for the future.  Money management skills and financial security will have a dramatic impact on their self-esteem later in life.

Help your child develop a voracious curiosity.  Every time they question you, celebrate that, don’t shut it down.  Every holiday season and birthday, be mindful of providing some gifts like science kits, math puzzles, microscopes, telescopes, and other intellectual development toys and games.

Give them the gift of travel.  Let them meet people who speak diverse languages, have different color skin and culture.  Foreign exchange programs are one of the most mind-expanding experiences a child can ever have.  They will learn tolerance, patience and diversity, all of which helps self-esteem.  If your budget doesn’t yet allow this, do it through NatGeo, the BBC and YouTube.

Introduce them to the gift of nature.  Encourage them to study plants, geology, and animals.  Or weather, astronomy, or oceanography.

The secret is not keeping them away from smart phones, tablets and video games.  The secret is encouraging them to use technology, but facilitating how to utilize it to gain knowledge, develop wisdom, and prepare for the future.

If they want to be a rapper, poet, dancer, or some other vocation that you fear won’t allow them to financially provide for themselves, don’t shut them down.  They really might be the next Travis Wall, Peter Lik, or Lang Lang.  And if they don’t breakout to critical acclaim or financial freedom – but they are happier dancing and driving a scooter, than being an accountant and driving a Lexus – become their number one fan.

Start them doing affirmations early.  Five is not too young.  Eight is not too young to practice visualizations.  And if you have your ten- or 12-year-old create a Dream Board, they’ll be 15 years ahead of the curve.

Teach them that there are consequences for their actions.  Make them take responsibility for the things they say and do.  (Or don’t do.)  Holding them accountable develops personal responsibility which is a huge factor in healthy self-esteem.

Finally, remember this.  You have the greatest privilege a human can ever experience: the opportunity to raise a child.  That sacred privilege comes with the greatest responsibility.  And that responsibility is not to raise them to become you, or even your vision of who they should become.  Your privilege/responsibility is to facilitate a process that allows them to grow into the highest possible version of themselves.

Ain’t it great!


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10 thoughts on “Raising Kids with High Self-Esteem

  1. raymutizwa says:

    Well said and advised, thanks Randy

  2. “Don’t question their sexuality. If they tell you that they are gay, bi, non-binary, or the opposite gender you think they are – believe them. They know this intuitively on a soulful introspective level no one outside them can understand.”

    I wanted to say something about that long ago, which might be the most irritating opinion of mine. But I have to admit, that I don’t want anyone to piss of (usually, this is not the case).

    Years ago, I had a teacher. She is a transpersonal psychologist (I know, I know, let me finish please…). She taught me something, what’s called fetus psychology. The concept of this is that the a fetus is absolutely aware of its surroundings through his mother’s senses. And his consciousness is at the time, equal for a 20 year old’s (I still know what I am writing, just calm down). Of course, after he or she is born, this consciousness is falling back soon to his current age (if you have seen the eyes of a newborn, you probably know how much intelligence and wisdom can be in their eyes. It is freaking.). But the thing is, their subconscious mind is already programmed to something at the time (I already knew about a thing or two for subconscious programming, so I know that it might be true). In the case of homosexuality, the parents are waited for the other genre. So if you are boy, and they wanted a girl, maybe you try to impress them, and you successfully turn yourself to a gay person. You wanted to be a girl for them. Now, there is a lot more bisex / gay girl in the world, because most of the parents like more the boys, than the girls. So what my former teacher doing is, she bring back the subject to the fetus age by putting them into deep trance (there is a 2 day preparation for that, and she apply only on the 3. day), to realize what was the malicious program, what changed the subject’s life. She revealing it, and dissolve it. I don’t have any sexual issues, I had other problems (can be more worse), so obviously this can apply on a lots of things. She treated depressions, criminals, aggressors, and all kind of stuffs, but I don’t want to go in details, because if you want to check it, I am sure you can do it.

    The reason why I know that this is all true, because I went through the process and it is worked, and as far as I know, worked all of the people who was with her. Remember that: I don’t sell anything, I don’t want to sure anybody, I am a company owner, which means that there is a lot less chance for me for believe some hocus-pocus. I just wanted to share my experiences. So before you starting to degrade me, insulting my mother, or laughing to death, or completely ignore me, go and check it.

    1. Paul Erickson says:

      Before anyone will believe you, you are the one that needs to provide scientific proof as to what you are stating is true. Besides anecdotal evidence, what scientific proof do you have that what you are stating here is true? And whether or not you believe in hocus-pocus bullshit has nothing to do with you being a company owner. It has everything to do with you having critical thinking, and most people do not have that regardless of their occupation.

      1. I don’t have to proof you anything. Trust me.

  3. thechalkywhite says:

    Love this Randy. Sometimes I think it’s a shame that you attract some oddballs (British expression for a person with unusual views), but then I realise, every oddball is a goal for someone (again, British reference, this time to football – a game played with feet, hence the name). Am copying it to the closest parent I know – other than my Mum of course.

  4. Klajd Clyde Radovani says:

    Randy, I love you man!! Phenomenal blog!!!

  5. Sandi Greenberg says:

    Fabulous!!!’ Amazing!!!! You’re the best❤️
    Maybe you can write some children’s books. It would be so valuable

  6. Paul Erickson says:

    Randy, have you ever thought of running for President or at least becoming my au pair?

    1. Randy Gage says:

      Well I can’t afford the salary cut to become president. I’d have to find out what the au pair job pays…

  7. nina says:

    I follow your blog for a very long time and normally I don’t comment on blogs, but this hit so close to home. Thank you.


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