Self Esteem vs Self Respect

Last weekend was cold.  Cold and rainy.  The kind of weather that makes you want to curl up in front of a fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.  Instead I was at a soccer tournament for my ten-year old.  Three games over Saturday and Sunday 90 minutes from home.  Three games of pure determination on our boys’ parts.  Three games of ‘Go, Avon, Go!’  … Three losses.

Continue Reading about how to turn the loss into a win, Self Esteem vs Self Respect

But that doesn’t necessarily make this mom sad: 

* The relationships that those boys are making out there on the field, the friendships that will last, *

* the ability to work through a tough loss, * * or simply learning that just because you don’t have more goals than the other team doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. *
All of that is by far more important than their performance.  The boys tried their hardest.  There are some teammates that aren’t as skilled in the game but the other boys weren’t yelling at them, putting them down, getting frustrated, even bullying on the field.  Instead, they just kept pushing through it.  Teamwork.  Talking through teachable moments.  ‘Next time, Pete, kick it harder to your teammates’.  In my book, these boys have this game of ‘teamwork’ nailed down!

Where do your children find their identity?  In their performance?  I hope not.  Do they feel they need to win in academics, sports, social settings, in order to have unconditional love?  There are things we learn by simply living; grit, self-control, gratitude, optimism, zest, curiosity.  If we over parent where are they going to learn?  (These characteristics are talked more about in Paul Tough’s book, ‘How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character‘ I’ve added it to my Christmas gift wish list.  You might want to too.)

“… We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”-Romans 5:3b Let the kids be kids without being told how to do it, when to do it, how you’ll be so proud if they do it.

  By the way, when we crawled into the van after the soccer games were all done I asked, “How do you think you did out there?” “Did you have fun?”   I never said, “That was an awesome game of soccer.” “You all played a great game.”   Self-respect (appropriately reinforced behavior) is so much more important then self-esteem (every kid is a winner).
When the little-people walk in the door this afternoon from school instead of asking about their accomplishments (“What did you do today?” or “How was your day?”) meet them at the door and let them know that you are glad to see them: “I’m so glad you are home!” Let it sink in.  They will know they are loved no matter what they did (or did not) accomplish.

– Leanne from

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Leanne is an Army-wife, mother of four boys, and daughter of an Airman. First and foremost though she is a child of God. She can only hope (and hope comes from prayer) that she does as well a job raising her own boys as her mother did her and her brothers. byLeanne KocsisonFriday, October 26, 2012Military Life:,,

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