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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Self Esteem Vs. Self Respect

I have been reading the book "Parenting by The Book" by John Rosemond. I'm about a third of the way through the book and absolutely love it. It is written by a physiologist that is a born again Christian.

He's got me convinced that Postmodern Psychological Parenting is a bunch of... well, crap! Nowadays, there are all these guidelines. Don't punish your children, simply reward with good behave. Have a democratic family where children and parents are peers. Children act out because of how they were treated as a child. Don't bruise a child's self esteem, it is the most important thing for a child to grow up to be a successful adult. The list goes on and on. I can't stand these ideas.

Children are children, parents are parents... it is not an equal relationship! We are called to guide our children and raise them into followers of Christ. Children are born sinful, just like we were. It is the job of the parent to discipline them and have harsh enough consequences so that they do not repeat the negative behavior.

Self esteem boils down to love of one's self. I do not find this an important thing to ingrain in a child, in fact, it does them a disservice. Self esteem is what breeds selfishness, entitlement, and aggression. It leads individuals to look to be served rather than to serve others.

Self respect on the other hand is developed by treating others well,serving people regardless of who they are, and being humbled. It involves respecting others and knowing that you are doing the right thing. Success for someone with high self respect is less about material objects and more about loving your neighbor. Jesus told his disciples that they must first "deny himself" in order to become a true follower of his. It's not all about us, it's all about Him! "For everyone who exalts himself with be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Luke 14:11

This was a great eye opener for me in the way that I want to parent and also what I strive to become myself. I want to parent Hunter in a way that teaches him to respect his parents and all other authority figures, teach him to serve others before himself, and also accountability for his own actions. That might mean that I need to spank my child, bruise his ego, and in turn be criticized by other parents. But I say bring it on, Jesse and I are called to a duty of raising our children in a way that glorifies His name.


  1. Just saw your post on the bump: Looks like a great book! I just finished reading "Passionate housewives desperate for God"....another great one.

    Have you ever listened to/read anything by Doug Wilson? He discusses a lot of this in his ministry (specifically Loving Little Ones).

  2. So glad you're reading this!!

  3. Great post! Keep 'em coming. I agree with you on every account. I know too many teens who have HUGE entitlement issues because their parents never taught them otherwise.
    I spanked Marco IN PUBLIC the other day... during a playdate. I'm sure the other moms were talking about it... but I know what's best for my son and I'm not going to allow Mom-pressure or Mom-competition to get in the way of that.

  4. So after writing my post and reading this one, I think I need to read this book ASAP!

  5. Great post! My husband and I are disciplinarians, too. We absolutely feel that our relationship with J should be loving, caring, but definitely full of respect and a Parent-Child dynamic. My BBF, little sis, and SIL all seem to disagree, but I can respect their parenting style as long as they can respect mine. I feel like we're making the right choices in how we teach him. Period!


Jesse is active duty Air Force and is originally from southern Minnesota. He has also managed to become a follower of just about every hobby known to man (which drives his wife crazy!).

Henry was born on July 4, 2007. His hobbies include playing with his squeaker toys, barking a little girls, dock jumping, going to the dog park, and being spoiled rotten by his grandparents.
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