Putting it together
In-between time

Self esteem concerns

There seems to be much concern in the parenting community at large about kids’ self esteem. It’s important, it’s fragile, and we need to carefully consider what we can do to nurture it. To those concerned with such things, I present Raphael.

This morning, after many rounds of, “No, you may not watch TV/play with that puzzle/walk the dog/have another breakfast/conquer Italy, right now you NEED TO GET DRESSED,” Raphael FINALLY broke down and actually put on clothes. He came marching up to me and stood with his feet planted widely, his belly pushed roundly out. He stuck both fists on his hips and waited for me to appreciate his victory.

“Oh, you got dressed! Good job, Raphi!” He nodded emphatically and patted his belly.

“An’ Ah am soooooo handsome!”

“Yes, honey, you’re very handsome.”


Later I was putting something away in the kitchen when Max came up to me, threw his arms around my waist, and said, “Mama, YOU’RE THE BEST.”

No, really, he did. It’s sort of a game we play.

“No, honey, YOU’RE THE BEST!” I replied.

“No, YOU ARE!”

“No, YOU ARE!”

Raphael, on his way through, shot over his shoulder,

“No, Ah am the best. Now stop it.”

I was sitting on the floor, picking up some books, when Raphael spied a puzzle on the other side of me that he wanted. He strode over to it, never mind that his path took him across my outstretched legs. One foot came solidly down on my thigh, causing the muscle to shift under the weight of his stomp. I twisted instinctively out from under THE PAIN, causing Raphi to stumble. He fell to his knees, where he turned to me, his face contorted with disbelief.

“YOO DARE?” He howled. I rubbed my thigh and looked at him, at a loss for words. Uh, yeah, kid. I dare.

Self esteem is not Raphael’s issue. He esteems himself very highly, thank you very much, as well he should. My fond hope for him is to learn a little Other Esteem.



You dare! Make me laugh again! LOL! So far, self-esteem isn't an issue for Stacey either. She's smart, she's beautiful, and dog gone it, people like her!


LOL Oh yes, the walking across Mommy. I hate that part. They're always so surprised when Mommy yelps in pain and rolls away!


I can't even begin to tell you how much I am loving this series of vignettes of your boys. Please go on.


I can't even begin to tell you how much I am loving this series of vignettes of your boys. Please go on.






All that self-esteem psychobabble gets me a little nauseous sometimes. I, like Raphi, had the opposite problem growing up and probably even now. Learning some OTHER esteem would've been a good thing. Well put!


Just wanted to chime in and say I'm reading your archives and thoroughly enjoying them. And I have a 12-year-old boy who sometimes needs to have his sense of self-importance adjusted just a bit. He does keep a sense of humor about himself, though.


How wonderful. He's the best! No, you're the best! Wait...



Ah, yes, the battle to get dressed. How I can relate to that one. And the reaction to being walked on! Developing a good self-esteem is important, but I agree that developing other esteems is also essential to keep a balance.


That's all very interesting, but what about MY self-esteem?

Oh, I forgot. I'm grown up.

laura floyd

I just wanted to let you know that my husband and I are -still- laughing about this one. We're expecting our first child sometime in the next two weeks, so have no idea what's in store for us. I love your site, though, and about fell over laughing at this post. "You dare!" has become a kind of household phrase now. I just had to come back to let you know how much I enjoy reading about you and your fantastic kids.

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