Last Novemeber, long before I ever heard of the Total Transformation Program and learned about James Lehman’s theories, I wrote an entry about phony self-esteem.

I was talking about adults who believe in “building up children’s self-esteem” by telling them that everything they do is brilliant, even when that is clearly not the case. James Lehman has a different take, but equally valid point of view. He talks about the fallacy many people believe that states that “kids would behave better if they had better self-esteem.” He tells parents bluntly (and I agree, correctly) that this is not the case. He says that kids develop behaviors to avoid difficulties and challenges. When adults support those behaviors, they are actually preventing the kids from developing self-esteem. That is so logical and the brilliance is in the simplicity, as I like to say.

The way to develop self-esteem, he says, is for kids (or adults for that matter, I add) to do things they find difficult and challenging. We’re not necessarily talking about traditional achievements such as excelling in sports or academics. This can be as simple as a child productively managing his anger or learning to do homework before playtime. The key is remembering that the child must complete and be successful at things that he or she finds difficult, not things that seem difficult from an adult perspective.

These and many other parenting concepts are taught in detail in the Total Transformation Course material.

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