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Friday, April 5, 2013



Self-esteem is very important.  Children should be raised feeling good about themselves.  In order to assure self-esteem in our children we have eliminated failure.  Disappointment detracts from one’s self-esteem.  Failure leads to anxiety, lethargy, and main-lining heroin. 

Today’s children are fortunate in that we have learned the importance of instant gratification and we seek to eliminate failure and disappointment. 

When I was a wee lad my Dad used to take me bowling.  In those days they had these things called gutters.  If you threw the ball poorly it would slide into the gutter and you would hit zero pins.  My father never threw a “gutter ball.”  I seldom threw anything else.  I think the result was it gave me very low self-esteem.

On the few occasions where I did avoid the gutter and knocked down some pins it was very exciting!

I took my youngest son bowling years ago and they have gotten got rid of gutters.  Now they raise “bumpers” out of the gutters for little children and errant throws bounce off the bumpers and the ball always knocks over some pins.  Children who bowl today don’t even try to throw the ball down the lane; they just wail away at the bumpers and hope for the best.  It seems like great fun, except when they only knock down a few pins they mope and whine a lot.

I don’t remember moping and whining.

When I was the same wee lad, my Dad put up a basketball hoop on our driveway.  It was regulation height and we used a regulation sized ball.  Of course my friends and I couldn’t palm the basketball like the pros and we had to heave it with all we had to reach the basket.  We seldom actually put the ball in the basket.  I think my self-esteem suffered as a result.

When we did make a basket it was great fun.

I notice kids playing basketball today use a small ball that they can hold with one hand.  The basket is lowered to where even the chubby kids can reach up and slam the ball into the hoop.  They dunk the ball just like the pros.  They hardly ever heave the ball to the basket, they prefer to dunk it.  They never miss.  Their self-esteem must be very high.

It seems the kids do not play basketball for very long…I guess they get bored with success.

Things are so much better for children today.  Training wheels keep them from falling off their bikes, course it seems to take forever before the training wheels come off.  No one loses at sports because they don’t keep score.  Keeping score just means someone loses.  It is apparently more important for no one to lose than it is for anyone to win.  If you show up you get a trophy…gee I’m so proud!  Just look at that self-esteem.  Everyone is on the honor roll.  Instead of high grades for high achievement, we have lower expectations and reward any achievement.  Self-esteem is just oozing out of today’s children.

Hey, Billy ate a carrot, Jane dunked a basketball, Larry got a trophy, Sally can add, LaMarr hit a ball off a tee, Lucy played a kazoo, and Tommy drew a tree!

Atta boy, atta girl…High Five!  


  1. Reminds me of the bumper sticker on the back of a car I saw recently:

    "My kid won early release from the Texas Department of Corrections"

    They must feel so proud! ;)


  2. Certainly, you have such low self-esteem. ;-)

  3. No wonder kids today, and even parents, feel entitled to success. :\

  4. Kids are very spent today (and that includes my own).

  5. Don't even get me started on tee-ball. We weren't allowed to play. That was the 'cheater' game.

    Instead we went in to pee-wee and moved up from there. I think we were allowed five strikes instead of only three, the coaches pitched and everyone got to play at least 2 or three innings. They kept score and most of all we had fun while learning to play the game right.

    Now everyone is on the field every inning. Everyone on the team bats and then you switch. No walking, no outs and no keeping score. I think they play 4 or 5 innings and the game is over- everyone wins and the parents are STILL an obnoxious lot of fools.

  6. Remember, we'll all be dead and gone before it matters much; it will be there problem to solve. Gasp, horrors.

  7. "My kid won early release from the Texas Department of Corrections" I LOVE THAT!!

  8. Let me assure you that gutter balls are still possible; I learned this a few months ago while trying to bowl. I'm unaware of this bumper thing. That might improve my bowling score.

  9. Cranky you are a man after my own heart - that is if I am hearing the sarcasm in your post correctly!

    Kids today grow up with so many positive vibes from parents, teachers etc that when they hit adulthood and they discover that they honestly aren't the best at just about everything they have a major meltdown and cannot cope.

    Far better to not be negative, but to not make them the best at everything too... Small sized basketballs and lowered hoops indeed - what is the world coming too!

    Herd an article on the radio a couple of weeks back saying that the divorce rate in the US is higher than any other country in the world - Experts say it is because couple get marreid, have kids and then spend the next 20 years pandering to their children's every whim, leaving no time for them as a couple which results in the high divorce rate...No other country panders to it's children like the US apparently. Expectations of children in other countries are far higher as are levels of responsibility and maturity. Children don't get everything they want, don't get told they are the greatest at everything and don't take up every spare moment of their parents time - result, fewer divorces and a whole bunch of kids who have a realistic view of the world - so go ahead and hike that net back up where it should be and lets have that ball the proper size and make our kids work for their success.

    Lou :-)

  10. The pendulum will swing back - if not through social worry, then through this particularly "entitled" feeling generation having their own kids and saying, "I'm not pandering to you, tiny child, I am entitled to your affection without any work."
    THAT second gen of the Gen Y kids is going to be interesting.

  11. Ain't that the truth? Endless (and meaningless) praise in pursuit of bolstering self-esteem without a kid doing a doggone thing to MERIT it is one of our stupidest social experiments ever.

  12. This is a great post, Cranky. I totally agree that kids are not encouraged to practise, get better and experience the true wins.

    I'm just wondering, as a parent of two boys who are involved in sport, what can I do to combat this attitude when it is now everywhere you look?

    Up until now, the boys have received participation medals/trophies for every competition they've been in. It was only this last season of Futsal (indoor soccer) where they actually received medals based on merit--and such a sweet victory it was for them, because it meant something!

  13. hello there, Cranky. I am one of your newest follows and fans. love your blog, and your attitude. not sure if you are into this kind of thing, but i nominated you for a blog award. If you are familiar with blog awards, then you know that while they are good for sending a shout out to some of our fave bloggers, they also require an "acceptance post." Should you choose to accept this award of Epic Awesomness, just stop by my page and look for the post-title that says something about how Awesome I am. If it's not your "thing," no worries. Just know I am reading your stuff and digging it. God bless, and Write on!!

  14. Parents are very powerful figures in the life of any child. First of all, they are responsible for
    conceiving the child and for bringing that child into this world so everything that comes after
    there will still be held somewhat responsible. The mother best of all has a special emotional
    connection with her children while fathers are mostly the ones who deal with practical things in
    raising children.


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