Well, finally someone has addressed the self-esteem error of the past two decades ("The Spoils of Self-Esteem," Dec. 14). Bravo!
These kinds of ignorant "good intentions" also occur when adults praise children just to improve self-esteem. An empty, undeserved compliment is not valued by children and allows them to receive payoffs without work. Shallow practice of any skill creates a lack of physical stamina, and unearned praise creates a lack of psychological stamina.
Not only do we have many over-entitled, spoiled, sullen children, but also children with little courage to persevere. In turn, that affects their effort to learn.
The answer to this problem starts when they are young--before school years. Parents not only can lovingly say no, but also can encourage effort and refrain from making excuses for their children when they balk at requirements or requests. Today's children need greater self-discipline and sharper skills than those of any previous generation. Today's parents will determine what kind of adults will run our world.
ELAINE WIENER, Villa Park