Self-esteem, we are told, is a great virtue to foster in a child, hence the many school programs to instill it in young children and the self-help experts extolling its benefits to all who will listen.
This is folly, says psychologist Angela Duckworth in this interview where she discusses the futility of attempting to enhance self-esteem in children, and why self-discipline is more important.
When kids increase in self-control, their grades go up later. But when kids increase their self-esteem, there is no effect on their grades. The bottom line is […] that self-control is more important than self-esteem in determining achievement. […] Self-esteem should be earned. […] It’s a good thing for kids to lose sometimes. They see what it’s like to get up again. They realize it’s not the end of the world.
via Frontal Cortex