PJ Media

Is a nation of "Little Princesses" a good thing?

A reader (thanks!) sends in a href=”http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20081112/hl_hsn/usteensbrimmingwithselfesteem”this story on /a the over-inflated self-esteem of today’s teens:br /br /blockquoteToday’s American high school students are far likelier than those in the 1970s to believe they’ll make outstanding spouses, parents and workers, new research shows.br /br /They’re also much more likely to claim they are “A” students with high IQs — even though other research shows that today’s students do less homework than their counterparts did in the 1970s.br /br /The findings, published in the November issue of emPsychological Science/em, support the idea that the “self-esteem” movement popular among today’s parents and teachers may have gone too far, the study’s co-author said…..br /br /For example, in 1975, less than 37 percent of teens thought they’d be “very good” spouses, compared to more than 56 percent of those surveyed in 2006. Likewise, the number of students who thought they’d become “very good” parents rose from less than 36 percent in 1975 to more than 54 percent in 2006. And almost two-thirds of teens in 2006 thought they’d be exemplary workers, compared to about half of those polled in 1975.br /br /As for self-reported academic achievement, twice as many students in 2006 than in 1976 said they earned an “A” average in high school — 15.6 percent vs. 7.7 percent, the report found.br /br /Compared to their counterparts from the ’70s, today’s youth also tended to rate themselves as more intelligent and were more likely to say they were “completely satisfied” with themselves.br /br /There was one exception — measures of “self-competency” (i.e., agreeing with statements such as, “I am able to do things as well as most other people”) did not rise between 1976 and 2006. According to Twenge, that may mean that young people continue to feel great self-worth even as they remain unsure of their competence in specific tasks…../blockquotebr /br /The article points out that some researchers think kids are smarter and doing better than their counterparts. br /br /blockquoteBut Twenge, who is the author of a book on young people’s self-views called a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743276981?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0743276981″Generation Me,/a isn’t convinced. In fact, she believes that today’s parents may be sending another crop of young Americans down the same path.br /br /”I have a 2-year-old daughter,” she said. “I see the parenting of kids around her age, and I haven’t seen this changing. Look around — about a fourth of the clothing available to her says ‘Little Princess’ on it.”/blockquotebr /br /I wonder where all of this inflated self-esteem without competency will lead us?