Let Their Words Do the Talking

Verbal cues to detect deception.

Cowering Behind the Walls of Political Correctness

Self-esteem and self-confidence are built on the debris of emotional pain.

Modern parents strive to protect their children from every conceivable emotional discomfort. Although their intentions are noble, they are actually doing their children a great disservice and inflicting greater emotional harm. Emotionally protected children are not prepared to enter an adult world fraught with danger. Without parental protection, emotionally weak adults flounder and consequently look to society to replace parental protection.

Creating an Emotionally Weak Society

Political correctness serves this purpose. If someone says or does something that causes the slightest emotional discomfort, they are charged with racism, ageism, sexism, or genderism to name a few “isms” on an ever-growing list of politically correct transgressions. Ironically, political correctness has evolved from a means to protect the emotionally weak to a powerful offensive weapon used by politically correct bullies to win loosing arguments or suppress opposing ideas or ideology. Political correctness is now being marketed as “Insta-win.” If you are losing an argument or failing to bend others to your will, pull out a can of “Insta-win” – accuse them of racism, homophobia, or sexism. You win; they lose. And society grows weaker with the suppression new ideas and opposing views.

Strong Egos and Self-esteem Require Exercise

Instead of relying on political correctness for emotional protection, parents should allow their children to build egos and self-esteems the old fashioned way, exercise. Building strong self-esteem and self-confidence, like building strong muscles, requires exercise. The next time your child encounters a bully at school, teach them coping strategies and allow them to work out the problem themselves. That builds self-esteem and self-confidence. The next time your child receives a disparaging email, show them where the delete button is on the keyboard or where the “unfriend” button is on their social media page. That builds self-esteem and self-confidence. Above all, tell your children that everybody is not going to like them. Tell them that 50 percent of the people they meet will not like them just because of the way they look. Tell them that 50 percent of the remaining people will not like them when they open their mouth. Tell them that 99 percent of the remaining people will not like them after spending time with them. Tell them that the remaining two or three people will become their true friends. Tell them that the opinions of those few people are the only ones that matter. That builds self-esteem and self-confidence. Let your children fail. Teach them how to deal with failure; for, they will fail many times in the real world. That builds self-esteem and self-confidence. Teach your children to take responsibility for their actions, make the necessary corrections, and brace for the next challenge. That builds self-esteem and self-confidence. Protecting children by allowing them to blame others for their misconduct or shortcomings, or failing to take personal responsibility for their actions may be comforting in the short-term but will not help them become well-adjusted adults.

No Pain, No Gain

Building strong self-esteem and self-confidence, like building strong muscles, hurts, but only for a little while. Emotional pain develops a richer appreciation of life. Without experiencing pain, you cannot experience ecstasy; for, without pain there is nothing against which to judge ecstasy-the greater degree of pain, the greater degree of ecstasy. Self-esteem and self-confidence are built on the debris of emotional pain and protect children far better than teaching them to cower behind the walls of political correctness.

John R. "Jack" Schafer, Ph.D., earned his degree in psychology from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California and served as a behavioral analyst for the FBI.

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