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Self-Compassion More Valuable than Self-Esteem
February 7, 2019
Teachers are people who start things they never see finished, and for which they never get thanks until it is too late.
-Max Forman

“Many of today’s parents and teachers came of age in the 1980s and 1990s — a time when the self-esteem movement was in its zenith. Self-esteem was supposed to be a panacea for a variety of social challenges, from substance abuse to violent crime.  The research, however, did not support such broad claims.” So begins an article by Deborah Farmer Kris on the MindShift website.   

The article goes on to explain: “If teachers and parents want children to develop resilience and strength, a better approach is to teach them self-compassion, said Dr. Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas and author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. ‘Self-esteem is a judgment about how valuable I am: very valuable, not so good, not valuable at all.’

In contrast, ‘self-compassion isn’t about self-evaluation at all,’  said Neff. ‘It’s about being kind to oneself. Self-compassion is a healthy source of self-worth because it’s not contingent and it's unconditional. It’s much more stable over time because it is not dependent on external markers of success such as grades.’”

Source: “How Self-Compassion Supports Academic Motivation and Emotional Wellness” by Deborah Farmer Kris, kqed.org/mindshift, January 14, 2019

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