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Why Does My Child Have Low Self-Esteem?

You bring your sullen god-king for

"Self-esteem counseling,"

as if that's something that we

can infuse into him by

some therapeutic shamanism

and I notice the desperate hope

in your eyes that when he leaves

my couch

he'll strut out that door

with his head held high,

feeling good about whom

he has now become.

At some level, maybe I'm at

fault, hanging my counselor

shingle on the door as if

I really had your answers

so perhaps I need to take

some collective responsibility

that your teenage son is suffering

from his "low self-esteem," as

I'm part of the society in which

he was raised.

You want the answer?

I can give it to you but

I'm pretty sure you

won't like it.

Your child has low self-esteem


in first grade,

everyone got a trophy

in second grade, the

whole class received an award

in third grade, he had

an F but he was so cute

his sweet teacher raised

it to an A (look at that smile!)

in fourth grade, that little

blonde girl had such a crush

in fifth grade, you did

his math project

in sixth grade, you also

completed his science fair project

in seventh grade, you

argued with the sub

in eighth grade, you

threatened to sue the principal

in ninth grade, you did the

same with his coach

in tenth grade, you

covered for his crime

and in eleventh grade,

you bought him a BMW.

And now in twelfth grade,

I'm saying this to him to

impart that long-lost


Take out the trash!

Clean your own bathroom!

Make your own bed!

Get yourself up in the morning!

Volunteer at the soup kitchen!

Learn that when a girl says no

she means no, not maybe or yes!

Wash your dad's car!

Feed the dog on time then

walk him twice around the block!

Complete your homework and

turn it in before the deadline!

Say please and thank you and

hold the door open for

that older teacher!

Got it?

See? Your feeling better already.

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