We raised our kids in a era of "self-esteem" being all important. I'm so sorry to see children who have it. They are crushed by anything smacking of criticism, therefore are brittle and non-resilient in facing life's challenges. Their primary goal is self-affirmation, which is a low moral path indeed. Kids who are raised in an environment which is concerned with their self-esteem frequently grow to be obnoxious in their sense of entitlement to be regarded favorably, lest their "self-esteem" birthright be diminished.
What was meant as a good thing for kids has deprived them of developing self-confidence. Self-confidence is a strong ally in facing the turbulence of real, involved living. It is built by overcoming obstacles, facing challenges and working tenaciously to perservere over time - to try again and be somewhat impervious to failure - treating it not as a diagnosis of self, but a lesson in what doesn't work. Self-confidence is earned and developed - not given by others.
God spare us self-esteem - it's a cheap trick and a very damaging one. Let's work toward self-respect, self-confidence and, hopefully, a self-directed moral existence.