The Self-Esteem Trap: Book Review and Giveaway (Now Closed)


Polly Young-Eisendrath, PhD,  is a Jungian analyst and psychologist. She is Consultant in Leadership Development at Norwich University and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Vermont. In her latest book; The Self-Esteem Trap: Raising Confident and Compassionate Kids in an Age of Self-Importance Young-Eisendrath attempts to explain the damage, we as parents, can do to a child by over-indulging them and making them feel as though they are ‘special’.

When I was first asked to review this book, the minute I read the title I knew it was something I was interested in.  Unfortunately over the years I have witnessed (and even dated) far too many adults who thought they were “special”. Adults whose parents over-indulged them through all stages of their life in every way possible.  From sheltering them from failure in childhood to allowing them to live at home rent free and jobless until their late 20’s and sometimes even 30’s, to enabling them to the point that they virtually remain a child their entire lives, unable to find their place in society. I bet that even though I only provided a very general description, you all know at least 1 person like this.  This is just one way that over-indulging can be harmful. There are other things that some parents may or may not realize they’re doing, all of which the author talks about in the book.

Although most people don’t intentionally set out to create a self-centered, incapable child, or an ego-maniac, it inevitably happens to some.. and whether the parents want to admit it or not they are partially to blame.   Children need to create their own goals, set out to accomplish them, and if they fail, learn from that and move on.  A lot of parents don’t let that happen.

From the moment I became pregnant I knew that I wanted my child to succeed in his goals, but more importantly to actually have goals.  So many adults these days don’t have goals. I also can only hope that I will be able to instill decent morals and values in my son so that when he is a mature adult he will be able to live an emotionally healthy and successful life.  Dr. Young-Eisendrath’s book has reaffirmed a lot of things I already knew about how other people raised their children. I have seen it first hand and seen the results of it.  I don’t want to make the same mistakes, even by accident and end up being that “other” person.

In her book, Dr. Young-Eisendrath, PhD. gives specific advice and solutions that parents and others can follow to help children, from an early age through their teen and young-adult years, achieve deep and genuine confidence and resilience-the kind that sets them on the path to productive, compassionate, and happy lives.

There is so much more that I could say about this book, and truly want to, but I have a policy that I won’t spoil it for anyone else.  Whether you win this book or not I think this is one that ALL parents, no matter how old their child, should read.  In fact, you can read an excerpt right here. Click on the book.

Giveaway (Now Closed)

Hachette Book Group who provided this book to me for review, have kindly offered to give 5 of my readers their own copy of The Self-Esteem Trap: Raising Confident and Compassionate Kids in an Age of Self-Importance.

To enter: Answer the required question. If the required question is not answered then none of your entries will count. After that you have several other ways of getting extra entries. Make sure that for each one you do you leave a separate comment. Each comment counts as one entry.


* Tell me why you’d like to win this book. (Try to be more creative than “it looks good”)

Earn Extra Entries

1 Extra Entry –
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* Add this page or my blog to your Technorati favorites (Leave your acct name)

You can Digg, Stumbleupon and fav on Technorati by clicking the “ShareThis” at the bottom of this post

1 Extra Entry Per Day
* Follow me on Twitter @detroitmommy and then Press the Green Retweet button at the top of this post. Leave me a comment with a link to your tweet. You can come back each day and retweet for 1 extra entry per day. Just make sure to leave a comment each day you do it!

Good Luck!

Giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only, 18 yrs of age or older. Any posts not including the requested information will be deleted. This giveaway ends: Sunday October 25, 2009 12am EST. Winner will be contacted and announced Monday October 26, 2009. In the event the winner does not respond within 3 days I will choose another random winner. I will be using to do this.

And the lucky winners are:

#42 – MelodicMom
#32 – Judy
#33 – Ed Nemmers
#21 – sandra
#37 – jjean

Congrats! and Thank-you to everyone who entered!


  1. Pingback: The Self-Esteem Trap: Raising Confident and Compassionate Kids in an Age of Self-Importance Book Giveaway : Big List of Giveaways

  2. I’d like to win this book so that I can confident and compassionate kids, instead of spoiled kids who don’t know how to take responsibility for their actions.

  3. One reason…I’m a mom! I have 3 teens that are special….but not that sort of special.
    I want to equip them to be successful adults, husbands/wives, parents, employees, friends.

    Also, I’m a high school teacher. I spend all week long with every type of person on the planet. Anything I could learn to improve my interaction with them….PRICELESS!

  4. I would like to win this book because I am a mom of two very young boys and want to raise them to be confident, yet compassionate and contributing members of society (not anytime soon, though; for now I want to keep them all snuggled up with me!). I think that last comment most explains why I need to read this book!

  5. look like great read for children and parents

  6. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Self-Esteem Trap: Book Review and Giveaway | --

  7. I think it would help some of my granddaughers

  8. I would really love to win this because I am starting to get worried that my son is getting spoiled. He is an only child and the first grandchild. I want him to have everything but I don’t want to over indulge! Thanks for the chance,

  9. Retweet button did not work for me but I retweeted your tweet at

    I would like to win this book so I can help my granddaughters to grow up as well rounded women. I would like to improve my skills at helping them achieve success.

  11. I’d like to win because I feel like I am walking a fine line between building up my child’s ego and making him responsible for himself. This book would hopefully help me be a better and more caring parent.

  12. I am a new Mom and am concerned about this issue. I’ve seen way too many young adults for whom self esteem turned into bloated self importance. I’d like to find a way to nurture my child without damaging her drive to achieve and willingness to work for things.

  13. I have been given the gift of raising 4 children and in the craziness/chaos of today’s world of me, me, me, I want, I want, I want, I need all the helpful advice I can get.

  14. I would like to win this book for two reasons; one, I am a mother and would like to raise happy and confident kids, and two, I teach teenagers and I think this book could offer some great insights into helping teens with their self-esteem, which so many of them lack.

  15. I would like to win this book so that I don’t become one of the parents who are part of the problem. I am sure I will make mistakes over the years when it comes to parenting, but with a little help maybe the mistakes won’t be detrimental.

  16. I am divorced from my boys’ father. They are not able to do a lot things they would like to such as joing certain sports teams because when they go to their father’s house they miss a lot and he won’t bring them to their games. I think I tend to try to compensate for that because I feel bad for them. I do things like taking them out to Mcd’s, having parties for them and more just because I feel like they don’t get to do much else but not I think they expect that. I feel like I do need advice on the best thing to do.

  17. i’d like to win this book so the kids don’t end up with my low self-esteem

  18. As the mother of two boys, I would enjoy reading the author’s insights into how we are shaping they lives.


  19. My son is young but is already very hard on himself. I’d love to learn some ways to help him be more confident and build his self esteem! Thanks for the chance to win!

  20. I have two young daughters that I want to be confident and have good self esteem because I want them to be able to handle themselves in school and around others.

  21. Great read, great contest!

  22. This book looks very interesting.

  23. I had low self esteem when i was a kid, and did not have manyfriends, and i hope this will help my kids not have the same problem as me.

  24. As a person who suffers from periodic low self esteem and seeing my oldest inflicted with it, I’d like to see if there is anything I can do to offset it in the two younger one’s while learning something for myself and the oldest. Thanks!

  25. For my two nieces!

  26. I’d like to win this book because one of my very dear friends is a single mom. I know this book would help her enormously, and I’d like to gift it to her.


  27. I;d like to win this book so I know how to bring my daughter up without issues. Its so hard when everyone feels so entitled these days, I really want my little monkey to care about others.

  28. I would like to win this book because i have an autistic child who struggles greatly socially and has a low self esteem i would love more ideas and input on how to help him through this

  29. I am a new parent and have been looking for books to help me along the way. I have to say that I am not sold on the “everyone is a winner” model. I don’t think it really serves as well as intended. It looks like this book holds a more sensible and workable approach and I want to learn more. Thanks!

  30. It’s got me curious. I think a lot of self esteem nowadays is not earned.

  31. I would like to win this book because I had low self esteem growing up and I would like to teach my kids to have more self esteem than I did.

  32. I would like to win to help me to learn how to help my children develop good self esteem with out being brats

  33. My daughter has low self esteem and reading this book could help me to help her.

  34. I would like this book because I have a baby girl, and I would like her to be self-confident and have a lot of respect for herself, in this day and age where looks seem to be the most important to teens, unfortunately.

  35. Heather O'donnell

    I want to win because I recognize how hard it is to raise kids these days. i work in a high school and I see kids who struggle. I don’t want that for my son.

  36. I think this book would offer some great ways of helping us raising confidant kids

  37. I would love to win because we have a very head-strong little boy. He is extremely independent, stubborn….and alot of other characteristics that are frustrating as a parent. I want to teach him the ways of the world without crushing his spirit. I also don’t want to err too far on the side of caution and create a monster by over-indulging his every need. As a first-time parent I need guidance on how to find the right balance, and this book seems like it may enlighten me on some theories….
    Great giveaway!

  38. I would like to win this book because I am interested in knowing how to instill confidence and self-esteem in kids.

  39. I would like to win because i am a parent that over indulges and has a hard time letting go of not doing it my way i would love some ideas and strageties to give my children more confidence

  40. Thank you so much, there aren’t enough posts on this… or at least i cant find them. I am turning into such a blog nut, I just cant get enough and this is such an important topic… i’ll be sure to write something about your site

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