Self-esteem - the clue is in the "self"

I work long hours and travel fairly regularly. To ensure I get to spend some quality time with my kids, we have long since had the habit of eating breakfast together.

They tell me stories some days about their friends or classmates, and sometimes they talk about people who don't like them.

My answer is always the same. I ask them - "Who is the most important person who should like you?"

At first they would say: "my best friend", "my mummy", "you, daddy", "my teacher", and so on.

But now they know the answer, and we sometimes go through it by rote:
"The most important person who should like me is me!"

This is something we should drill into our kids, and ourselves. Your job and status, and how others see you, are important, but your view of yourself should not depend on this. Your self-esteem is far too important to put it into someone else's hands.