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At first when I was asked to write this article, I was nervous. I mean, Jack Canfield, the coolest guy on the planet has written one. But then, I started thinking, I have a good idea for the world I live in and this will be a good way for me to help it.

The thing I want to spend my 500 words on is Self-Esteem. Self-Esteem is simple. It is how you feel inside about yourself. It is simple to define, but it is hard to keep. It’s hard to keep because there are always people who try to break you down. You have to be able to know yourself enough to save yourself.

I want parents to understand how their kid’s self-esteem is so important and how your attitude about yourself affects you and others. There is a difference between thinking highly of yourself and thinking you are better than others. Thinking highly of yourself empowers your self-esteem. Thinking you are better than others is just plain cocky and not cool. You can think highly of yourself and still be kind, just and humble.

Most kids think their parents are great and they are probably right. But sometimes parents belittle their kids trying to make their kids work harder. All they are doing when they belittle them is tearing down their self-esteem and when their kids get worse, they belittle them even more. Be careful. When you are harsh on your kids, you may be destroying them, rather than making them better. Here are three ways you can help your kids.

1. Be a cheerleader
What does a cheerleader do? They stand on the sidelines and only stay positive things to their team. Let me say that again. They stand on the sidelines. They do not play the game. Let your kids do things. Don’t take over — empower them. The second part is: they only say positive things. Encourage your kids with your positive words that empower them. There are plenty of mean people and bullies in this world who tear kids down: do not be one of them.

2. Let your kids know you always have their back
If your kids come to you and say they are being bullied, believe them. Don’t say they are over-exaggerating or “kids will be kids”. Instead listen and be understanding. Make sure your kids know you are not in the bully’s corner, but you are in their corner. Make sure they know you believe them. We need to know you will protect us.

3. Love your kids unconditionally
Think of yourself as a heart that is just waiting to burst with love. Your kids need to know that even when you are mad at them, you will always love them.

One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain. He said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Your kids are right, you are great. Be your kid’s cheerleader, have their back and love them unconditionally; your kid’s self-esteem depends on you!

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Jack James is an ordinary kid who started his own business at age 10. He wrote a book to tell other kids how to start one too! Jack's book is written from one kid to another. In How to Let Your Parents Raise a Millionaire Jack tells other kids the story of how he started his business, Jack's Garbage Valet. He explains how easy and fun it can be and explains exactly why other kids should strive to become an entrepreneur.

There are plenty of great books out there about kids and business, but Jack's book is different - it is the unique story of how one kid did it. It is personal, practical, easy to read, encouraging and fun.

Jack even had the courage to include a couple of special chapters. In one chapter, he talks about what it was like to be bullied. He explains how you can overcome the negative message the bullies put on you and end up even stronger. He also shares with his readers what it is like to have Dyslexia, a reading disability and how he is working to overcome it.

Jack is a native Californian who lives in San Jose with his mom, their three dogs, one parrot and every single Star Wars: The Clone Wars action figure known to man! :-) 

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