New York Magazine has a very interesting article on some self-esteem research being done with kids.
Having grown up in a school system that ascribed to the idea of positive self-esteem, I found the article very interesting. To summarize, the research challenges some of the long held attitudes of praising your kids. It really explains to me some of the behaviour we are seeing out of gen-x and gen-y. I have often pondered the inability of so many of us to lead successful lives and make good choices when previous generations seemed to be so much more self sufficient and decisive. Maybe it's because we have got too many of the wrong messages from our teachers/parents/authority figures (not that I'm blaming anyone).
I would make this recommeded reading for anyone raising kids.