It had been about a year since we said goodbye to Louie, our yellow Lab who didn’t quite make it to his 10th birthday. We still talked about him multiple times each week. My kids continued to include him in the preamble of their nighttime prayers: “Thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Liam, Maggie and the puppy dog.”
With so much focus on making sure kids have "good self-esteem," we parents tend to take every opportunity to tell our kids that they're great. However, two influential researchers have discovered that self-esteem is based on kids feeling a sense of control over their environments.