(Proverbs 3:12 KJV) For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
One of the common forms of manipulation that seems to automatically flow from the depravity of man is the way in which a child knows instinctively to look at her father with a tear in her eye and say, “Don’t you love me?” It happens when they are not getting what they want or are in danger of getting what they deserve. Too often we cave in and are putty in their hands. I learned that when my daughter gave me that look I would ask her, “What’s the matter, indigestion?”
Do you love your children? I would say the answer is obvious but is it really? Do you love your son enough to “reprove” (3198)? Do you care enough for your daughter’s soul to demand obedience? It is not comfortable. It is not “feel good”. It is necessary.
So? Reject the version of self-esteem peddled by our culture. The nature of human beings is self centered and you don’t want to feed that beast. Give them the direction that can develop a God-centered self-esteem based on repentance, grace and holiness. The ball is in your court.