You may face a battle trying to get your child ready and off to school each morning. Or your confrontations might begin in the evening when it's time for homework. In the midst of it all, you're fielding phone calls from the school about his disruptive behavior, which fuels more arguments. You could be left wondering where your good-natured child has gone because they seem to have been replaced by this argumentative creature you don't recognize.
Strategies to Build Self-Esteem
Reinforce Your Child's Self-Confidence
Those who struggle with ADHD often face misunderstandings as a result of their actions, which in turn may diminish their self-esteem. Lowered self-worth affects a child's ability to learn, make friends, and enjoy a happy life. As a parent or guardian, you invariably want to improve their circumstances. Below are 10 strategies that you can utilize to help positively reinforce your child's self-confidence.
1. Appreciate Who Your Child Is
You love your child and want the best for him or her, but spend time connecting with her. Don't get caught up in always trying to maintain a schedule. Get to know who she is, embrace her spirit. Nourish the essence of who she is in spite of any labels that have gotten attached to her behaviors or learning style.
2. Encourage Strengths
By getting to know your child, you recognize the subtleties and complexities of his personality. Find that area in which he shows interest or really shines. Encourage his throwing arm, or express how impressed you are with his creative ability.
3. Focus on Effort
Praising your child for the effort she put into completing a project provides her with a heightened sense of self-worth. When you focus on the effort she put into completing a school essay, for instance, rather than on the grade she received, you're motivating her to keep trying.
4. It's a Learning Opportunity
Look at mistakes and setbacks as opportunities to learn and improve. If your child forgot to complete a homework assignment, help them look at ways to remember their obligations, so they can do things differently next time.
5. Let Them Hear Your Praise
Make a conscious effort to comment on your child's abilities to other people when she can overhear you. Allowing your child to hear the positive things you say about her helps her realize that you mean what you say, and it bolsters her self-confidence.
6. Keep Expectations Realistic
Make sure that you maintain realistic expectations, so your child has the opportunity to enjoy his successes. If you focus on one goal at a time, then you don't run the risk of overwhelming them with too many probabilities. If completing homework is an issue, for example, give them credit for writing the assignment down in his planner.
7. Introduce Them to New Things
One result of poor self-esteem is the fear of trying something new. Your child is confronted with failure in many aspects of their life. She spoke out while the teacher was talking, she can't remember how to do the math problem. It's no wonder that she harbors a great deal of fear when it comes to trying new things. Encourage her to try something new by introducing it a little at a time.
8. Involve Them in Charitable Activities
When children help others, it also helps them to feel better about themselves. Look for an activity in which your ADHD child can help give back and help others. Maybe the two of you can help serve food at a shelter one day a week, or he can walk the dogs at your local animal shelter.
9. Friendships Are Important
Encouraging your child to build connections with others leads them to feeling much more fulfilled and part of "a world larger than themselves." Try and involve them in after-school activities in areas that peak their interest. It may be sports or robotics, but it's a way to create positive friendships.
10. Your Attention, Please
Spend time at the end of the day to focus on what your child has to say. Ask her how her day went. Find out about her goals, classmates, lunch period, and any other area she wants to share with you. It provides her with the reinforcement that you are interested in who she is.
Developing Positive Academic Partnerships
All too often, children diagnosed with ADHD receive negative feedback, which in turn, diminishes their self-esteem. What a wonderful relief it is to realize that there is hope.
Kentwood Preparatory School is a day school located in Palm Beach County that services Palm Beach and Broward Counties; our focus is to accomodated your child where they are in their academic and personal development. We want to help them achieve their full potential, which is why we've adapted our Skills Module System that works in tandem with our academic program.
The majority of our students have ADHD, and our holistic approach includes involving the child's family to "restore or maintain" healthy relationships. One aspect of that process is improving self-esteem.
Our Self-Esteem Building Module is individually geared toward your child's specific needs. Aspects of the module focus on the following:
- Having self-worth
- Believing in themselves
- Taking on educational challenges
- Accepting responsibility
- Staying motivated
- Maintaining interest
- Sustaining positive relationships with others
- Developing confidence with decision making
When a child suffers from poor self-esteem it affects every aspect of her life. They have difficulties in social, personal, and academic situations and may be faced with peer rejection that can negatively impact them emotionally.
The program at Kentwood is designed to help students achieve success at home, school, and within society at large. "Our Module Program and Cogmotics System are designed to fine-tune academic skills, sharpen life skills, hone social skills, and establish functional family systems."