Because children with ADHD show symptoms such as hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattentiveness, they are often reprimanded or “called out” for their behaviour more often compared to other kids of their age. In the home, parents might discipline an ADHD child more often because of inappropriate behaviour and as they get older, their siblings might also reprimand them. In school, teachers and even classmates might say something about their poor behaviour too. It might not always be noticeable, this constant criticism can contribute to kids with ADHD having low self-esteem and confidence.
It’s not nice to hear your child say “I’m not good enough!” or ‘I can’t do it!” In fact, it’s really disheartening for a parent to see her child have self-esteem issues.
But there’s good news – as parents, we can do something about it! We can encourage our kids and we can apply some effective strategies to help them develop their confidence.
If you notice that your child is talking negatively about themselves, and keep saying things like “It’s too hard,” “I can’t do it!” or “I’m no good”, it’s time to get stuck in and rescue your child from all this negativity.
As a parent, you can greatly influence the way your child thinks. You can tell them that yes, some things might be hard but it’s okay to seek help to make life easier. Everyone – even the people at the top of their careers – need help! Perhaps you could use a favourite teacher, actor, sports star or musician as an example to make it much effective.
If your child did something wrong, like hurting others, not waiting their turn or grabbing other people’s toys or things, instead of reinforcing this with more negative actions like shouting, you can remove your child from the situation and talk to them. Make sure they understand what they did wrong things because often kids are not aware of the mistakes they’ve made or how they made other people upset or angry. Together you can think of a better way to address the situation the next time it happens.
Lastly, always keep an eye out for your child’s special interests or talents and help them develop those. Kids with ADHD can struggle academically but be totally brilliant in other areas – and by encouraging them, praising them and celebrating their successes, you’ll help raise their confidence and self-esteem!
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