ADHD is largely described as a negative condition – something that prevents kids and adults from being “normal”. It’s not surprising, then, that a lot of kids (and adults) who have ADHD suffer from low self-esteem.
Since many people don’t understand what’s happening inside the brain of someone who has ADHD, they might treat kids who have it as if they “can’t do” the same things “regular” people do. When kids pick up on that feeling, it can be devastating to their self-confidence.
As parents, we need to learn how to help our kids with ADHD to build self-esteem. If they develop a healthy view of themselves while young, they can learn how to use ADHD to their advantage to find a career they love, make good friends, and overcome obstacles. Here are a few suggestions about how we can build confidence in our kids with ADHD! We’re also featuring a giveaway of the wonderful book Raising Girls with ADHD!
Tips for Building Self Esteem in Kids with ADHD
Talk to them about ADHD.
One way we can avoid the “stigma” of ADHD is to talk about it openly with our kids. At first, I was worried that our kids would feel weird or strange, but they were actually relieved.
Tigger was glad to know that she had something real that explained why her brain couldn’t seem to concentrate at times or why she felt what she calls a “jumpy” feeling when she tries to sit still. I actually wished I had talked to her about it sooner.
Focus on the positive.
It’s easy to obsess over the negative symptoms of ADHD, but that can be extremely damaging to our kids’ self-esteem. In Raising Girls with ADHD, the writers encourage parents to focus on the positive qualities of their daughters. There’s a wonderful list of qualities for us to check off at the beginning and there is something there that EVERY child with ADHD has.
For Tigger, I picked quite a few, including: lively, imaginative, animated, helpful, spirited, creative, and eager. I loved how that encouraged me to think of the “bonuses” that come along with ADHD. 🙂 When we see ADHD in a positive light, it’s easier for us to convey that to our kids.
Help them set realistic goals.
We talked about setting learning goals for kids with ADHD a few days ago. Doing this is essential to building their self-esteem. Since developing a healthy amount of self-esteem is already challenging for young girls, adding ADHD to the mix can make it even more difficult. Raising Girls with ADHD has an entire section dedicated to helping our daughters build self-esteem, and one of the suggestions is to “Set small goals.”
Rather than focusing on one large task, help them break it into smaller, more manageable chunks that they can accomplish quickly. As they complete one task, then another, they’ll find it easier to continue instead of giving up at the first sign of trouble.
Now for the great news!!!!
We’re giving away a copy of the book “Raising Girls with ADHD” from Prufrock Press! To enter, use the Giveaway Tools widget below! (Please be aware that the book will be shipped 6 to 8 weeks from the close of the giveaway.)