How to Help Your ADHD Child to Enhance Self-Esteem and Self- Reliance


Not many children with ADHD have good self-esteem because their difficulties can often lead to frequent failure, being rejected and/or punished. It is important to put in place nurturing strategies where they can achieve in order to build their self-esteem, which in turn will increase their confidence in themselves.

Because children with ADHD tend to find coping with planning a situation problematic, they may need help to create a structure for attaining their goals. It can help them to feel in control and ‘in the driving seat’, even if ‘steering’ is difficult. However, because some children with ADHD are particularly hypersensitive, there is a fine line between being viewed as too patronizing and not praising enough.

ADHD Child to Enhance

Try to understand the child’s areas of vulnerability. Give lots of reassurance to build confidence and ability. Praise his efforts to learn. Encourage the concept that learning is not always easy and can at times be a struggle, and for the child to view mistakes and failures as part of learning rather than to feel deflated by them.

Avoid taking away the thing that he does well -football, swimming, riding his bike, and so on. Don’t say things like, ‘You have been so badly behaved today, I’m afraid you will not be playing for the football team on Friday.’ The child with ADHD will not see the connection unless it is immediate and such an approach will tend to alienate you from the child and be counter­productive.

Encourage pupils with ADHD to help other children. Because they are often more comfortable with older or younger children, it can be helpful for them to mix more with other age groups to boost confidence.

Try to establish for yourself whether the child with ADHD actually has a certain coping skill or has understood what is being asked of him/how to do something and, if not, teach it to him as you would any other skill.

For example, revising is often boring for children with ADHD and has no clear short-term goals. Many such pupils just do not understand what is involved and have difficulty in structuring their time. An understanding of this difficulty means that you may be able to put in place a plan and short-term goals to help them.

Children with ADHD frequently lose things. If a child has lost his school bag, rather than saying ‘I’ll find it for you’, suggest that you will help him look for it but emphasize that it is his responsibility and he needs to be involved. Then set up a strategy to keep the bag safe in the future, such as keeping it in a locker in the classroom, and jointly make a decision as to how to improve things for future situations. You will promote a much happier environment for yourself and the child if you teach and support him with a genuine understanding of his struggle with everyday things the rest of us take for granted.

Remember that there is a fine line between providing appropriate accommodations for a child and promoting self-reliance, so these strategies need to be implemented carefully.

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  4. How to Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem with The Strength of Blessing
  5. How to Teach a Child with ADHD Planning and Organization

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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