It can be tough to witness your teenager struggling with schoolwork and being trapped in a negative mindset, and we feel unequipped to assist them in breaking free. It’s important to know that there is a link between inattentiveness and low self-esteem, which could affect your teenager’s mood at home.
It’s important to understand that a child’s self-esteem plays a crucial role in their decision-making process, self-expression and building healthy relationships. When a child has ADHD, it’s not uncommon for them to struggle with low self-esteem, which can hold them back from achieving their full potential. With this in mind, it’s crucial to create a plan that can help your child improve their self-perception and cultivate a more positive mindset.
Here are a few things you can do to boost your child’s self-esteem:
- Practice a two-step process: praise your child for their achievements and actively recognize the difficulties they encountered in the process. It is important to give your child specific praise for their accomplishments. Instead of simply saying “good job!”, try to be more specific, such as “I’m proud of how you put in the effort to think about the task and organize your outline!” This approach can help boost your child’s self-esteem and reinforce their understanding of what it takes to achieve something. It also teaches them to recognize gradual progress, rather than being too critical of themselves.
- Building a Vision Together. It’s crucial to acknowledge that your child has unique talents and aspirations, which often get overshadowed by the challenges of everyday life. Take note of what interests them and where their passions lie. Identify their strengths and have a conversation with them about what they enjoy and why they excel in it. Encourage and cultivate their strengths to ensure continued success.
- Demonstrate Your Dependability. As parents, it’s natural to feel anxious when our children face struggles and challenges that may prevent them from realizing their full potential. However, once we’ve processed our own emotions about it, our focus should shift to helping our kids navigate through this tough time and find purpose and happiness. This is done by creating a family culture based on respect and connection that can provide support for our teens as they recover from their malaise and rediscover their sense of purpose and hope.
- Facilitate Time to Succeed. It’s important to understand that your child may experience some residual anxiety after school and may need some time to unwind by doing something he enjoys and is good at. Make sure to provide your child with opportunities to succeed in these activities, and ensure that his strengths are not undermined by ADHD. Additionally, avoid using activities he loves as a reward for doing things he doesn’t enjoy, like cleaning his room, as this can take away from the enjoyment of those activities.
- Give Them Control. If you have ever felt that you lack control over your life, you are probably familiar with the increased stress and anxiety that comes with it. This feeling is even more pronounced in teenagers, as they are at a stage of life where they crave independence and control. The idea of giving children more control over their lives can boost their sense of agency and help combat stress-related disorders. However, this takes effort on our part as parents or mentors. As our children enter their teenage years, there are often well-established patterns of relating to them that can contribute to a sense of powerlessness. We should look for opportunities to expand their control, such as letting them decide which activity they want to engage in or when they want to do their homework. By doing so, we empower our teens and allow them to feel respected and capable.
Supporting your child’s success both academically and emotionally is key, and understanding their individual needs is the first step. As you and your child go on this journey together, remember that being patient, empathetic, and keeping an open line of communication is super important. With your unwavering support and encouragement, your child can overcome any challenges, discover their unique strengths, and blossom into a confident and successful individual.
In Homework in a Cafe we are also ready to support you and your child to overcome any struggle you or your child might be facing! Contact us now.