This is ONE Powerful way to Build an ADHD Child’s Self-Esteem

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When it comes time to build an ADHD Child’s self-esteem, nothing can work quickly enough. 

Like throwing spaghetti at a wall, parents will put their child in every sport, musical lesson, and team building club imaginable in an effort to build an ADHD Child’s self-esteem. 

Not all of them work. In fact, every ADHD child and their struggle with self-concept is different. Some studies say it’s low. Some studies say it’s high. Regardless of the lack in research, one thing is for certain. 

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ADHD kids struggle with Self-Esteem, more so than their neurotypical counterparts.

But as a parent how do we build it? The words “You Can Do It!” are shot down by their self-doubt: “No I can’t!” To Build an ADHD child’s self-esteem is not something that can be told. Like using air bricks to build a house, words to build an ADHD child’s self-esteem do not reinforce the message well enough. 

Read My 9 Reasons being a Mom with ADHD is Unique

As a mother, it breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces when I see my son struggle with self-doubt and worth. It’s typical of us, as parents to see the good in our children. But we also see their strengths and their weaknesses. When my child stumbles upon one of his weaknesses, it causes me gut-wrenching anxiety to watch him struggle.

No words can alleviate his pain, and no interfering from me can save him from it. 

Build and ADHD Child's self-esteem, Lacy Estelle, ADHD Parenting, Single Parenting, ADHD Children

“Wow J. That’s amazing! You know Momma’s never been able to dive. My whole life, I’m too scared.” 

“Why mom? What are you afraid of?” 

“I don’t know, maybe the idea of going head first into something freaks me out? I couldn’t tell you, but Papa tried to teach me when I was a kid and I just couldn’t get over my fear.” 

“I could teach you.” 

One of my favorite ways to build self esteem in an ADHD child. Adhd children struggle with self esteem more than neurotypical children.

Sparks filled my eyes: “YES! Teach me, son!”

I had been searching for something my 8-year-old could teach me. Longing for it to come along. I knew the quickest way for him to quit his self-doubts for a while was to feel powerful. And power can only come from impacting change.

What is the quickest way to affect change in something or someone?

Teach them. Teach something. Give knowledge, transfer power and feel powerful because you did. 

The fastest way to build self-esteem in an ADHD child will be to let him teach you something. 

We spent the next three hours in the pool, J diving in over and over again to show me where his hands are, and how he jumps softly off the edge. 

He coached me, from diving off the side of the ladder. To moving up to the concrete sidewalk lining the edge of our pool. When finally I was unafraid getting on the diving board. 

He was able to teach me, and encourage me and I attribute this to all the teaching and encouragement I had given him over the years. 

Like this post so far? You might also like my post about Imperfect Parenting. 

I think about the months to come and having an all-out war about homework.

He will scream “I don’t get it! I don’t like it when you tell like that! I don’t understand, I never will!”

He will eventually understand the math. In fact, he will excel so quickly once he learns it that he will teach it to his class. Yet another example of how not only I, but his school helps him foster self-esteem in his 3rd-grade year. By letting him teach. 

But first here we were, Summer after his 2nd grade and he was teaching me how to dive. Something I, as an adult, have never mastered doing.

Need ideas to Entertain your ADHD Child? Check this out.  

Ironically, he didn’t need to be taught either. Swimming came naturally to him, and one day he said “Momma, I think I could dive if I wanted too.” Having just learned to not sink in the deep end of the pool, I was hesitant to let him try. But then he did, by just skipping a few times and tucking his chin and leaning towards the blue water. 

The Power of Learning From Your Child

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How to build self esteem in your ADHD child. This one way will help your ADHD child build confidence immediately.

As parents, it’s easy for us to say “I know more. I teach. You listen.” This mentality, when I’m feeling like a real-mean-mom reminds me of Matilda’s dad saying “I’m big your little.” 

It was ironic, because the dad was played by Danny Devito. 

When we temporarily give our children that power. We say “Yes, Teach me.” two things happen: 

1. We are required to listen intently. 

When we are required to listen to our child, it builds their trust in us with them. To be honest, we should be required to listen to them all the time but I know as parents we often do the “half listening.” Saying “mhm” and “Oh, cool.” while only pretending to hear everything they said. Mostly because our brain is on what we deem “more important things.” The bills, the laundry, cooking dinner etc. But when we take the time, to listen intently to our child the appreciate us so much more. They realize that we are human and that they have a power within them to give us something.

2. When they can give us something, something we can’t get from anyone or don’t want to get from anyone else we give them power. 

Don’t think of this power like an ego-centric power. Think of it as an extra life in a game. The kind of power they can use to grow their self-worth and calm their self-doubt.

Consider This:

Is your child able to purchase a Christmas gift for you, of their own accord? Are they able to cook you a meal? Perhaps if you have a teenager, they can do these things but we fail to realize how much our children want to serve us. To appease us as parents because we are their entire world. 

Could you imagine how you would feel if you could teach your grandmother something? Perhaps your father? Even as adults we enjoy teaching our parents something they don’t know. Try your best not to take it for granted the next time your elderly Grandma needs help figuring out how to use Facebook on her smartphone.

Be humble when you let her know she doesn’t need to sign her comments with -love Nana because you can see her face next to the comment. 

Build an ADHD Child's self-esteem, Lacy Estelle, ADHD Parenting, ADHD Children, ADHD Motherhood

Build an ADHD child’s self-esteem by rewarding on growth and improvement, less perfection.

I hate to say it, but when I read about why Helicopter parenting is so bad for kids and child-rearing, I get a little tinge of annoyance. 

As a mother of an ADHD child, I wish natural consequences worked for him. But his mind, like my own, shuts down in stressful times. It will avoid consequence at all costs and never learn to simply face it by taking action like his peers. 

In other words, if he forgets his homework his reaction isn’t going to be “I better let my teacher know and work it out.” 
It’s going to be “I might consider skipping class so I don’t have to confront that teacher.” 

Not to mention: Forgetting his homework, is a weekly occurrence. ADHD comes with poor executive function; forgetfulness is the symptom. 

Rather than getting angry with your ADHD child for forgetting something, yet again. Try to praise them when you go an entire week without an e-mail from a teacher about his missing assignments. 

Remember to thank him for saving you time by not having to run forgotten items up to the school for him. 

Give your child power by impacting change in you  & your world.

How to build confidence in an ADHD child. ADHD confidence building strategy that works right away.

Reward on his improvements so he understands that it is still good in doing his best. Even when it’s not perfect.

If you try these things, I would be willing to bet your child’s self-esteem will grow three-fold over the next year. My sons did. 

Be sure to Share this with Other ADHD Mommas you know. It takes a village, remember?!

LacyEstelle with Empowered Mom Life and Blogger Lacy estelle naturally combatting ADHD

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