Provide clear, consistent expectations, directions and limits.
Children need to know exactly what others expect from them. They do not perform well in ambiguous situations that don’t specify exactly what is expected and that requires them to “read between the lines.”
How to boost your child’s confidence
Set aside a daily special time for you and your child. Constant negative feedback can erode a child’s self-esteem. A special time, whether it’s an outing, playing games or just time spent with your child in positive interaction, can help fortify your child against assaults to self-worth.
Notice your child’s successes, no matter how small.
Make an effort to notice when your child is paying attention well or doing what s/he is supposed to be doing. Tell your child exactly what she/he did well. This can improve your child’s self-esteem and teach him/her to notice gradual improvements, rather than being too hard on him/herself.
Tell your child that you love and support him/her unconditionally.
There will be days when you may not believe this yourself. Those will be the days when it is even more important that you acknowledge the difficulties your child constantly faces and express your love. Let your child know that you will get through both the smooth and rough times together.
Assist your child with social skills. In particular, children with ADHD may be rejected by peers because of hyperactive, impulsive or aggressive behaviours. Parent training can help you learn how to assist your child in making friends and learning to work cooperatively with others.
Identify your child’s strengths.
Children will have strengths in different areas, from academic subjects through to art, athletics, computers or mechanical ability. Build upon these strengths, so that your child will have a sense of pride and accomplishment. Try and make sure that your child has the opportunity to be successful while pursuing these activities and that his strengths are not undermined by feeling unsupported. Also, avoid, as much as possible, targeting these activities as contingencies for good behaviour or withholding them, as a form of punishment, if your child misbehaves.
Through my own volunteering and observations, I have seen a real need to provide affordable counselling for young people. To facilitate this, Space to Breathe Therapy have set up a ‘pay forward’ fund to enable our young people to have access to subsidised or free counselling. If you would like to help with this cause, please click the button and donate whatever you can afford. Every donation will go towards subsidising counselling sessions for our most vulnerable people.