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Positive Praise Required

As parents and professionals working with students who have ADHD or an LD, it is vital to remember they need positive praise.  Our students spend a large part of their waking hours in a school environment that is not set up for them to be successful.  They experience failures and perceived failures each day at school.  Teachers and other students are often not encouraging of them, sometimes criticizing, pointing out their deficit areas, making fun of them, and making examples of them in the classroom. This doesn’t happen all day every day but frequently enough that it can be discouraging, and before long they start to believe what they hear at school each day.

Parents, remember that your son or daughter needs your encouragement and support at home in order to be re-inflated.  If we are not building them up on a regular basis, it will not take long for their self-esteem to be so low that each day becomes a constant battle to keep moving forward.

We at SOAR believe in giving students 6 positive feedbacks for each 1 constructive feedback.   You have to be constantly looking for the positives in your son or daughter in order to make this kind of ratio work.  It is not easy, but it makes a huge difference when they hear what they are doing right and how great they did on something.  They are all too familiar with their struggles and deficits.  It’s just hard to overcome them, and even harder when they don’t see why it would be worth even trying because everything they do is wrong.  We possess the power to reverse that mindset and help each young adult move forward with their head held a little higher and with a bit more spring in their step.   The 6 to 1 ratio still allows you to address issues as they arise. It also makes those interactions less conflictual because they know that you are not always focusing on the challenges of their life and more frequently see the positives.

It can be difficult to keep this up day after day. However, it can make a huge difference in their self-esteem and is well worth the effort.  Who knows – they might even find a hobby or future profession from one simple statement you made about something you caught them doing well.  Try it and see the difference it can make in their life. They might move mountains!