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Self Esteem Strategies


  • Encourage your child to recognize the significant achievements of adults who learned to live with LD and ADHD.  Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Charles Schwab, Michael Phelps, and Tom Cruise are but a few.  Conduct research together on this topic.


  • Encourage your child to develop an expertise in one of their interest areas.  Have them choose an area which might have transference to the adult workplace (e.g. computers, rocks and minerals, horses, etc.).  Help make them an “expert” in all matters related to the interest area.  Take time to explore career opportunities related to the interest


  • Work with your child in creating a “Success Scrapbook” or “Success Wallboard”.  Such tools mirror the posting of student work at school but when used at home can even be broader in scope.  Achievement is not limited to the academic domain.


  • Highlight your child’s successes at school by posting their “best work” each week on the refrigerator or some other place of prominence.  This may or may not be the piece of work which received the highest mark during the week.  Grades are often not a true reflection of the energy your child puts into their work.


  • Begin using “Thoughts for the Day” or “Thoughts for the Week” which have an inspirational theme.  Encourage your child to post them in their room or on their notebook.  Involve them in selecting the “Thought for the …”.  They might even want to keep a written, video, computer or pictorial journal of these thoughts.  This is an adaptation of “positive self-talk” which can be a source of great encouragement during periods of stress.


  • Help your child write an “affirmation statement” which they read daily.  Have the statement reflect their strengths and accomplishments, future goals, and a more immediate goal.


  • Be prepared to praise your child’s effort as much as the end product or result.  LD and ADHD characteristics often frustrate us from doing our best work.  Perseverance is critical!!


  • Be careful not to compare children.  Be prepared to meet their individual needs.  To treat them fairly often means not treating them equally.  Modifications and accommodations must be made on a case by case basis.


  • When you offer correction, as you must, be careful to distinguish your disapproval of the deed from your love for your child. Children often confuse the two.


For more information or targeted strategies regarding your child’s specific strengths or challenges contact our Family Support Coordinator, Dr. Liz Simpson (Liz@soarnc.org).