Tips for Raising Your Child's Self-Esteem

By Eileen Bailey

Self-Esteem.  This is how we view our own self worth.  Although this should be measured in terms of the type of person we are, for example, are we trustworthy, honest, caring, and loving, too often self-worth is measured in terms of how successful we may be.  We view our worth in terms of how well we did in school, what type of job we have, where we live, and what other people think of us. 

For those people with ADD/ADHD, many of these areas are the same areas of difficulty.  People with ADD/ADHD often have problems in school, with social relationships and may move from job to job.  Rather than placing their self worth on the type of person they are, they view it through their failures or struggles.  Those with ADD/ADHD often suffer from low self-esteem. 

Children with ADD/ADHD may struggle in school and with social relationships. They may be ridiculed by their classmates and feel alone and isolated.  They may have disruptive behaviors and some teachers may reprimand them in front of their peers.  They may feel stupid and have poor grades, even though their intellectual abilities do not warrant lower grades. 

In addition, individuals with ADD/ADHD often do not make connections to events that occurred in the past.  For example, a child with ADD/ADHD does not always make the connection between not handing in homework and a report card grade that appears several months from now.  Adults can carry this forward, not building upon their successes but measuring self worth based on a current situation.  They may have a hard time associating a successful even that occurred months ago with how they feel about themselves today.  High self-esteem comes from building self worth based on successes. Using only the current situation would mean that you are only worthy if you are successful right now; if you fail in your current situation, then self-worth would be depleted. 

Considering these issues, it is no surprise that people with ADD/ADHD often suffer from low self-esteem.  Increasing self-esteem is a difficult process and can take a great deal of time, but it can be done. 

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