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Self-esteem is another way of describing self-value. It is about how we see ourselves. It is also about how we see our personal achievements and our own sense of worth. With AD/HD children, self-esteem is shaped by how other people think and feel about him. Compounding this problem is that due to the hyperactive, disruptive behavior that AD/HD children exhibit, they are often excluded from social events because other parents may not want to invite a child who is known to have challenging behavior. Exclusion only adds to an AD/HD child's negative feelings about herself and reinforces the idea that he is inherently wrong or bad. The counterpoint for these hurtful messages is to notice and praise all that your child gets right. Encourage your child to create social events of his own. This helps him feel confident by practicing his prosocial behaviors. It's never easy to see your child excluded, but you can be positive and supportive, and remind your child of his ever-growing list of successes.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|