Individuals with learning disabilities often struggle with self esteem because of poor academic performance or difficulties with social relationships.
Most parents want to help their children develop self esteem. For the child without special needs it’s a challenge—but for the youngster with extra issues, it can seem like an overwhelming task.
There are some essential facts to keep in mind. Self esteem is not static. It can fluctuate depending on one’s state of mind and circumstances. Parents can only do so much to help their child. After a certain age, a parent’s input, while still crucial, is only part of the confidence equation.
As children age, peer input as well as their ability to accomplish become an important part of how they develop self confidence. Still, it’s our job as parents to try to bolster our kids when they feel low.
Here are 7 easy tips that will help you build self esteem.
- Be generous with affecion; lots of hugs and kisses.
- Take plenty baby pictures. Everyone wants to see how they looked as a baby. Too often parents of children who look different avoid talking pictures of their kids as babies and as they grow.
- Don’t allow your child’s condition to define him e.g. he’s not an autistic child; he’s a child who suffers from autism.
- Be a compassionate listener and do not be judgemental. Try to understand who your child is and where they are coming from, even if you initially disagree with his or her perception of a situation.
- Use honest, open communication at all times. Kids know when you’re lying and hiding things from them.
- Don’t compare your child unfavourably with other children. Be happy with and focus on, his accomplishments.
- Become aware of your own attitudes of people’s appearances and their limitations. If need be, tone down any negative comments. Parents who make positive and negative comments about other people send the message that physical perfection is important and has a high priority.
Ultimately, it’s important to parents to understand their own feelings about appearance, disability and imperfection, so they can fully accept their child for the wonderful gift he really is.
Click the link below for more articles that provide tips for parents for developing healthy self esteem in their children, as well as resources for ways to talk with kids about learning disabilities.