Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dealing With Learning Disabilities - How to Build Your Child's Self-Esteem

Young children are emotionally affected by their performance in school. If they don't learn to read, write, or count as fast as their friends do, they sense that something's wrong, and they often blame themselves for their academic struggles. Older kids with learning disabilities may act as though it's cool to not care about school. Beneath the surface, these kids are often just tired of trying and struggling to keep up. If your child has recently been diagnosed with a learning disability, you may be wondering what you do to help bolster his or her self-esteem. 

Here are some strategies you can try out to help your child develop a healthy sense of self-worth:

Spend time doing things your child has a natural aptitude for

Maybe your child is good at drawing or making buildings out of LEGOs. Or perhaps your child is a talented soccer player or pianist. Whatever your child's talent is, make sure you give him or her time at home to cultivate that talent. Feeling skilled at something will help your child realize that he or she is smart and capable. Once your child realizes just how intelligent he or she actually is, the sky will be the limit in terms of what can be achieved, despite the difficulties that a learning disability presents.

Watch your reactions

If your child has ADHD or some other learning disability that affects his or her behavior, it's important to be aware of how you react to your child. If you find yourself becoming frustrated with your son or daughter, take a second to take a few deep breaths and figure out how to redirect your child without seeming cross. Your disapproval can affect your child's self-esteem. As much as possible, you should try to provide encouragement and praise to your child. If you want to try to eradicate behavior patterns that are limiting your child's academic and personal progress, it's best that you find ways to gently guide him or her to develop healthier, more effective habits.

Ask for support from specialists

If you find that your child's self-esteem is markedly low, it may be best to ask for some support from specialists. Talk to your child's doctor and psychologist about additional things you can do to boost your son or daughter's self-esteem at home. You may also want to arrange for your child to meet with a counselor regularly, especially if your insurance allows for it. A counselor will be able to help your child effectively deal with self-confidence issues and develop a plan to cope with any negative feelings he or she has. Depending on your child's learning disability, you may also want to arrange regular meetings with an appropriate specialist to facilitate academic progress. The more help your child has to succeed in school and develop a healthy sense of self-esteem, the better.

Being a kid is tough, and being a kid with a learning disability can often be even tougher. So, do what you can to build your child's self-esteem at home, ask for help from experts, and always provide your son or daughter with as much love and encouragement as possible.

Susan is a guest blogger who primarily writes about lifestyle, health, and parenting. After years of working in the insurance industry, she's in the process of putting together an insurance quote guide in hopes of helping people navigate the convoluted world of insurance. Susan welcomes your comments and questions.

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