Children who grapple with learning, behavior or mood symptoms are often frustrated by the inability to do things as easily as other kids do – such as learn, get good grades, feel good about themselves, have fun, receive positive feedback, make friends or play sport. These children may often feel that other kids seem so happy while they struggle with feelings of sadness, despair, uselessness, anger or embarrassment, among others. The truth is that children grappling with learning, behavior or mood problems want one thing very badly- they want to feel good about themselves so that they can enjoy life.
Actually, every single child who grapples with some personal challenges is talented in his or her own way. Too often, though, others don’t take the time to look past their problems in search of their unique gifts. Instead playmates may shun them and teachers and family may treat them as less than normal. Unfortunately, these kids may behave in ways that cause others to become frustrated and irritated with them, reinforcing their negative perception of them.
As a parent of a son or daughter that has a learning, behavior or mood problem, I think you will agree with me when I say that, in addition to their challenging symptoms, these kids have a heavy emotional burden to bear.
IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!
PARENTS, TAKE CHARGE!
Become your child’s good feeling advocate:
– Where others see only their shortcomings, you see and speak about their strengths.
– Feel, and show, pride and joy about your child, never embarrassment or discomfort.
– Never use diagnostic labels to describe your child. Your child is a unique, wonderful being identified by his name not by a diagnosis.
– Don’t allow teachers to use diagnostic labels when speaking about your child.
– Insist that for every negative a teacher tells you about your child, this is accompanied by at least 3 positives.
– Explore, and notice, what your child loves doing, reading, speaking about. This will help you discover where your child’s uniqueness lies. When you discover this, help your child own it, nurture it and strengthen it.
Research shows that if you want to strengthen your children’s self-perception, self-confidence and resilience, they need to get a ratio of 5 – 1 positive to negative messages from you.
What was the ratio of the positive to negative messages you gave your child today?