Has your child received a diagnosis of ADHD? It probably helps explain their behavior. Is your loved one dreamy, staring off into space, and often not with the program — all characteristic of the inattentive type of ADHD?
On the other hand, your child may be hyperactive and impulsive, with seemingly endless energy that’s akin to being driven by a motor inside. These characteristics can make school and childhood challenging.
Your child may garner negative attention from peers and teachers because of inappropriate behavior. How can you help them embrace and use their strengths to combat feelings of low self-esteem that build up from negative feedback?
Dr. Charles Niesen, our board-certified pediatric neurologist, and our team at AMS Neurology in Pasadena, California, treat many children with ADHD. As well as treating your child, Dr. NIesen and our team provide you, the parents, guidance and resources to help you along the way.
Along with impulsiveness or inattentiveness, your child also has positive qualities. Following are tips on ways you can help build up your child’s confidence by focusing on their strengths.
While your child may have difficulty sustaining focus on topics or school subjects they don’t like, they may bring unique strengths to what they're interested in. That’s why it’s important to expose your child with ADHD to a broad range of hobbies, sports, and creative opportunities. What keeps their interest?
Help your child find a hobby they love. Clubs are a great way to reinforce skills. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts introduce children to a variety of interests and even potential careers. Help your child take an interest further by signing them up for enrichment opportunities related to the subject or hobby that they like.
If your little one finds a sport they like, this is a great vehicle to help them. Exercise burns off that excess energy. Experts say that exercise aids your child’s ability to pay attention as well as improves their mood. Sports can help your child feel a sense of accomplishment as they improve their skills over time and contribute to a group goal.
If your child has sensory issues and isn’t successful at group sports, they may be interested in an individual sport like Taekwondo, which promotes sequencing and memory as well as reinforces the importance of respecting others. Track and field is another great option.
Your ADHD child may think outside the box. You may have noticed that they have an alternate perspective on a topic that you hadn’t thought about. Many individuals with ADHD are highly creative. Famous adults with ADHD include Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Beethoven, and Winston Churchill.
Your child could exhibit their creativity in many venues: theater, art, music, building/constructing, working with machines, and more. Helping expose your child to a variety of environments can spark a natural talent. Their characteristics of Impulsiveness and a willingness to take risks can lead your child to form original ideas and move them to make a dream into a reality.