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The 3 Legged Stool of Success For Kids With ADHD Part 1: Self-Awareness

Sometimes, our excellent Guest Experts have SO many points to make that we must alter the way things are done so that you can get the maximum benefit from their expertise. It’s one of those occasions. We are privileged and honoured to be able to have Professor Dr Jerome Schultz as a Guest Expert. We are thrilled to offer his insights in a three-part collection: “The 3-Legged Stool of Success for Kids with ADHD: Helping Kids Develop Self-Awareness, Self-Advocacy, and Self-Improvement.”

I’m having a hard time dealing with the massive amount of children (and adults, too) getting indelible pictures of themselves performing absurd or almost illegal things in any mood, from joyous excitement to profound depression. Many folks (mostly younger) say that I should “get with it” and take out my Selfie-Stick. Sorry, I’m still not there yet.

Three-Legged Stool of Success:

The growth of the word “Selfie” has inspired me to write about what I believe to be the three-legged stool to success for children and adolescents who have ADHD. Self-Awareness and Self-Improvement. Three different kinds of selfies. When children learn how to do each of these correctly, they can make themselves appear (and feel) great, at least from the inside,

In the coming three posts, we’ll discuss each part of the Stool of Success for kids who have ADHD. The first step is self-awareness.

Self-Awareness For ADHD Kids:

Self-Awareness Self-perception is the capacity to perceive and comprehend what we appear in the world. It’s similar to looking in a mirror yourself, looking at your reflection, and then being in a position to describe the image to yourself. Everyone has an idea of the way their “look,” but we don’t have this capability; it evolves as we age.

To live, babies and infants must focus on others, and in particular their mother, as she’s the one who provides food and protection. When a baby is around fifteen months, when you slyly place a sticky notepad on her head and then hold the mirror up for her to see her, but she doesn’t grab her hand and take the post-it off since she’s not thinking, “Hey, that’s ME!”

As children get older and become more developed, their capacity to think introspectively improves. In time, they will be able to look at themselves and form opinions about what they accomplish and what they stink.

Feedback From Others:

How we perceive ourselves is influenced by how we interact with others in addition to the information we receive from them. The external evaluations of other people ( “That’s good!” or “That’s not nice”) aid us in developing the self-image we have of ourselves (like “I am good,” “I am smart,” “I’m the best soccer player,” or “I always do dumb things.”)

Research has revealed that children who have ADHD (compared with children with no disorder) tend to overestimate their self-perceptions more when it comes to areas where they are most challenged. Their self-perceptions are not as accurate for tasks in which they are most likely to struggle most.

The situation plays out in a wacky manner. The moment is first faced with a difficult task, children who have ADHD declare things like “I’m a great reader”, regardless of whether they have difficulty with the process of decoding or comprehending. After receiving a lot of feedback throughout the time regarding the way they can read, they are likely to alter their self-promotion in a manner that resembles “I stink at reading” or “I hate reading” (code for “I’m not good at it”).

Children who aren’t able to do something well usually get shut down when asked to perform a task that other kids can do effortlessly. The reason for this is simple. Doing “I’m the best” or “I stink at that” are two ways to shield yourself from being judged negatively by others.

Parents Can Help Turn This Around:

Help your children develop their abilities to assess their self-worth accurately. The ability to appraise themselves accurately will assist them in achieving achievement:

  1. Celebrate Legitimate Success. Let your children choose examples of their schoolwork that you and they agree is adequately accomplished. If you’re living in New England, put these in a folder labelled “Wicked Good.” If you’re not from Boston and not from Boston, you can mark the work “Pretty Awesome.” If you’re using a numerical rating scale, you must agree with your child that these works are either a “1” or a “2.” Let the child take the job and sign it next to the agreed-upon rating.
  2. Compare and Contrast. When you next have the assignment to be completed, Don’t inform your child about how you feel she did. Instead, you should ask, “how do you think you did on this?” The kids usually respond to this question in two ways: they’ll say, “that’s awesome! If she’s correct, compare it to the samples from the “awesome” file “awesome” file, and you will both be smiling.

If she’s off, ask her: “Is this as good as the one you’ve put from the “awesome” document? She is positive, however, you don’t think so, you can give your child the chance to explain: “This time, I don’t agree; compared to these 1 or 2 level items, this seems more like a 3 or 4.” This honest, actual external assessment helps the student to see what’s truly excellent and the things that aren’t so great. It is a talent that all successful people possess. Children who have ADHD should have the opportunity to master this skill.

Naturally, you could help your child improve their Self-Awareness in every aspect of life, not only in academics. Snap photos of your bedroom or kitchen that’s been cleaned and of your kid in a shaky arm with a friend on the course of a fun play date. You can also allow them to take – is it telling you this? – “selfies!”

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Let’s get to the point. Look for things your child excels at, tasks they can complete effortlessly. You’ll have something that you and your child can be honest and affirm: “That was pretty darned good.” Your children must experience the pleasure of achievement. It’s as if they had money in their self-assessment savings account.



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