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How Does ADHD Affect Self-Esteem?

How Does ADHD Affect Self-Esteem?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects approximately 8.4% of children in the United States. This mental disorder makes it hard for children (and adults) to focus, sit still, and act with forethought. As a result of their behaviors, children with ADHD may face a number of challenges at school, at home, and in social settings. 

Children with ADHD can find it hard to make friends. They may be sent to the counselor’s or principal’s office more often than their peers. Teachers may isolate them in classrooms to curb their chatty nature or other disruptive behaviors. 

All of these steps can take a toll on your ADHD-diagnosed child’s self-esteem. Our experienced pediatric team at Penguin Pediatrics — with offices in Ashburn and Stone Ridge, Virginia — offer support for children with ADHD. 

Here’s what our doctors want you to know about how ADHD affects your child’s self-esteem, so we can work with you to manage symptoms. 

What is self-esteem?

Your self-esteem is your sense of self-worth. 

A healthy self-esteem means you feel good about yourself. You believe you deserve other people’s respect. You value your own opinions and ideas and share them in the classroom, at your workplace, and in relationships. 

How does ADHD impact self-esteem?

Growing up with ADHD can make a child struggle with their self-esteem. The effects of these struggles can spill over into adulthood. 

ADHD makes it hard to focus, which often means poor grades, distracted attention, and criticism. ADHD can also affect a child’s ability to relate to their peers, making them feel alone and unworthy of friends. 

Well-meaning and understandably frustrated teachers and caregivers may get short with kids with ADHD in an attempt to “fix” their behavior. These children are often repeatedly told to “sit still” and “stop talking.” ADHD can make them constantly interrupt others, which can make conversations, playtime, and learning a challenge.

All this negative feedback can start to wear on a child. They may start to feel really badly about themselves. This poor self-esteem can continue into adulthood and spiral into depression, unhealthy relationships, and self-harm.

How can I boost my child’s self-esteem?

At Penguin’s Pediatrics, we’re available to help. If you notice signs of ADHD, talk to us about those worrying aspects of your child’s behavior. We can offer treatment, and if we think you need a specialist’s help, we can refer you.

We can also clarify how your child’s behavior is usually a function their ADHD and give you the tools to support your child and enhance their self-esteem. 

Some helpful ways to help you child include:

You can also help your child overcome the challenges of ADHD by helping them along with creative solutions. Make large tasks smaller by breaking them into micro, achievable goals. For example, if they have a long math worksheet, give them a mini break after completing every few problems.

What does a pediatrician do for ADHD?

Our first line of treatment is to offer you and your child therapy and behavior modification to help you (and them) manage ADHD symptoms.

In serious cases, we may also recommend medications to help them manage ADHD in conjunction with therapy. 

If you’re worried about your child’s self-esteem and ADHD behaviors, call one of our offices at Penguin Pediatrics or use the online booking tool to make an appointment. We’re here to support you as a parent and build up your child so they live a happier, healthier life.

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