loss of motivation, negative attitudes about school and themselves, and other consequences that seep into various aspects of their lives.One of the most important things we can do for children with ADHD is to help them nurture a positive self-view. Children who feel secure and competent are more likely to thrive in and out of school and be hopeful and resilient in the face of life’s inevitable setbacks.Focusing on a child’s strengths is key to helping them cultivate a positive self-view, as is creating opportunities for them to help others by activating their strengths.Something significant happens when parents and teachers start to focus on a child’s strengths and interests – or what I call “islands of competence” – instead of their challenges and so-called deficits.
They begin to see features of their child or student that they have not focused upon before and begin to consider more effective ways to address the youngster’s problems both at home and in the classroom.[Get This Free Download: 4 Secrets to Motivating Students with ADHD]I first used the islands of competence concept and approach with a 10-year-old outpatient boy with ADHD whose main way of coping with his learning challenges was to hit other kids. As he came to trust me, he confided, “I’d rather be sent to the principal’s office than be in a classroom where I feel like a dummy.”Instead of focusing on his troubles, I asked him what he liked to do and learned that he loved to take care of his pet dog.
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