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Don’t Do It For Her—Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem!

Your child is easily frustrated by what may be simple activities to the rest of the family, and it can be so tempting to save time and just do the task for her.

Don’t do it!! Empowering your child is a much more effective way to encourage learning and build self-esteem, which is so valuable to your youngster’s ability and desire to take on more challenging tasks in the future. Empowering a child tells them, “I trust you, I trust your skills.” This fuels their self-esteem tenfold and makes them an accepted contributor to your family or their classroom.
Here are some techniques for teaching your whole family to EMPOWER your child for even more growth:

Celebrate!!
Children respond to and remember negative comments more easily than positive ones, yet they are hungry for positive feedback and approval. When your child achieves even small steps along the way to success, celebrate by whatever motivates him!

This could be a physical reward (a prize from a reward box, small trinket, or earning a sticker chart that needs to be filled before earning a reward). Verbal praise is also a good. And a tactile reward (a hug or high-five) can also be good.

Don’t Rush Things
Yes, ours is a rushed society that thinks everything needs to be done right away. Yet, disabled kids are capable of doing a lot of things if they just have the time!

Parents often say they aren’t keeping up with a home therapy program due to lack of time. Consider the time you spend allowing your child to participate and complete an activity as an investment in self-esteem and overall function. It will have a snowball effect on the child’s overall growth and development.

Grade the Task
One reason we are tempted to do things for our children is that we know they don’t readily have the skills to completely finish a task on their own. Try “grading” the task so that they can at least do a part of it. Amber Hill therapists can help you to choose some of your child’s most frustrating tasks and break them down to find a level at which your child can successfully participate.

The key goal is to find a way to get the child involved, even if it means that all they are doing is holding the instructions or the toolbox.

A final thought: Be aware of how much you are helping! It is so easy to take over and help too much, but if you and your child’s therapist work together to find “just the right challenge”, the value to your child’s self-esteem will be endless.