What can you do to help your son gain self-esteem and also make friends? The first thing you can do is help him understand that his learning disability does not make him stupid or slow. Tell him about Albert Einstein’s struggles in grade school and Beethoven’s difficulties with hearing loss. They turned their weaknesses into strengths.
Then, you can look for his strengths. Is he really creative? Athletic? Generous? Whatever his strength is, make the most of it. Sign him up for an after school activity that he will excel in. This will not only help him gain confidence, it will also introduce him to children his own age who share his passion. This way, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone – he will gain self-esteem, which will lead to motivation.
Perhaps the most important idea that I can leave parents with is that no child is truly unmotivated. It’s simply a matter of decoding the child’s behavior and figuring out the best way to help him see his true potential.
About the Author: An acclaimed educator and social skills specialist, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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