Dyslexia and self esteem

How do you keep their confidence and self-esteem up when they think they are less than others in class?

I have found that being told how clever they are doesn’t hurt, but is not really believed either. “Of course, you’d say that; you are my mother,” seems to be the most common reaction to the opinions of the family. Confidence has to be felt and earned, in order to be believed. In my profession as Davis facilitator, the building of confidence through self-mastery is my first goal. It follows the natural order from relaxation to focus; from focus to attention; from attention to achievement and from there to mastery. Self-esteem is a natural consequence of mastery and the most rewarding result for anyone to witness.

When you see a transformation from a nervy, anxious, timid child or teenager to a calm, self-assured and confident person, the benefits extend well beyond the classroom.

It influences the choice of their peer-group, which area of learning and living they focus on and what they consequently achieve in life. They will know that they are different, but definitely not less than others. Most of them end up being happy to be different.

As much as young people want to fit in and don’t want to be perceived as different, we change and seek to stand out later in life.

At that point we are happy and confident to have a gift that is seen as different and valuable to other. Dyslexics can certainly provide that.

How do I continue supporting my child if they are not motivated to change or don’t want to participate positively in a program?

Motivation is key! It does not matter where it comes from, but please try to find one area, even if it is outside of school that the child is motivated to make a change. Ask them casual questions to figure out, where they are at, who they hang out with, what they love and what they don’t like. Ask them why that is so. Ask them if they would like to feel less stressed out at school, or if they want to make reading or writing easier for themselves? If the answer to all of them is negative, and they don’t want to change at all, it is often better to wait until they do. Otherwise the pushing will only end in struggle and frustration.

Some children prefer to be left alone to pursue their art, sport or other area they are good at and happy to indulge in. As long as these hobbies are not negatively influencing their health and wellbeing, it might be great to encourage and join them in those activities and ease up on the rest. You will be surprised how often they will make a huge shift, as soon as they feel that the pressure from you is gone.

One day this child of yours will surprise you! Trust them, they come with their own “instruction manual” and might just take another route to their destination than you’d like them to take. If, however, your child wants help in one area of their life, don’t sabotage it by trying to persuade them to go into another area or an additional one.