Living as a child with a learning disorder or a mental illness becomes a very challenging path. Many kids struggle to socialize, feel accepted and develop their self esteem. When there are other struggles these young people may start to feel hopeless.
The role of a parent is to always find a way to love and care for your child. It is helpful to begin explaining about ways to build self esteem even at a very young age. I started teaching my daughter about affirmations when she was three years old. This was a simple activity where I told her twice a day to say three positive thoughts about herself. They began with simple ideas including that she is kind, loving and tries to be warm to others.
It is also a parents role to be able to navigate difficult situations. When your child is hurting you may want to deal with the bully and make them leave your child alone. It is wonderful to teach your kids that those who are hurtful often have severe issues. This means that anyone picking on a special needs child has their own core problems of trying to put down those who are easy to be singled out. You may also talk to their teachers or the parent of the child who is being hurtful.
The final step is to teach your child to focus on their strengths. Are they a great artist, have a warm smile, an ability to listen, play tennis, love to dance or have a huge heart? You may tell them each day all of the reasons why you are proud of them. This simple act may open up their heart and teach them to honor and accept themselves. When we raise children in this manner they develop to be happier adults who focus on what is working. This may be the best gift a parent can provide when raising their kids.