Some of the signs of attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) are easy to spot: inattention, hyperactivity, inappropriate behavior, an inability to focus. But the condition can have longer-lasting psychological effects, most notably a loss of self-esteem. Since many ADHD children have difficulty succeeding academically and socially, they often start to internalize feelings of ridicule, blame, and self-doubt.

In some cases, these feelings can prompt ADHD kids to withdraw from social situations in which they feel they may be ridiculed, rejected, or judged. In others, children may be so afraid to fail that they choose not to try at all, depriving themselves of the chance to realize their full potential.

For strategies to help boost self-esteem, be sure to speak with your pediatrician or mental-health professional. He or she can advise you on the best ways to reassure and encourage your ADHD child. In addition, follow these five tips to help your kid flourish:


Show your child lots of affection:

All children need to know that they're loved and appreciated. Remember, if you focus only on your child's negative behavior, it will harm his or her confidence, which can result in poor self esteem. For a child who has a hard time internalizing verbal affection, try a smile, a pat on the shoulder, or a hug to show you care.


Be patient:

Try to stay calm when talking to your child, even if he or she seems out of control. The calmer you are, the more likely it is that your child will calm down, too. Never ridicule or embarrass your child.


Take time to enjoy your child:

Make an effort to appreciate the side of your child's personality that isn't difficult. You can start to do this by spending some private time together when no other children or adults can interfere. Try to make sure you give your child more positive than negative attention each day.


Identify and avoid difficult situations:

Try to avoid making your child sit through long presentations or shopping in malls or grocery stores in which the amount and display of merchandise may be overwhelming.


Find specific activities to enhance your child's self-esteem:

Children with ADHD often enjoy art projects, music or dance lessons and martial arts classes, especially karate or tae kwon do. Don't force children into activities beyond their abilities. Help them find something they can succeed at and be happy doing.