How You Lift Your Child's Spirits When the World Has Dragged Them Down

Sometimes the world misunderstands your child and sends her into a tailspin. ADDitude readers tell you how to steady her, soothe her, and send her off soaring again.

ADHD boy's parents help him feel better.

Buy him something that floats his boat!

M's Mom, Arkansas

> Remind him that we all know how great he is, and one day the world will know that, as well. -An ADDitude Reader

> I explain to her that even though things are hard sometimes, we are all stronger than we think we are. I show her things that only people with our "special brains" can do. I remind her that she is not alone, that her family is there. I do this while we cuddle on the couch. -Amanda, Georgia

> I remind him of what he has accomplished so far — and I just hug him. -A.W., Indiana

> I ask him what is making him feel bad. When I've listened for a bit, and he seems ready, I talk about something he is interested in. Then I give him "sideways" compliments, noting, as we talk, how good he is at noticing details, remembering interesting information, or anything that I can tie to the conversation. -Bonnie, California

> We joke a lot and don't take the world so seriously. If I can make him smile or laugh at something, that usually does the trick. Sometimes I do a silly dance or make a funny face. Later, when he is calmer, we discuss his problems. -Brooke, New Jersey

> I tell him that God doesn't make junk. Everyone is made the way they are for a reason. He needs to figure out what his purpose is. I remind him that no one is perfect, and admit some of my shortcomings to him. -Cathy, Ohio

> I hold him and tell him that I am thankful that God gave him to me, and that I wouldn't change a thing about him. Then we go out for ice cream and a movie. -C.C., Nicaragua

> I sit close, but not touching or looking at her, repeating the names of everyone who loves her. Eventually, I throw in a few things like "your cat gives you fluffy love." This makes her smile. -Carolyn, North Carolina

> Acknowledge anything, big or small, that your kid does well. -Tereza, New York

> I celebrate the way her brain works, pointing out how hard she works to finish her homework, how creative she is, and the entertaining solutions she comes up with. She's proud of her differences, and this builds her up before the world can make her feel bad. -Heather, Alaska

> I do something active with him. We go down to the beach to swim (he loves it) or take a long bike ride. -Sherran, New Zealand


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This article appears in the Summer issue of ADDitude.
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