Raise Low Self-Esteem Minimize Emotional Effects of Dyslexia

Updated: Dec 26, 2018

Has your child ever come home from school very emotional?

You’re not sure if they are angry or about to cry?

You ask, “How was your school day?”

Your child begins to describe the events that happened while fighting back tears. He tells you about hurtful comments that were said to him, the glaring looks from other students as he began to read, the whispering, and the pointing of the finger towards him while laughing.

He suddenly felt embarrassed. He felt stupid. He felt like a failure.

He tells you that he wanted to run out of the room.

These negative emotions have been engraved into his subconscious mind.

I get it. I’ve been there.

I was bullied in middle school just for being the new girl.

I know, that was middle school eons ago, but the emotions of that school year of being put-down and belittled are what get in the way of my stepping out of my comfort zone NOW as an adult.

Who wants to be laughed at or have someone think less of you, right?

I’m really passionate about giving our kids tools that they can use when they feel like a failure or made to believe they aren’t important.

Growing up is tough enough without having to worry who’s disapproving of you.

We carry these negative thoughts in our subconscious mind.

When we try to step out to learn something new, or step in front a crowd of people to make a speech, our subconscious mind gives us reasons not to.

They are really good reasons. They are SO good that they are believable.

So we shrink back into the crowd.

What if we, as parents, could recognize these negative events when they happen to our children?

What if we were able to give them tools to overcome these negative thoughts before they became part of their subconscious brain?

What if we could set them up for success with the right “mind set” about their reading?

Would you like to be able to use the right words that empower your child?

How about creating a partnership of discovery with your child?


1. Reframe The Struggles of ‘Reading’ as a Problem to be Solved.

Use words such as, “Let’s figure out a better strategy to help you read.”

Involve your child in thinking about possible solutions.

After all, your dyslexic child has a creative brain, thinks in images, and sees the problem as a whole so that together you can break it down into fixable parts.

When the focus on the reading problem is placed outside of the body, the problem of reading is no longer lowering the self-esteem.

It becomes the search for the best strategy to learn to read.

2. Pair ‘Eye-Reading’ With ‘Ear-Reading’.

In the early grades the focus is ‘learning to read’.

As your child ages up into 4th grade and beyond, especially in middle school, the focus of the curriculum is ‘reading to learn’.

The reading load can become quite massive so a good strategy is pairing ‘eye-reading’ with ‘ear-reading’ for those assignments, like social studies, science, and literature.

Of course, continued work on those specific weaknesses in ‘learning to read’ should continue.

One way to pair ‘eye-reading’ with ‘ear-reading’ is through audio books.

Pairing listening while reading text is a fantastic way to develop the rhythm of language, fluency, and building a working vocabulary without the stress of figuring out each word.

If you are a home school mom you can access grade-level audio text books on various topics through Learning Ally. Just set up your account and look through all the choices.

If your child attends a school, working with the teacher to find a text book through Learning Ally that complements what is being used in the classroom for your child to ‘ear-read’ is an option. The teacher may even help you to choose the best book.

3. Work on the Reading Skills Your Child Needs to Close the Reading Gap.

I mentioned above in #2 that continuing to work on specific weaknesses in reading in those early years of school is extremely important.

Finding an online tutor who can give a free reading assessment to determine those weak areas is most convenient.

In the comfort of your home on the computer (kids are so tech-savvy, it’s even fun for them), your child's reading can be assessed and taught with targeted explicit strategies to shore up reading weaknesses so that the gap in their reading can be closed.

Actively working on solutions to their reading problems puts them in control, thus raising their self-esteem.

You can’t protect them all the time, but teaching them ways to handle those negative comments or negative inner feelings of failure, especially when it comes to their reading struggles, will empower them with tools they can carry forward in life.

Jean Harville


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