Embracing Our True Selves: A Journey Beyond Labels

journey of self-discovery

Many parents come to me seeking tools to improve their children’s executive functions or behavior in some way. They want help teaching their kids to:

  • Turn in homework on time,
  • Organize their papers,
  • Perform better on tests, and
  • Pay attention in class.

While I acknowledge the importance of these skills, I saw a deeper issue that needed to be addressed first.

Beneath all these expectations was a child who felt stupid, worthless, like a piece of garbage. I try to explain to parents that their children need to believe that they are worthy human beings, good enough as they are. This is where they need help first.

However, many parents don’t want to hear this. They insist they were already telling their children they were doing a good job and expressing their love. But the child often held different beliefs; they don’t believe the compliments because they focus on all the criticism they receive.

Bridging the Gap Between Perception and Reality

This issue is compounded by the disconnect between the all-or-nothing thinking of a child and the more nuanced understanding of a parent with decades of life experience.

Schools, influenced by government agendas, dictate what is deemed necessary for learning, often without considering the child’s perspective. The child is left trying to navigate a confusing world, attempting to please everyone, while not everyone is communicating effectively.

The pressure is all on the child to perform well and be good, yet they often feel confused, overwhelmed, and as if they are constantly failing.

Empowering Children to Realize Their True Worth

When a parent asks for my help to improve their child’s performance, what I often hear from the child is, “I’m not good enough.” My first priority is to work with these children to help them realize their value, that they matter, that who they are as human beings is the foundation of what they bring to this world.

They might end up with a poor memory or be bad at math, but that doesn’t define their career path or worth. The world needs bus drivers, carpenters, pilots, architects, engineers, social workers – regardless of their career or skill set, what’s important is that we all find our way by learning to trust ourselves, to love who we are, and to honor our strengths, regardless of societal expectations.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that the work to be done, especially for people with ADHD, autism, or really anyone, is to get down to fundamentally understanding who you are when you strip away all the layers of who you were told to be. What are you left with?

Your essential humanity, your goodness, your capacity to be present, compassionate, and loving, starting with yourself. Self-compassion and the ability to love yourself, with all your imperfections, is what people with ADHD, autism, or any other human being needs to be able to do for themselves.

This is what I teach everyone I work with, because it’s the one thing we all need to know how to do before learning any other skill.

Connect and Transform

Are you seeking guidance on this transformative journey for yourself or your child? Reach out to me to explore my programs designed to nurture self-compassion and unlock true potential. Together, we can embark on a path of self-discovery and empowerment.

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