Parents speak out on “what things are keeping them up at night about ADHD for their family.
- “Will my daughter find people who can support her while she works on her social skills? Friends that can understand she can be inappropriate or come off as thoughtless. She just doesn’t have that awareness yet.
- “Can my son learn skills he needs to take care of himself?
- “I worry about my daughter socially more than ever. She gets bored with things…..and people very quickly.”
- “The biggest concern I now have with my son is how to help him deal with anxiety.”
- “I worry a lot about how my son would fit in, in the real world as an adult.”
- “Will my daughter be able to manage on her own, get a job, hold a job, get bills paid?
Can you relate?
Worrying about how our kids will manage as adults is natural. We spend so much time worrying about algebra test scores we miss what is “missing”. Do we know our kids social intelligence score? Our kids need social muscle to achieve independence.
Those with ADHD frequently struggle with friendships. They’re often isolated and withdrawn. Some choose not to socialize. If they do, they may be rejected.
Worse, isolation and rejection may lead to other problems like depression and anxiety.
Parents struggle with knowing what social advice and support to give kids. Some parents lack confidence because they may struggle socially too.
Making and keeping friends is the beginning of building our social muscle. It is critical to building confidence to navigate the world as an adult.
According to the Oxford Dictionary the definition of Social: “Pertaining to the interaction humans have with one another, either as individuals or in groups.”
Think of the different interactions we have with others in a given day.
- We talk to the receptionist to schedule a doctor appointment.
- We return an item to a store.
- We order a pizza.
- We give our boss status updates.
- We work on team projects.
- We contact our credit card company to dispute a charge.
These interactions have nothing to do with making and keeping friends. But they do require the same social skills.
True independence is achieved when our kids can represent themselves, their views and interests to live productive, happy lives.
Two final concerns from parents:
- “Have we done everything we can for him?
- “What else are we missing? What does she need that could make a difference?”
You can make a difference.
You can help your tween, teen, young adult build and strengthen social muscle. You can learn how to be your kid’s social coach.
Here’s your first social coaching strategy.
Look at social skills not as an art, but a science.
Demystify and decode the “art form” of social skills into concrete rules and steps of social behavior.
Why this approach works?
Most kids, especially kids with ADHD are fond of rules. Even if they seemingly disobey or forget them, they appreciate rules because they understand the expectations. Kids with ADHD tend to be “people pleasers”. They want more than anything to get it right.
As parents it breaks our hearts when our kids struggle socially. Worse, it diminishes our kid’s true potential to reach independence.