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ADHD in Girls

Daughter having trouble keeping friends

My 9 yr old daughter is having a problem with a friend.  She finally found another girl who she had things in common with this year, she was a tomboy like my daughter, liked sports, didn’t like dresses….etc, but a few months ago she stopped playing with my daughter and is playing with another girl in class.  My daughter feels really sad and keeps asking her to sit by her at lunch, and the other girl will reply that she doesn’t want to sit by her because she chews with her mouth open, my daughter told her she didn’t know she did that and would stop, the girl said well I still don’t want to sit by you, she has been running away from my daughter and recess with this other girl, telling my daughter that she asks to many questions and talks to much, and still my daughter wants to be her friend.

My questions are, how can I get her to stop trying to be this girls friend, because obviously this girl doesn’t want to be friends with my daughter anymore, and that breaks my heart because my daughter is so sweet and is always thinking about others, she keeps writing her friend notes at school and coloring her pictures because she just wants to be her friend so bad again :/  Also, when she makes a friend, how can I get her to keep them without the ADHD symptoms getting in the way and annoying the other girls?

Replies

First off, don’t worry, this happens all the time even with children who don’t have ADHD. chewing with your mouth open is not a symptom of having ADHD. The values and morals you should instill in your child is that friends come and go, and that you can’t force someone to be your friend. Tell her to try to make new friends and different ones. Change isn’t easy to adapt to, especially with ADHD so this is probably something hard for her to deal with, but as her mother you have to be her friend, don’t feel bad in her presence, be positive, turn it into something good. Let her know nice people and real friends don’t run from you or be mean to you, so she is not losing something great.
She needs to grow tough skin and its your job to help with that process. Try to set play dates with other moms and children in area. Throw girly sleepovers or pampering parties.

Posted by Anthony18Mommy on Apr 04, 2014 at 7:39pm

You can’t do anything about ADHD symptoms getting in the way!  But you can arrange playdates with other kids.  Friends of yours with kids?  Doesn’t have to be a school friend, can be a friend from anywhere.  Encourage her to befriend more kids. 

But don’t try to intervene with her friendships.  Unless a kid is really a terrible influence then you as parent have no right to get involved.  These are her life lessons and as painful as they may be to watch you have to let her go through them.  If she is having trouble identifying friends at school the counselor and teachers can facilitate some combinations in activities to try to encourage friendships.  But no one should get in the middle of someone else’s relationship.  Even if she wasn’t ADHD she very well may have had this experience!  I am not ADHD and I had a similar experience in grade school, where I wanted to be friends with someone who wasn’t interested in being friends with me! Take away that experience and you take away the lesson.

Why would you want your daughter to have to change to have friends anyway?  What kind of message is that to send to a girl? If she doesn’t click with anyone at school, sign her up for a lesson, visit the park and let her play with neighbor kids, visit cousins or extended friends and family - be with anyone who accepts her the way she is, ADHD or not!  Those are real friends.  The ones you have to change for don’t really like you at all.

Posted by YellaRyan on Apr 05, 2014 at 1:14am

Its hard to know when ADHD problems are the root of the broken friendship or if it is simply girls being fickle with each other. I was talking to someone last night about my child having trouble keeping friends and she said, “This is just that age.” (Also 9 years old) It is hard for my DD to understand because she doesn’t act like that. Sometimes she frets over someone no longer wanting to play with her so I go through all of the kids who like her and like to play with her. Granted, it is a short list, but then I add on friends we know from places we’ve moved from and the list grows. I talk about how not everyone is worth being friends with and having a few really close, loyal friends is the most important thing.

I wish that I could stop my DD from showing her annoying ADHD symptoms when she is with friends but obviously I can’t! Over time she will mature and in Middle School she will have more choices for friends. When I see her being left out at social events it breaks my heart for her - and she’s been to one birthday party since we moved her over a year ago. I know she is being left out but when we talk, I focus on who cares about her.

Just keep working with her and take each day as it comes. We hurt inside as we put on a brave face for our child(ren).

Posted by momodoodle on Apr 05, 2014 at 5:02pm

I so sympathize with you!  My daughter has the same issues and a friend (whose mom is one of my best friends), who does the same thing.  She will run away from her, not speak to her at school and rally other kids against her.  But when they are alone, it is usually all bliss.  Recently everything came to a head and I’ve urged my daughter to pursue other friendships.  That friendship is toxic to her and she finally agrees.  Her mom and I both agree that the girls shouldn’t be forced to be friends just because we are. 

Anyway, good luck.  This ADHD thing is so hard and it is even harder on the parents!!

Tammy

Posted by Tamiller30022 on Apr 11, 2014 at 4:25pm

I think everyone with a daughter around this age is concerned about their child having friends. Like another mom said, I also had issues with other girls as a child without having ADHD. Nevertheless, ADHD does affect a child’s ability to make friends. My daughter just turned 8 in April an before started meds she was always having problems making friends because she didn’t notice social ques. However at the beginning of 2nd grade, she started meds and has been one of the most popular girls in her class and has tons of friends. But now we are dealing with her allowing her fear of not having friends rule her life. Everything she does is revolved around not wanted to lose a friend or not wanting a friend to be mad at her.

Try starting your daughter in some kind of team sport. This will allow her to learn something new and make friends, which will in turn boost confidence. My daughter’s school counselor also has a thing called lunch bunch groups where she has lunch with groups of kids (my daughter included) that may be having social issues and helps them learn how to better interact with classmates. If you haven’t already, try seeing if your daughter’s school counselor could help your daughter identify what may be interfering with her ability to make friends.

Most ADHD girls can be a bit “bossy” and emotional and many times they don’t know when they have offended or irritated someone. If your daughter is on medication it is important to use the time that she is medicated as a teaching time. When my daughter goes to daycare after school the medication has usually worn off and she still does well with her friends. I believe the reason that her behavior and interaction with friends has improved even when no medication is in her system is because she retains the things that she learns about socialization while on medication. For example, when she is on her medication she is very stable and classmates go to her for help with schoolwork because she is so patient and gentle. She is very aware and sensitive to their feelings. When the medication wears off she still remembers the importance of being sensitive to someone’s feelings so she is able to apply that to her relationships. My hope is that one day she won’t need medication, but for now we try to teach her all of the things that she may miss when her mind is racing.
All girls struggle with making friends. I’m confident that this rough patch will pass for your daughter and eventually she will have more friends than she knows what to do with. Just try to get her around other kids outside of school.

Best to you!

Shari

Posted by sharedd on Jun 04, 2014 at 9:26pm

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