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Parents of ADHD Children

Making friends

I’ve always struggled to maintain healthy/close relationships. I don’t really have a big circle of friends, but I would have to say my husband is my only true friend, he’s my best friend.
I have some friends from over the years who I basically communicate with via texts or at birthday dinners. I don’t speak to them on a daily or weekly basis. None of them really know everything about me. Never talked about my struggles with ADD, low self esteem, etc. At this point, they have probably figured it out on their own, but it’s never been a topic of conversation.

I said all that to say, I’m noticing my kids don’t have many friends either. There might be a couple of girls they go on play dates with or sleepovers but their friendships don’t seem to last.. Sometimes I think I am to blame. Since I’m not great at maintaining relationships, I don’t know if that has maybe rubbed off on my kids. No one calls them to hang out or anything. I think at times, parents of the kids my daughters meet find me to be standoffish or Not very genuine? I’m just guessing but you never know…

They will be at a new school this September and I’m hoping for them to make friends. Middle school is a big deal to them and most kids at that age have established friendships already.

My kids are great, sweet but different from the average kid. They do struggle in school which makes things even harder. I think kids in middle school tend to be more judgmental and that worries me.

My kids are twins.. One usually makes friends easier than the other. Her twin has always had a hard time making friends… She’s also the most sensitive and gets both positive and negative attention.

The negative attention at school I’m sure hasn’t helped with making friends .. Getting in trouble for not paying attention, forgetting homework, not passing tests, etc. Some of the teachers my kids have had were so hard on them even knowing that they have ADD. My kids hate school because of it…their self -esteem has gone down too.

Does anyone have any tips on how I can help my kids with making and keeping friends?

Do I have to go out my way to make friends with the parents of the kids too?

Interesting…My parents didn’t have very close friends either. They are divorced but both very lonely and don’t really have friends they call to hang out with.

Replies

Is it possible that your twins don’t make a lot of close friends because they are so close themselves? Twins can be really close you know. Being together all the time may make forging close personal relationships with other children difficult. I see this in my son’s friends, the twin boys, who moved in down the street. They are boys and I don’t think it would be as pronounced in boys as in girls, but they are pretty close for brothers. Girls operate on a much deeper emotional level than boys. Its great that they both have someone to be so intimate with. But, it also it possible that they just, unintentionally, exclude other kids when they are around. Are they ever involved in separate activities? They probably should be if they are not. That is very important.

Second, you have ADHD, is it possible that your kids have it too? That can make friend-making difficult as well. If you are willing, there are special friend-making classes kids with ADHD can attend. Also, meds help too. They help kids with ADHD stop and think before they act or speak rashly.

I hope this information is helpful to you.
Sue H in PC, Ohio

Posted by SueH on Aug 10, 2014 at 9:22am

Hi SHJ!

Your post really resonated with me. I have huge social anxiety. When I was a teen, other kids thought I was stuck up because I didn’t talk to them, but I was just afraid of not measuring up. I’ve always had just a few good friends. Shyness can definitely be misinterpreted, sadly.

It could be that your girls are mirroring you socially, or they could have inherited some anxiety that keeps them from being outgoing. You can help them with friendships and social interactions though. The following articles offer a lot of tips and strategies on doing just that:

http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/24/slide-1.html
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10216.html
http://www.additudemag.com/RCLP/sub/10295.html

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 11, 2014 at 2:53pm

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