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Play Date Help!!!!


My son is almost six and has ADD. He is doing very well in kindergarten, I think because his class is so structured.  He’s making friends and finally being invited to birthday parties and play dates.  The problem is that he is so impulsive when things aren’t structured.  Play dates at our house are ok because I can structure the play when I see him getting a little out of control. But, he is tired of always playing at our house and wants to start playing at other children’s homes.  Any ideas how I can help to make this successful for him?  My anxiety goes through the roof the few times I have allowed him to go play at someone else’s house just because I know there is going to be a problem. He doesn’t want me to stay and the other mom always says it’s ok if I leave.  Any ideas how to make this work?

Replies

Well, how does it go when he is at their homes? Does he lose friends? Do parents complain?

Posted by momodoodle on Dec 08, 2013 at 3:43am

The one play date he’s had so far with a new friend went fine.  But, they went to the park for most of the play date so it’s not like he was cooped up inside. He lost friends in preschool and was not usually invited to other children’s homes.  These are all new friends and he’s only gone to one friends house so far. No complaints from that parent, but plenty from preschool.

Posted by Sporty on Dec 09, 2013 at 2:27pm

Sporty,

The only thing I can offer is to tell you it gets better. I also fretted every time my son was away from me, terrified he’d have a meltdown when I wasn’t there to help him. My son was diagnosed at 6 and I was that way until very recently, he’s now 11. Only in the last few months have I recognized that I am holding him back and causing him to miss fun activities because I was scared for him to be with another family for a long period.

I let him go on a hiking trip with a neighboring family a couple months ago even though my husband and I both thought it was a recipe for disaster. BUT, my son had the best time and had ZERO problems. They even gave him his afternoon pill for me while out hiking. They said he showed exemplary behavior!

From then on, I’ve learned that I can’t make decisions based on worse-case scenario. And I certainly shouldn’t hold him back from experiences he wants to have. He will only get better with social interactions and social policy by practicing it.

I found a webinar podcast and a couple articles over on ADDitudeMag.com about helping your child with social skills and play dates. These certainly may help you with your young son.

http://www.additudemag.com/RCLP/sub/10295.html
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/8375.html
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/2512.html

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

Posted by adhdmomma on Dec 09, 2013 at 3:18pm

Is your son on medication? If so which ones? My son is in Preschool and he’s having problems making friends.

Posted by vabronxboogie on Dec 09, 2013 at 8:14pm

He takes Guanfacine to help with his impulsivity.  It helps somewhat, but it’s not perfect.  He could not tolerate stimulants so it was pretty much the ony option for him. 

Penny, I really appreciate your advice. I think you are right - I will end up holding him back and he will miss out if my fear of him losing it keeps him from doing things.  Thank you.,

Posted by Sporty on Dec 10, 2013 at 4:08am

I agree with Penny. Preschool is a different age and he has matured. One thing you can do is make the playdates kind of short until you get a sense of how he is doing. That way he is at his best the whole time.

Posted by momodoodle on Dec 11, 2013 at 3:18am

I made a mistake and took my son off intuniv because I thought that was the problem…but the intuniv helped with the impulsivity. Guafacine didn’t do anything…the intuniv is longer lasting. So I’m putting him back. So I’m glad you said for the impulsivity because it really did work. For play dates, are there rec centers? Kids bouncy places where kids are located? Also try meetup.com for parents with kids who do things together.

Posted by vabronxboogie on Dec 11, 2013 at 4:47am

Curious when you give the Intuniv.  My sons dr wants to switch him to Intuniv so he’s not so emotional in the late afternoon when his am dose wears off but I hate to switch something that is working.  I think I’m going to do it because the guanfacine is not perfect, but I don’t want him to be tired all day. The dr said he’d take it in the am, but everything I’ve read said to take it at night.

Posted by Sporty on Dec 14, 2013 at 6:45pm

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The opinions expressed on ADDConnect are solely those of the user, who may or may not have medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of ADDConnect or ADDitude magazine. For more information, see our terms and conditions.