Developing and maintaining friends can be challenging for children with ADHD. Their increased level of activity, impulsivity, and talkativeness can make interactions difficult. The ability to read social cues and knowing how to interact and get along with others does not always come naturally to children with ADHD. Teasing, bullying, and rejection are common experiences for children with ADHD. As a result, parents of children with ADHD must take an active role in organizing playdates and social activities that provide their children with opportunities to develop lasting friendships. In addition, parents must take an active role in teaching their children specific ways to be a friend. Here are some helpful tips to incorporate into your child’s daily life to assist him with developing friendship skills.
- It is important to remember that children with ADHD are typically delayed in their social development. Therefore, they will require supervision on play dates and social activities beyond what is typically expected.
- Encourage your child to invite peers over for fun social activities or playdates.
- Plan a fun activity and ask your child if she would like to ask a peer to join her.
- Initially playdates or social activities should be kept to one-on-one until your child is able to handle interacting with more than one playmate at a time.
- Playdates should be kept time limited so that they can be successful. This will also limit the possibility of the two children becoming tired of each other and finding themselves in conflict.
- During playdates its important to help your child with social skills, such as sharing, taking turns, and offering and receiving positive feedback.
- It is important to remind your child before the social activity that if he has a meltdown in front of his friend, that friend may not want to come over again. Encourage him to come and ask for help before he has a problem.
- Praise your child’s attempts at socialization regardless of the his success level.
We offer social skills groups to help children improve their social interactions. If you or someone you know would like more information contact our office at (503) 352-0240.