ADHD affects more than just behaviour and academic performance – most kids with ADHD have trouble socialising with other kids and building friendships.
The ADHD symptoms they exhibit, such as impulsiveness and inattentiveness, makes it hard for them to win friends. Feeling different or not being accepted by other children might be one of the most painful parts of having ADHD and this can have long term effects.
Having a positive relationship is very important for all children – but especially children with ADHD. As parents, we can help them develop simple social skills that will guide them in how to act properly towards other kids and gain friends. Teaching our kids social rules and allowing them time to practiseis very helpful. After all, practice makes perfect…
One way to help your kids practise social skills is to encourage them to reflect on past inappropriate behaviour and help them find better ways they could have dealt with things.
Role playing is a very useful strategy for showing our ADHD kids how to get along better with people. Set up some scenarios and let them play them out, so they learn how to respond to certain situations in a safe space. This will help them behave more positively in the future.
Take time to talk to your child and allow them to express what they feel. Doing this will allow them to vent their feelings and will also help you to know what’s going on their mind. This might be difficult for your child because many kids with ADHD have problems communicating their emotions but if you do this often enough, your child will get used to it and will find it much easier.
Some children find empathy difficult – putting themselves in someone else’s shoes and feeling what they are feeling. This can be hard because they are more likely to be focused on themselves, but as I’ve said, practice makes perfect, and helping them get in the habit of it makes it that much easier.
Finally, don’t forget to reward your child for any progress they make. Rewards help to reinforce positive attitudes and behaviour, so be generous with praises because it has a great effect!