Sometimes it’s hard for a young dude with ADD to make new friends. I’ve seen that first hand and experienced it somewhat in my own life.
Along those lines, there’s a great article in the newest issue of ADDitude magazine that talks about how we, as parents, can help our young dudes and dudettes with attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder to make new friends.
Here’s what parents who read the magazine suggested.
1. Play matchmaker
2. Make friends with other parents
3. Get the young dudes and dudettes involved in group activities
4. Organize playdates (for the younger set)
5. Good behavior makes good friendships
6. Give your young dudes and dudettes talking points and reminders
For the most part, I think these are some pretty good suggestions. The only one I really have a problem with is No. 2, which basically assumes that because we parents are friends the kids will be friends as well. They also suggest that we talk to the parents of kids in our young dude’s class and tell the parents about any social problems. Assuming then that they would tell their kids to include ours in play activities. I don’t know. . . that sounds like pity play to me and I thought we were supposed to be encouraging friendships.
Of all these, I think the best idea is to get your young dude or dudette involved in group activities. And here I’m thinking specifically about sports teams. Not only will they get some good exercise out of the deal, but the shared experiences will really foster bonding and friendship between teammates.
The most important, though, probably are the final two. These are the ones I’ve most noticed impeding my own young dudes’ efforts at making friendship. All three of the young dudes have a tendency toward acting more than a little goofy. We tried to develop code words that would draw their attention to their behavior. That way, we didn’t actually have to reprimand them in front of guests/friends.
It’s the last one, though, that I think is what can really make a difference. For instance, Hyper Lad makes acquaintances really easy. Not friends, acquaintances. He’ll talk about his great friend, say, Rob. I’ll ask what his last name is. Hyper Lad has no idea. He also has no phone number or other way to contact the kid.
Our young dudes have a tendency to hyper-focus on what they’re doing in the moment and that leaves them forgetful about making sure they stay in contact with would-be friends. That’s where we can help out. A simple reminder might be all that’s needed to kick them into friend-making mode.
Not only a good idea, a good plan.