Tag Archives: Acquaintance

Making Friends

by Richard

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.

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Shouldering The Load

by Richard

I get it. By jimminy, I get it. I really, really do. You dudes can all stop now. Please.

Here is a typical conversation with a stranger, pick a stranger. Basically anyone who I bump into during the course of my day. Anywhere. Anytime. Anyone.

“Hey, what’d you do to your arm? Shoulder?”

Me: “Shoulder,” trying to move on because I know what’s coming.

Stranger: “Rotator cuff?”

Me: sighing, “Yeah, among other stuff. Had the biceps tendon reattached and had some of my clavicle bone shaved off.”

Stranger: “Wow.”

Me: “Yeah,” trying to leave, but knowing it won’t work.

Stranger: “You know, a (insert relationship here; friend, relative, acquaintance) of mine had that kind of thing. He said it was the most pain he’d/she’d ever gone through. I mean, it’s agony on wheels.”

Me: “So I’ve heard. I’m doing all right, though.”

Stranger: “You must not have started the physical therapy yet. Boy, that’s when the pain really kicks in. I mean, she/he told me she/he was crying like a baby every time she/he went to physical therapy. And it kept hurting all the time. For months. Said it was like having a knife jammed in there and then stirred around for good luck.”

Me: wincing in anticipation and starting to feel sympathy pains for my future self, “Um, yeah. Thanks for sharing.”

Stranger: “No, really. I mean, he/she had (insert some horrible, appallingly invasive surgery or medical procedure here) and he/she said that was nothing compared to getting his/her shoulder done and the rehab after.”

Me: feeling nauseous all over again, “Uh, yeah. Thanks for sharing. Again.”

Finally feeling my oats enough to be rude, that’s when I turn around and walk away. Very, very quickly. And normally bump my shoulder into something hard and unforgiving.

So, yes. I get it. I understand that it’s painful. I also know I don’t need to be reminded — constantly — of that fact. You’d think people would get the hint.

Unless — you don’t suppose? — it’s some sort of conspiracy, maybe. Maybe they are all out to get me. That must be it. I’m sure of it. You’re all trying to hurt me. I see it all so clearly now. I —

UPDATE: I’ve cut down on the meds a bit now and I think I should be all better. Just sort of ignore the previous. I know that’s what I’m trying to do.

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Ups And Downs

I really feel for my middle little dude. Over the last weekend he’s experienced the highs and lows of teenage romance.

Over the summer, the little dude went to a marine biology summer camp. While there he met a little dudette and, once he got home, they kept up the acquaintance the only they know how: they texted each other again and again. And again. He insisted that she was just his friend, not a girlfriend and I could understand why. She lived almost two and a half hours away from us. Kind of hard to start a new reltionship that way. But they kept at it.

A couple of weeks ago, the little dude played a school basketball game in her hometown. (Yes, his team does travel quite a bit just to find other schools to play.) She came to his game and they got to see each other again. A few days later, he proudly told me the little dudette was now his girlfriend. Two weeks after the game, he asked if we could drive him to a mall that was about an hour away. Turns out, he wanted to go on a date with his girlfriend and this was the best way to split the distance.

I drove the little dude up there, met the girl’s parents and we all decided on when to meet and where to meet a few hours later. The two saw a movie and wandered the mall. Typical teenage date, really. That night I found out he’d gotten a little arm around the shoulder action. He wouldn’t comment when I asked if he’d gotten any smoochies. That was Sunday and he couldn’t stop smiling.

Monday afternoon following school and basketball practice, the little dude got home and got on his texting phone. His girlfriend was no longer his girlfriend. She broke up with him by txt. At first I was aghast, but then I figured that 90 percent of their relationship had been via text so it was rather appropriate. The reason she gave was that she didn’t like the long-distance aspect of their relationship. I can understand that. It’s tough enough to sustain a long-distance relationship when you’re older and more mature. Teenagers? Not so much.

The poor little guy came downstairs and told me the bad news. All I could do was give him a big hug and tell him I was sorry it happened. All sorts of platitudes came rushing to the back of my mouth, but I’d learned from other recent events and I held my tongue. When you’re a teenager, you really don’t need to hear time heals all wounds, you’ll get over it or anything like that. Especially when you’re losing your first girlfriend the day after your first date.

Personally I’m glad, not that I want him to know it. I’d like him to find someone much closer to go out with. Someone it doesn’t take four parents and three cars to coordinate a date with. It’s tough enough being a teenager without having to know your girlfriend is two and a half hours away and you won’t be seeing her for another month. Still, he is resiliant (not to mention quite determined to have a girlfriend, even if only to tell people he has a girlfriend).

Like I said, long-distance relationships are tough. For most people. I was different back in high school. See, I had this girlfriend, you woulnd’t know here, she lived in Canada. . .

— Richard

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