There may be a stretch of time when your ADHDer seemingly abandons friendships. The very things they most enjoyed now spark no interest. An overall avoidance of social situations takes over and the abundance of time they spend alone has you worried and confused.
We know that sinking feeling. The one where you go from wondering what someone did to extinguish your kid’s spark to chastising them for being antisocial. Your mind wanders, wondering if they’ll be loners in adulthood. It can feel confusing and desperate – especially if your ADHDer has never struggled in this way.
We’ve found it’s important as parents to stop and assess what’s happening. Reaching new milestones can be difficult for our kids. Is elementary school ending? Are they starting junior high or high school? These are times of huge growth socially and emotionally for any child – it’s important to remember that ADHDers tend to lag in this area. It’s scary realizing you’re not on par with your peers. Or there may be a lack of awareness on their part: they KNOW there’s a disparity but don’t UNDERSTAND why.
It’s vital for parents to connect these dots so we’re able to guide our kids. Take advantage of the extra time together to just BE with our kids. One of Norrine’s best bits of advice to me over the years was: Your bond is the most important thing. Invest your energy in building it. This advice has been invaluable in giving me the perspective to remember that every step back is a chance to gain better footing. Take those times to just sit, listen and understand. This will give you the insight into what your child needs. Whether you decide to intervene with a social skills class or meeting with a counselor, your ADHDer won’t forget how you met them right where they were, with love and understanding.