Growing up with ADHD can be difficult. Children who suffer from this disorder will find it difficult to socialize, and parents will feel the strain in helping their children get over their ADHD to become happy and successful people. Many parents, however, may feel lost, and not sure what they could do to help their children. Behavioral experts stress the importance of patience and correct guidance in helping develop social skills in their children. While there is no clear formula for helping children with ADHD feel comfortable in group situations, there are some guiding tips that parents can refer to that can help make all the difference.
No matter what your child’s unique personality type is, your goal is ultimately to help them understand what good social skills mean. Following a list of things that the children should and should not do can be a good way to help them set social standards.
Things to Do
Children are encouraged to watch others and see what the group is doing. This will help them determine if it is an activity that the child wants to join in on. Encouraged your children to be aware of themselves and to appear friendly and approachable in their voice and posture. One of the most important things to do is wait for appropriate times to enter the conversation. Wait for a break in the conversation before speaking.
Encourage your children to look others in the eye when they speak to them, and to follow the group’s flow while they contribute. Sometimes children with ADHD will find it difficult to speak with a group, but by finding common interests and sharing those, they will be able to engage the group in conversation. Share these interests by offering conversation points and ask relevant questions. With a little bit of practice and review, you can make it easy for your child to join group activities without having to feel as though they are being alienated for their ADHD.
Things to Avoid
In addition to nurturing positive social skills, it is important to discourage negative ones. One of the most important things that you need to teach your children is to not tease others. If the conversation begins to take a mean turn, or begins to change to a subject that they are not comfortable with, tell your children to excuse themselves from the group. Children may be proud of their accomplishments, but make sure that you teach your children not to brag about themselves. Have them avoid criticizing others in non-constructive ways as well.
Make sure that your children avoid standing too far away or too close from others as well. This can take a little bit of practice, but body language is one of the most important parts of developing social skills. Teach your child to avoid disrupting the game or social activity as well, and be sure to reinforce their positive behavior when you practice with them. With a little bit of hands on activity, it can be easy to prepare your child for social interaction.