How to help/listen to best friend

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2009
How to help/listen to best friend
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 10:20am
My best friend's age 6 yr old daughter has ADHD. She often tells me I just cannot relate/understand her concerns as a parent. I would really like to talk to someone in a similar position and get some feedback on some recent events that concern me. I feel my friend is spiraling in anxiety and undue irrational behaviors - in an effort to 'protect' the child. If you think you can maybe offer some insight, I would love to talk to you. Thanks.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 11:50am

HI, and welcome!
What exactly are you seeing? That would help us alot.

You absolutely have no idea unless you are in her home 24/7 or have a child with ADHD. You can however offer help, babysit to give her a break( she very well may not be able to take the child out in public, I know from personal experience). Just because her DD has ADHD does not mean she is a "bad" kid, she may just have trouble concentrating, or she may have behavior issues, sometimes severe. She may even have something else going on in conjunction with the ADHD.

One thing you can tell her, ADHD is not ever an excuse for a child to "get away" woith anything, and she should not allow her child to use it as a crutch.

If she is using meds you can ask about them, ask about therapies, or counsleing, how is it gong? You might have to open the door, and then she will share.

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2008
Thu, 10-15-2009 - 11:51am

I think the best thing you can do when she rebuffs your comments is to say something like, "You're right. I don't know what it's like to have a child with ADHD. However, I'm your friend and really want to help you through this. What can I do to help with this situation?" I'm not sure why she's pushing you away, but perhaps she's just very overwhelmed. It can be very demoralizing getting negative feedback from people about your child all the time and daily life with a child with ADHD is exhausting, both mentally and physically.

Also, if you're concerned about HER, stress that to her. "All of the stress recently seems to be really affecting you. Maybe we can plan a day out together to give you a break from it all?"

Good luck! You're a good friend for sticking with her through the down times and trying to maintain the friendship when she's being critical.