Social problems with Peers

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Social problems with Peers
4
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 12:29pm
My 10 yr old ADHD son recently opened up to me about social problems at school. I really thought this year was going great. He never told me about problems, even when I asked.

He cried alot and told me he doesn't have any friends at school. He said at recess nobody will play with him. And in gym the boys get mad at him and call him loser when he doesn't do something right. (I guess the teacher is not within earshot at the time).

To hear this breaks my heart. His one friend at school recently started hanging out with the "cool" boys and I guess he tells my son "get away from me". My son said, "maybe I AM a good for nothing freak, like they tell me". I can't even begin to say how that shattered me to pieces. Of course We had a long talk with my son and built his self-esteem back up. He has friends in the neighborhood which helps. But he always says he wants "friends at school too". He tends to play better with children in the 6 to 8 age range at home. This usually works out better because of the maturity level.

He is taking Adderall for school. But I think the kids at school already have labeled my son from the past few years of impulsive behaviors. Does anyone know how I should handle my son when he tells me these things. I want to help him so bad. I feel helpless. Please, any suggestions..PLEASE! I'm considering even home-schooling him if his self-esteem gets any lower.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 5:46pm
I can't give you advice, but can tell you you just described my son. To watch him hurt to be rejected and breaks my heart. I try to coach him on how to behave, which has little effect. Wish I had more to offer, but he has just gotten diagnosed and I am still reading and learning about adhd. You are in my thoughts, Lucy
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 8:41pm
This breaks my heart, too. It's so hard to feel 'different' ... and to be singled out in an environment where you spend so much time has got to be difficult. (Can you imagine going to work every day where you had no one that you enjoyed talking to or who wanted to be with you? OMG, it would be awful.)

Are there any social skills groups in your area ... through the school or with your therapist/psychologist? You might even call your pediatrician for a referral. (Our pediatrician is the one that hooked me up with our phychologist, who is great ... but when I talked about social skills group, he gave me another name/number altogether ... haven't done this yet, but am considering it!)

When does he start middle school? I'm guessing he's in 4th grade now ... ? Anyway, YOUR mission before he goes to middle school is to boost his self-confidence and self esteem. It may seem like a long way off to a 10 y.o., but it's right around the corner ... and a change in schools might often be the start of 'a whole new you' ...

So, how? I would suggest that you put him in a group or club or sport where he can excel. Have you tried or considered the martial arts? Kevin, my 11 y.o., has been taking karate for almost 2 years. He's currently has a blue belt, is in the black belt club, and should be able to earn his black belt by the time he's 14. Pretty cool for a shy kid with social skill issues. Kevin also plays baseball, and he's quite good at it ... playing key positions (pitcher, catchers, 1st base, short stop.) He may not be one of the 'coolest' kids in school, but on the baseball field, he shines. The point is that you need to help him feel better about himself NOW ... middle school is tough enough without all the extra pressure, and if there are areas in their lives where they excel or are at least accepted, that helps in the other areas.

In 3rd grade, Kevin didn't have friends really, and I had changed his school ... but encouraged him to invite someone over, and that boy is his best friend. Ironically, he's also one of the 'cool kids' ... but they blend really well together and get along great. (They're both bright, into sports, and 2 of the older kids in the class ... and it's a good fit. Kevin has learned a lot from this kid from a social standpoint.) He never, however, would have invited this boy over had I not encouraged (a.k.a. PUSHED) him to do it. I also try encouraging friendships in other areas of his life (baseball, for instance) so that if things don't work out at school, at least there are other places where he's comfortable.

This isn't easy, and it's heart-breaking to watch our kids flounder. They have it tough enough, and there just has to be SOMETHING that is easy for them. But, everyone has their shining stars, and sometimes it takes a parent to help a kid find theirs.

Nancy

Nancy 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Thu, 04-17-2003 - 2:26am
I felt like crying reading your message. My son is 10 and has just been newly diagnosed this February. He recently said to me, "Mom..you just don't understand. I don't have any friends. Why doesn't anyone like me? Everyone just calls me 'dumb Andy'..no one wants to play with me or pick me to be on their team." It just about broke my heart as well. I don't know what advice to give you as I am going through the same exact situation as you. But I just want to send you a cyber hug! I guess all we can do is tell our boys how great they are and hug them a lot...I dunno...poor kids! This has been going on for years but he has been oblivious...this year is the first year that he has really noticed and it is making him so sad. I worry about his self-esteem as well. I did try homeschooling him once but it was a nightmare (it was before I knew about and understood his disability). We will both get through this and help our boys too.

Take care. If you'd like to chat further you can e-mail me at Felicia1970@aol.com

Felicia

Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-17-2003 - 11:30am
An idea for picking for teams. I perfer no picking at all. The school should also have no picking for teams, even for recess. Some other way for teams to be selected should be put in place. Things like color straws or chips picked out of a box to select teams. This way no ones feelings get hurt. My son only has PE & the coach picks the teams & everyone plays. My sons baseball team was picked out of a hat, that is how they made all the teams at his park. No team has an advantage of having all the "good" players on it. I like this process much better.