Help my kid make friends
October 15, 2012 6:00 AM Subscribe
Please help me help my 10 year old to make friends.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
My kid has a rough time with social relationships. Up until now, she's been relatively happy as a loner, but lately I see her reaching out, yet failing to connect with her peers, and feeling sad about it. When she's with kids her age she talks at them instead of to them. She lectures and talks loudly. She gets physically in their space as she gets more excited, and they respond by moving away. She tends to want to control the play if she's playing with other kids, and disengages easily if other kids are running the activity. Other kids tend to stay away from her and she's never invited to play dates or birthday parties.
She's a very bright and empathetic kid, full of love and enthusiasm, but she's also very ADHD, spacey, and loses her temper or gets overwhelmed easily.
She's done some art therapy and kids socialization groups, and is also medicated for her ADHD. We've also tried various behaviorist interventions for behavioral issues with mixed success. I know she gets some of this stuff from me so I'm trying to work on my own behaviors and think about what I'm modeling to her.
But I think right now she needs some specific help around connecting with other kids outside of a clinical or medical setting. I've considered getting her a book, along the lines of How To Win Friends and Influence People, if there is such a book appropriate for kids, because she's very cerebral and reads a lot (including non-fiction and books for adults). Not really sure what else to try. I know for adults it's pretty hard to see how our own behaviors impact how people want to or don't want to connect with us, and I think this is even harder for her. Even if she can get what turns other kids off (which I've done some coaching with her about), actually making changes to her behavior is hard for understandable reasons.
Do you have suggestions of books or other resources, for her or for me, to help her learn how to be a friend to other kids? I'm really open on what kinds of interventions to try so any suggestions welcome.