View Full Version : Teen daughter having social problems: Could ADHD be the cause?

01-09-17, 03:25 PM
I'm in the middle of a parenting dilemma and am really lost on what to do to help my daughter. She is 13 and she's a kind hearted, sweet, loving, smart girl. She's always been "high energy", flighty, and can come off as overbearing at times. However, now that we have entered the teenage years these not so great behaviors are really starting to effect her socially. She's never had problems MAKING friends because she's so outgoing and friendly.

It's keeping them that is becoming the issue. As an example, A few weeks ago she was on an app with friends where you can talk as a group. Apparently a few of her friends were on and didn't realize she was. One of them said she was annoying and dumb. Of course this really hurt her feelings and I tried to help her pick up the pieces the best I could. Just this weekend another good friend had her birthday party and posted the pics from the party on instagram and my daughter was the only girl not invited out of their "group".

Again she was upset and I tried to talk with her about any reasons why she was excluded like if there had been any problems between them she knew of. She had no idea why and said there hadn't been any issues. These are just two recent examples but there are a lot more smaller examples along the same line. It hurts me to see her hurt and struggle and all I want to do is figure out why this is happening and how I can help her. My only guess is that she's so flighty and high energy and can't focus on things very long that she struggles to be a good friend in return.

She tends to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind before thinking and can sometimes sound "dumb" or rude and seem overbearing. When talking to her today she told me she doesn't really text or call friends or interact with them on social media because she feels awkward and doesn't know what to say. That really surprised me because she's always been so outgoing in real life situations. I check her phone periodically and see her friends constantly interacting and posting things and there's really nothing from her. Not that I'm a fan of social media or kids being too involved in it, but the reality seems that it plays a big role in their social interaction.

I don't know if her behaviors and struggles are signs of ADHD or some other disorder or where to go to get help. I'd welcome input please!

01-09-17, 05:42 PM
is your daughter diagnosed and treated? Especially for kids who have that social component of adhd treatment can be a life saver. unfortunately the focus being on grades and classroom behaviour so much the social difficulties are underestimated. Social problems can make or break your adult life in terms of keeping jobs even if your competent. Social exclusion does not end in childhood. She sure sounds like an adhd child. please have her evaluated and get her help.

01-09-17, 08:50 PM
Nothing worse than to see a kid picked on ... excluded ... isolated ... I have a nephew who was socially awkward growing up ... (He later developed full-scale schizophrenia--NOT RELEVANT TO YOUR DAUGHTER!!!!) ...

Anyway, to see him struggle to connect with people was painful. He was/is a wonderful guy ... But kids can be vicious ...

You might want to talk to your daughter's teachers ... get some ideas of her behavior when in school ... possible suggestions from them ... treatment for any condition and counseling could be really helpful. Hey, in my 40's, I had to go to counseling to learn some social skills that I thought I already had. Literally the therapist had to script language for me to use in certain situations ... because my instincts were all wrong ... I often made people anxious and nervous right when I was becoming vulnerable ... which is right when I thought I was connecting most deeply.

Yes, sometimes weak social skills can be a predictor of other problems to come ... So I would say find a really good counselor for your daughter, talk to her teachers ... grab one of the friends or a friend's mom ... and really get the lowdown on what your daughter does that seems to annoy others. Frankly, as mom, you probably know ....

A really good counselor (who is sharp and whom she really likes) can help with social skills, with overall confidence ... and can help your daughter develop the ability to shrug off some annoyances. Part of getting confident when you are awkward is just accepting that sometimes you WILL annoy people, and that's not the end of the world. You can still live a good life. There will be other people who get you.

So that resilience or ability to comfort herself during these moments of rejection ... is also something a good counselor can help with.

Good luck. My heart goes out to you and the daughter.

01-10-17, 10:15 AM
My own experience is similar with my 14 year old son. Not only does he have some problems identifying when people are getting upset with he can't read social cues at all, but I have found that he is too high energy and wild and while that was fine when he was 10 now it makes him a crazy person in the eyes of his "friends" or peers. They just never know what he's going to do or say...they are growing up and he isn't. Unfortunately, this leads him to be drawn to others of his nature...the other ADHD kids. This is a problem because the compulsions to one-up their peer is just overwhelming, and if neither of them can stop it leads to both getting in trouble.

The only thing that has marginally worked is letting him work out several times a day. Runs to the bus stop in the morning, three bus stops away from ours. Has gym second period, gym 5th period, after school sports, and sometimes then night time sports. He also has a gym membership that he uses often. Meds have also helped calm the compulsions....when not on the meds he ALWAYS takes things too far. It is very clear when he has taken them and when he hasn't.

01-11-17, 01:04 AM
I agree that you should look into it. The not fitting in with peers is a red flag and I didn't know there was as much of an issue as there was with my daughter (12 adhd combined, possible asd, only diagnosed 4 months ago) until I spoke with her teachers. I knew she had trouble making friends and had few friends. I knew she felt excluded and was seldom invited to birthday parties, sleepovers whatever. But I had no idea why.

Her teachers mentioned that she was out of sync with her classmates. Because of her lower maturity and the adhd/asd, she'd missread social cues, try and take control of group work, get labelled "bossy" and "annoying" by the other girls. Then I'd get one side of it when she came home and she'd tell me that the other girls were "mean" and "hated" her.

What has worked for us is working on strengthening the few friendships she does have (she's friends with another girl with developmental delays and one with severe anxiety...they found each other when we moved to the area two years ago and became good friends). NT girls don't have a lot of patience for my daughter, so we socialise and hang out with others who like her, support her and "get" her. It's part of the reason why even though I'd love to move back to my own country and be closer to my family, I don't want to tear her away from the few friends she has, so I guess we're staying.

Good luck! It's hard and heartbreaking sometimes. Xo

01-11-17, 07:10 AM
If it's ADHD, one of the important factors is that all of us with ADHD were behind our school friends in terms of emotional maturity.

I'm over 40 and in a lot of ways I still haven't caught up. I think maybe since I'm male it may have been easier to socially "get by" in school. Boys who are class clowns or nerdy or just act immature are probably more accepted than girls in a similar situation - girls seem to test each others' social skills as one of the badges of belonging.