Kids with poor self-awareness and rejection sensitivity, often associated with conditions such as ADHD and executive dysfunction, can face social challenges that can have a long-term impact on their development and well-being. Parents can play an important role in reducing these risks by taking a social-emotional learning approach with their kids. This involves helping children to learn valuable skills, such as understanding and managing their emotions, building positive relationships, and increasing social success. With a nurturing environment and the right resources and support, parents can be empowered to help their child find positive ways to tackle social anxiety and promote improved social functioning.
•Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a way to teach children foundational skills such as emotional regulation, decision-making, and self-awareness.
• Kids with ADHD may struggle to develop these skills without direct instruction.
• Parents can help their child with ADHD learn these social skills through models, planning and practice.
• Begin by having conversations with your child about their social landscape and relationship to it.
• Ask open ended questions rather than telling them what they should do in social settings.
• Reflective listening helps make the child feel heard while building metacognitive abilities that will be useful for navigating the social landscape better in future situations.
• Consider your child’s internal narrative when trying to understand why they are struggling socially so you can provide support accordingly.
• Set up structures outside of school where children have opportunities for shared experiences with peers around activities/hobbies that interest them like sports or theatre productions etc. It also provides opportunities for kids with ADHD to practice cooperation and take turns without fear of consequences.
• Home provides a safe space for parents to work out tricky challenges with structured games like Build A Tower which helps teach cooperation, taking turns frustration tolerance etc., all essential for successful friendships
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