Children with ADHD sometimes do not understand that nuances of socializing. To them, everything should be simple. However, pop culture plays an important role to the youth of today and if the ADHD child doesn’t give a hoot about what is popular for the day, then socializing can be painful at times.
Paddy is one of those children that is learning how important pop culture is to his friends. For the most part, he is improving greatly and is finally finding his niche of friends and is “fitting in”. As a parent, this has been a heartwarming journey to watch him go through. I’m still nervous and terrified that everything will come crashing down, but do not let him know my feelings. Things have been good for months now, and I really do believe this group is accepting him for who he is. Whew!
We have raised him with the old-fashioned belief in chivalry, which I know is dying a slow and painful death. However, Stu and I feel it is important for him to be chivalrous. Last week, when there was a downpour of rain when the bus dropped the kids off at the bus stop, Paddy noticed that one of the girls did not have an umbrella nor a rain jacket. Living in Florida, Paddy knows these are very important items to have during the rainy season so he offered his rain jacket to this girl, who was very grateful. The next morning she gave it back to him.
Paddy then confided in me that he really thinks she is very annoying and has a hard time being around her and now all she wants to do is be around him. He explained that she talks all the time, and even after people on the bus tells her to stop, she keeps talking. He observed that she talked to herself for 20 minutes one day annoying all who was around her.
I thought on all this, and decided to have a talk with Paddy. I began by reminding him how his sister annoys him so that he will pay attention to her. I then explained that maybe this girl is being annoying because it is the only way she gets attention. He remembered times when he was ignored and how badly that made him feel. He agreed that maybe he shouldn’t judge her too harshly and try to be a bit more patient.
I never realized how difficult socializing can be. I went to a very small school (graduating class of only 23 people) so all my classmates knew I was a bit off in the personality department and having so few people meant that for the most part I was accepted by them. Heck, I think it made me stand out in a positive way with such few people. I also was the youngest child in my family and my two sisters were quite popular, which probably helped to. So, guiding Paddy has been a real experience.
Kit Cat has the personality of a bulldozer so these things never concern her. Paddy is my gentle soul. I pray for the world when it is time for me to send Kit Cat out into the world. I worry everyday that Paddy will survive being on his own. At least, he knows she has his back.
I love my kids.