Also having a boyfriend does isolate her a little bit. She may find that if they break up that other girls are more likely to interact with her.
[This message edited by sharim at 8:39 AM, May 17th (Friday)]
If she has a talent use it. Summer is great for camps and sports. Or a camp counsler spot?
Ask her for some ideas to help out.
What can I do to help her? She does have ADHD, and I have noticed that she can sometimes be a little overbearing and just talk too much, missing some social cues. I guess I thought it was bossiness she'd grow out of, then thought that the bad interactions I saw were influenced by me being around, but I think there's a problem. What can I do?
just talk with her. Let her know that there may be instances where she was pushing people away without even realizing it. And tell her that if she thinks college will help, not changing how she interacts will only follow her there.
Growing up is hard...we were all there once in our lives
eta: When I tried to talk to her last night about whether she may need help, did she want me to talk to someone or see if there were any books to help, she just cried harder and got angry. She told me I was supposed to say "It's them, honey. There's nothing wrong with you." I certainly didn't help. This is killing her already low self-esteem.
[This message edited by incredulous at 9:05 AM, May 17th (Friday)]
she talks too long when in a conversation, and at times, has been too determined to do something her way, missing social cues that her friend may want to do something else. She can be a little immature. With adults, she's better. I think sometimes she comes off as treating her friends like she's an adult and they're kids.
Any chance she is Asperger's?
[This message edited by incredulous at 9:31 AM, May 17th (Friday)]
Finding social opportunities outside of the school group is an excellent idea. I would encourage her to find at least one volunteer or service activity, especially one that would force her to listen rather than talk, such as working with younger kids or at a convalescent home. Is there something that she's very good at that she'd like to teach -- it could be a school subject or it could be something that's a hobby.
High school sucks. College may be a lot better for her, but it will help her at college and after if she learns how to help herself and to improve her social skills.
When my eldest was in HS, he had a handful of friends, a bit on the shy side.
I enrolled him in an EMT class, something he had been interested in anyway.
To make a long story short, the ambulance squad required they be on duty one night a week which gave him a chance to meet people of varying ages.
There were also many social events, fundraisers, car washes, fish fry, Christmas party, etc where the entire squad got together for fun.
Not only did he learn a great deal, became a wonderful EMT, he also began to socialize with teens/adults on a regular basis.
Another thought is an animal shelter, sometimes there are programs for teens.
Any volunteer activity will be good for her and will keep her busy and build her self-esteem.
Back to the drawing board for ideas. I'm trying to come up with some kind of volunteer or other opportunity she could get involved in, but it's hard right now because she just started her first job, and we don't have much of an idea of her schedule for the summer yet.
Thanks again for the ideas; feel free to keep them coming.
What changed it for me was that I started being the one to call other people
This ^^^ Unfortunately, until she is to a place where she can do the above, she will probably have a hard time making connections. I have BTDT, as well, and it wasn't until I started stepping out of my comfort box (and inviting others to do things) that I had social connections.
If your daughter has the reputation of putting her boyfriend above her girlfriends (and a lot of girls and women do this), then the other girls in her peer group will be more hesitant. That means that she needs to reach out and invite people to movies or organize outings.
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid
I would encourage her to call friends instead of waiting for them to call her, as Ama suggested, but otherwise I would slow down the "help" - it may feel overbearing to her right now, especially from her mother. (Been there, done that btw...).
Above all, be the heroine, not the victim. - Nora Ephron
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling
When I tried to talk to her last night about whether she may need help, did she want me to talk to someone or see if there were any books to help, she just cried harder and got angry. She told me I was supposed to say "It's them, honey. There's nothing wrong with you." I certainly didn't help. This is killing her already low self-esteem.
You're only as happy as your least happy child they say, and I know firsthand that it can feel that way! It's so hard as a parent when you think there may be some inadvertent self-sabotaging going on, because you want things to improve for your child. However, they need that safe place to land (home), especially when their self-esteem is taking a hit every time they're hearing about the wonnnnnnderful time the others had over the weekend, or at somebody's party, etc. It's a delicate dance that requires the wisdom of Solomon.
The strategies you've come up with are a good start. As hokey as it may sound, that Dale Carnegie book (How to Win Friends & Influence People) may be helpful. I remember reading something written by a person with high-functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome that he'd used it almost like a 'how-to manual' for social skills.
Sometimes there's just not a good 'fit' in the pool of friend candidates. I hope I can communicate what I mean by that. For example, we're not from here (here being where my DD16 has attended school since 3rd grade ). The area is noted for its strong and pervasive religious and political viewpoints, which are not our own. Strike #1
DD16 is extraordinarily bright and has been described by teachers as an 'old soul'; mature and outspoken as well. Strike #2
We don't live in a subdivision, apartment complex, or even in a town. Strike #3.
....you get my drift -- the list goes on. I wonder if your DD might be in a similar situation, to where she'll thrive socially in college but struggles now?
I also wonder if her having been dating for 18 months has somewhat preoccupied her attention and thus she hasn't cultured new friendships as she might have or kept up former friendships....and with the demise of the dating relationship looming, she's feeling the void?
As a mom with a DS15 with HFA, I know firsthand the dearth of great summer social opportunities for kids without an existing gaggle of friends. You mentioned she's started a new job; that at least presumably offers some sort of social interaction. Does she have any particular interest around which she might find social opportunities? Any Meetup groups for teens in your area?
Classes like annb mentioned seem like a good, low-threat way of getting out there, occupying time that would otherwise be spent alone with time to feel left out, and she'd get to learn something. Summer rec program through local government? Classes or gatherings sponsored by the public library? Classes or recreation league offerings from any college(s) nearby? Has she already taken driver ed? (starting to pull at straws a little...)
If you wouldn't mind telling us what a couple of the books you've ordered are, I know I would be interested for my own kid's sake, and I'm likely not alone.
I hope things improve soon for your DD.
Focus on what she likes to do and find a group or class that she can just be around other people she likes.
I know she was upset about the friends thing, but are you sure she wasn't being over dramatic cause things were going bad with her boyfriend. We tend to see stuff negatively when things are going bad.
This too shall pass
I edit a lot because that stupid box is so small!
1. The Unwritten Rules of Friendship: Simple strategies to help your child make friends;
2.The Social Success Workbook for Teens: Skill-Building Activities for Teens with ....
3. Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills for helping you manage mood swings, control angry outbursts, and...
We'll see if any of them give me some ideas for things she may be doing, and subtle tips I can give her to help her social skills.
Her former counselor said she really thinks DD needs anti-anxiety meds, and she would be willing to talk to her doctor to tell her. She suggested this before, but DD's pediatrician won't prescribe those meds, and the psychiatrist didn't think it was warranted. DD puts on a good face, and I think the psych thought I was one of THOSE mothers, and wouldn't prescribe. Maybe back to another psychiatrist.
Thanks for the suggestions. DD does call friends and invite them, but they're usually busy.