ADHD Daughter Mean to Peers?

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    • #84996
      Millysmom
      Participant

      I have been in a heated discussion with my 11 year old daughter’s principal about him disciplining her for calling a friend a silly nickname. He thinks she was being mean spirited,I tried to explain her impulsiveness and how she misses social cues and is socially awkward. He then told me “well, she has a pattern of being mean to kids. I have had lots of complaints.” This was new to me. Yes, we have challenges at home with her, but she is really a kind and empathetic person. My heart is broken for her. I am not sure how to help her navigate this or navigate it myself.

    • #85006
      Slinky
      Participant

      I think you need more information to even know where to start. What does he mean by ‘lots of complaints’, I mean is he exaggerating because you aren’t agreeing with his viewpoint about the first incident and he’s frustrated? I would ask for clarification as well as specific examples, and also talk to your daughter’s teacher to get their perspective. If she’s in a sport or other activity, talk to the coach or leaders there too. It’s totally possible that what they have labeled as ‘mean’ or rude is actually symptoms of her ADD/ADHD and they don’t get it, or don’t want to get it. Knowing the situations he’s referring to will help you coach her on how she’s coming across, get her perspective on the situation, and help her find other ways to deal with the situations. And how is either of you supposed to do better and correct this so-called meanness if this is the first you’ve heard of it?!

      In this case, discipline seems rather silly. Sitting her and the friend down, having the friend explain how it felt to be called that name, and then coaching your daughter on apologizing and making amends would serve her better. IF the friend is even upset, maybe it was just the adult who overheard it who didn’t like it and then over-reacted?

    • #85011
      tracy18
      Participant

      Understanding the reason behind the mean behavior of a child is the practical solution to the problem. Disciplining a child without understanding the core issue is meaningless. In this case, the school counselor could help to figure out and make others understand why your daughter was mean to her peer. People don’t consider ADHD as a serious problem and thus undermine struggles of a ADHD kid. An understanding counselor can help clearing all the misunderstandings between you and the school.

    • #85028
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      You definitely need more information to address this. What specifically is she saying? Who is she with when this happens? What environment is she in? You need to know this for two reasons: (1) you can’t coach her on what not to say if you don’t know what she’s saying that is considered “mean”, and (2) it could be that she’s being “mean” to be accepted by her peers, or to deflect negative attention away from herself. This ties in to what Tracy said above: you can’t change behavior until you know WHY it’s happening and address the WHY.

      I have used if-then social rules with my son. You can structure the same for your daughter. You may need to talk about how derogatory comments don’t make you “cool” or “accepted” even though it often seems so.

      I would also get the school guidance counselor involved. Developing healthy social relationships is part of their job. There have been several years where my son worked with the guidance counselor on social struggles and the counselors have always been very helpful.

      Lots of Transitions, Lots of Gains

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #85034
      Millysmom
      Participant

      Great ideas, thank you both so much. Unfortunately, guidance was supposed to be helping her all along and have done nothing. In fact, the incident that prompted this was reported to guidance and instead of talking with my daughter and the other girl, she just told the principal. When I tried to remind the principal that they were supposed to be working her with social skills, he said “We are not running a clinic, maybe you should get outside help.” Which we do, extensively. I am livid. I am meeting with him this week with her therapist and I am speaking to a special ed attorney tomorrow.

      • #85115
        Penny Williams
        Keymaster

        “We are not running a clinic, maybe you should get outside help.”

        Grrr! That is so very unacceptable! I would call the Director of Special Education and have a chat about this situation ASAP.

        I would also (formally and in writing and cc’d to the SPED Director) request a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) with a resulting Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). This process helps to decipher the potential reasons behind the behavior and stipulates strategies to improve it and dictates how to handle infractions.

        5 School Assessments Your Child May Be Entitled To

        Fight on, Mama Bear!

        Penny
        ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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