Birthday party heartbreak

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  anomalocaris 4 days, 13 hours ago.

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  • #50470

    avhamelitz
    Participant

    I planned a party for my 7 y/o son at laser tag today & I’m completely heartbroken that we had such a low turn out. As we were waiting for the guests to arrive my son turns to me & says ” what if they forget about my party?” I assured him that they wouldn’t forget. He told me that one kid he invited from his class told him he’d rather go to his friends house than go to his party. My son told me the kids bully him and tell him he’s bad (because he gets excited & doesn’t listen). We made the best of it with the kids that showed and when it ended my son told me he was sad that the other kids didn’t come. It breaks my heart that my son is sad and that he gets bullied. I’m hurt by the mean things these kids tell him and I’m sad that people can’t see how cool and awesome my son is. He is sweet and caring and has a lot to offer if people would just give him a chance.

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by  avhamelitz.
  • #50476

    Pump2Duncan
    Participant

    I completely understand your heartbreak. This same thing happened to me a couple years ago. It was my son’s first real birthday, and he invited everyone in the class. Some of the kids handed him back his invitations instantly telling him they would not attend.

    Day of the party came and not a single kid showed up. We had an exotic animal rescue organization come out and bring my son’s favorite animals and not even that cheered him up. He was devastated. And so was I.

    After the party ended, the family members that did show up told him what fun they had and that those other kids sure did miss out on a good time. It took him a few days to bounce back, but bounce back he did. I am always amazed at how he can just let things roll off his shoulders.

    This year we kept it just a family party so we wouldn’t have to go through any thing like the previous year. At the last minute, some friends of his in the neighborhood were outside playing and I told him he could invite them over. They came over (about 3 boys) and he had a blast of a time. Due to the short notice, they didn’t bring gifts or anything, but I don’t think my son cared at all. He was just happy someone came. On a Mommy note, I will say my house was DESTROYED after the party. The friends shared my son’s personality and it was like they fed off of one another…LOL. But I was happy to see him happy.

    We’ve started looking outside the school for peer groups that my son can form friendships with. The neighborhood kids seem to be the best fit and those have been the friendships that have formed organically. Kids can be mean! I hope your son bounces back too, and I bet he will. If he is being bullied at school, perhaps a talk to the teacher is appropriate to stop that type of behavior.

    Hang in there Momma!

    • #50513

      avhamelitz
      Participant

      Thank you & I’m sorry you had a similar experience with your kiddo. Yesterday I cried for the first time & I feel a little better today. My son is resilient. I’m looking into getting him involved in groups so he can make friends outside of school. I enrolled him in karate and he didn’t like it so following through on these things is also difficult with ADHD. Thank you for sharing and for your supportive words and ideas. I have talked with his teacher about the bullying and it’s frustrating because sometimes they come back and say oh well your son was you know doing things and didn’t stop which caused the kids to react the way they did and I have to remind them that bullying is not OK regardless. It’s something that I’m constantly
      dealing with.

      • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by  avhamelitz. Reason: Spelling errors
    • #50601

      Pump2Duncan
      Participant

      We tried karate too, and it just wasn’t his thing. The concentration and coordination it took to succeed at karate was just too much. We’ve had good experiences with YMCA sports, soccer in particular. The atmosphere is non-competitive. The coaches are volunteers and 9 times out of 10 parents of a child on the team.

      We’ve also had a good experience with Boy Scouts. Particularly for teaching self-control and responsibility. He loves scouts and I feel he’s getting a lot out of it. And since it’s a new activity/event/project all the time, it seems to keep his interest.

      Our Y just started offering a free dance class, and while that’s not a normal “boy” thing, my son wants to give it a try – so we’re going to let him.

      For school, he participates in Cross Country. He doesn’t excel at it, but it does give him the benefit of being part of a team but is individual enough that bullying isn’t an issue and active enough to keep him engaged.

      His activity schedule definitely shows that he’s an ADHD kiddo. Kind-of all over the place, no single activity for very long (except for Scouts) – but if he’s having fun, that’s all that matters.

    • #51214

      cfabellajr
      Participant

      My nephew in the Philippines has autism and kids in their not so rich neighborhood make fun of hihim……. not much we can do. Kids can be cruel and not necessarily their fault. This is a sad introduction to what life really will be for adults with disabilities. Our job is to make sure he is secure of himself and knowing he is well loved.

  • #50508

    jhasselt
    Participant

    I’m so sorry. That sucks. I wish I had words of wisdom for how to move on from it, but unfortunately, I don’t. I just want you to know that we’re in the same boat. Hugs!

    • #50510

      avhamelitz
      Participant

      Thank you! Yesterday when I was alone I broke down and cried. I appreciate your kind thoughts and hugs! Thank you

  • #50572

    BHLFK
    Participant

    I planned a party for my son this coming weekend and so far have only one “yes” RSVP. I’m terrified that more kids won’t show up. He’s 8 and I think he understands the impact that his behavior has as far as forming friendships goes and he is working on it but as his mom I want him to be liked! All of the no’s I received were due to being “out of town” and my own paranoia is turning that into either the kids don’t want to come or the parents don’t want their kids around my son. I’m so sorry that this happened to him (and to you). Hugs!

    • #50707

      avhamelitz
      Participant

      Thanks for the support. It’s so hard as a parent to plan a b-day party and not get a good response. I’m sorry you’re having to go through that. Good luck and hang in there.

  • #50649

    ADHDmomma
    Keymaster

    We had the same experience every year when my son was that age. We’d hand out party invites to the entire class and we were lucky if one kid showed up. My son had a friend that didn’t go to his school that also had his own challenges and we made sure to always invite him and to plan the party on a date he could come, so there was at least one friend there. It was always insanely heartbreaking. Especially when we’d go to other classmates’ parties the same school year and 10+ kids were there.

    I learned to approach birthdays completely different. We started allowing him to personally invite 1-2 friends he spent time with outside school to do something special, like an afternoon at the arcade or a trip to a water park β€” something we wouldn’t do with a large group anyway. That made it more special, and we didn’t have to worry about the heartbreak of no one showing up. Then, we’d do something as a family to celebrate on his actual birthday, and also have a family gathering with extended family in the area to celebrate. So, he ends up getting to celebrate more anyway.

    This last b-day (14), he invited two friends over to play video games (that’s what drew them to becoming friends) and spend the night. We got them pizza and ice cream and let them play as much as they wanted. Then my son picked what he wanted to eat for dinner on his actual birthday and we had that and cake at home — because he asked to stay home where he’s more comfortable. Ultimately, you simply need to format birthdays differently, so random classmates showing up or not can’t be an issue. πŸ˜‰

    Here’s some expert advice on helping kids make friends too:

    Helping Kids Make Friends

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

    • #50708

      avhamelitz
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing that and for the tips. I will definitely be rethinking the b-day party in the future. Best of luck with your son.

    • #51272

      avhamelitz
      Participant

      Great advice, Thank you

  • #50878

    CRAZYMOM
    Participant

    I’ve seen this heartbreaking situation before. Next year you may want to talk to your child’s teacher about this in advance. She/ He may send an e-mail to parents explaining how important this is to your child. The e-mail may very gently and tactfully suggest that the parents and children show some empathy and tolerance for children with difficulties. This also serves as a good reminder for parents to RSVP. I did this for one of my students. It was very successful.

    Another option is to keep the number of kids small (number of invitees to your child’s age) and only invite those kids that are sure to show up.

    Summer and holiday weekend parties are more difficult to attend because so many families ARE out-of-town or have family events they are obligated to.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  CRAZYMOM.
    • #50919

      avhamelitz
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing your experience & advice. I used to talk with all the parents when I dropped him off at school but I’ve noticed some parents have stopped talking to me because of my son’s behavior. It is really hard to make friends with the parents when they are intolerant of kids who are different. I’ve even been called a bad mom because of my parenting style.

  • #50891

    jbeer
    Participant

    What has worked for us is getting to know his classmates and their parents, and nurturing friendships (at the kid level and the parent level) throughout the year, whether it’s chatting in the schoolyard at drop-off/pick-up, sharing useful parenting info, putting them on the Christmas card list, etc. I host a holiday party every year, a big casual drop-in for friends, family, neighbours, etc. and it’s a great way to get to know people better, and an excuse to invite people we don’t know well to deepen the connection. For that party, I will give my kid a few paper invites to hand out. But for birthday parties where you really need to know who’s coming, I never do paper invites – kids will lose them before they get home anyway. Email or text the parents directly, follow-up for RSVPs as needed. Send a reminder the day before with a “looking forward to seeing you tomorrow” type of message. If you use a free online service like eVite, it will send out reminders automatically.

  • #51213

    Melissa0987
    Participant

    I’m really sorry your son had to go through this. If I had a penny for every tear my son and I shared because of this, he could have bought a darn friend!! Just kidding – kinda. I hated birthday time, even more than ‘parent/teacher conference’ time! Like many others who posted, we looked closer to home for a friend or two and we made the parties into special outings for just the two or three of them. I firmly believe that from kindergarten up till HS (when he choose to go to the local Technical HS,) my son was the ‘scape-goat’ for each and every class – except for his 2nd grade year. I work in the schools and I’ll tell you right now, teachers do ‘love’ all their students; but after a long day of the ADHD, impulsive, literal, socially delayed student being a ‘nudge’, that student does not always get the ‘hugs’ the other students get in the younger grades. My son would complain about how he wasn’t even in the same area as a disturbance, but his classmates would blame him. WHY? Because the other students pick up on the teacher’s feelings and the general social awkwardness that accompanies ADHD. His second grade teacher was the best thing that ever happened to him. By then, he was getting sick and tired of the teachers and other kids always blaming him when it seemed to him that the standards he had to abide by weren’t the same for everyone. This teacher was ridged in her rules and they weren’t just written on the walls, she actually enforced them across the board for all students. He thought that was the best thing ever and made him realize that he was really smart and good at school.

    He’s turning 19 today, he’s finished his first year at our County college and wants to be an architect. We still go through heck sometimes, but we are learning each day. My boy has some really GOOD friends, he works 2 part-time jobs, has a girlfriend (UGH!!), and he knows what an awesome young man he is and that his family is always on his side. Don’t give up, I can’t promise it will get easier, but it’s been worth every tear!

  • #51217

    melbelc
    Participant

    After a similar experience, like others have noted, we invite one or two friends to a birthday event. We have done things like go to a movie or bowling and keep it pretty low key. We typically have a separate party with family. Our son’s school is horribly cliquey so our attempts at trying to create relationships with parents have been unsuccessful, particularly as he has got older (he is in 4th grade now) and his behaviors have become more distinct to the kids.

  • #51227

    MaryJaneOK
    Participant

    It makes me sad to hear about your son’s sadness and your disappointment. I am 68 years old and wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was 47. My ADHD son who is 46 was diagnosed at 3 years old. Looking back at our history of friends, I can see that neither one of us could tolerate crowds. For me, a crowd is 3 people. I had 1 very close friend and 2 close but at arms length. My son had one friend in high school and maintains that friendship to this day.
    First, you are talking about 6 and 7 year old kids who have no filters and say the first thing that pops into their heads. Second, if your son has one or two friends who can tolerate his different-ness help him cultivate that. If he can’t hold himself together at school, some can and some can’t, then the neuro-typicals in his class will be very judgemental. It seems to be the nature of kids to target the most ddifferent and vulnerable ones. Since introversion runs in my family, my son and I missed a lot of that childhood abuse.
    What could have been Done differently? To build up the expectations for both of you was doomed from the start. Your son may have expected everyone who was invited to come and you obviously expected more. I understand that and there is no judgement, just “been there, did that” experience. When a person has expectations he is sure to be disappointed.
    Encourage your son to appreciate the ones who did come. They are the potential lifetime friends. Ask him why he would want kids there who didn’t want to be his friend anyway? Let him know that it isn’t about him that kids didn’t come. It is all about the others and their parents who encouraged inappropriate behavior by not letting you know whether they were or were not attending and by encouraging them to participate in getting to know him better warts and all.
    It is beyond understanding to ayear old why someone wouldn’t want to come to his party but it is one of life’s harsh lessons he has had to experience way too young. Neuro-typical adults are typically ignorant about ADHD and any of the non-visible disorders. Perhaps you or someone else knowledgeable could present a short talk on the subject from your son’s point of view in class or PTA?
    The last thing I am going to say is this: Are you nuts?πŸ˜œπŸ™ƒπŸ˜‰πŸ€—πŸ˜΅ just jesting. It would never occur to me to host a big party for 7 year olds. But that’s me. I’m a coward. Next time maybe you could just invite a friend or two, making sure they will come before telling him or have a surprise party.

  • #51230

    Woomom
    Participant

    This is so sad. I have had similar happen to me. Especially the bullying. Also, people just don’t understand the quirks. It is really hard and I struggle sometimes. I am sorry to hear your child went through this, all of you.

  • #51233

    Hannah3
    Participant

    Soooooo been there done that. Have seen it with kids who have similar but distinct problems too, like autism. What makes it worst is when there is no escape. Our son got bullied at school and in our neighborhood. It really took away the sense that home was a refuge. What I think he felt the most was how 2 or 3 boys who are our next door neighbors turned against him. They had known each other and played together since they were about three. All these kids were always welcome in our house. But our son, like a lot of ADHD kids, had trouble keeping up socially, and little by little it became J and W and E against him all the time. There was the time they all stood around him throwing soccer balls at his head. They used to play a game on our street where if a car was coming they would yell “car!” and would run touch a tree before the car went by. I used to see it developing: the glances at each other which our son didn’t see, the smiles, then they’d yell “car!” and only our son would run touch the tree, not realizing no car was coming, while they stood around and laughed. They used to play with these little gormiti toys. The other kids kept theirs, our son’s were thrown over the fence where he couldn’t get them. When they were in middle school, one kid had a birthday party with a jump house in the driveway, our son was the one who wasn’t invited. He didn’t realize he hadn’t been invited, ran across the street in excitement when he saw the jump house. We called him back, but the mom said oops, didn’t mean to exclude him, let him stay. About an hour later, we heard him come up our front steps. He walked very slowly. He went in the house. He went down to his room. He was very silent the whole time. I knew something was wrong. Gave him a little time, then went down to his room. He was lying face against the wall, his whole body shaking. Apparently they had all knocked him down – one boy, who still lives next door to us, was the leader – chanting “J’s a traitor! J’s a traitor!” and kicking him. He managed to get up and get away, kept it together until he was in his room. I will never forget how he sobbed, almost screaming. I will never forget that night. Nobody in our family will forget it.

    That was bad, and I’m not gonna lie, it leaves scars. But I am going to end this on a more hopeful note. We took our kid out of the local school. We went to a small charter school instead. It has been much, much better. He has a small but good group of friends. He’s regained a lot of his self-confidence. Most of his social activities are so far outside of our local school district and neighborhood that it’s almost like those kids don’t exist any more. He’s also gotten into theater, done really well, and made a good group of friends there. My advice to people going thru this: don’t waste time with schools that don’t do much about bullying or friends that aren’t really friends. Do everything you can to find alternatives and then focus on those. ADHD may not ever go away, but with patient hunting and help, your kid can find the right niche and be much happier.

  • #51236

    applebloom
    Participant

    I am so sorry this happened to you. I wish I could give you a hug! Something similar happened to us – my ADHD daughter turned 6 recently and the turnout was quite low. It was really heartbreaking, although I think more for me than for her. Hang in there.

  • #51237

    rcnhenry
    Participant

    Kids can be so mean. The teachers don’t help when they are singling out kids in class for behavior issues either. We’ve experienced this over the school year. My son is finishing up the 4th grade and just turned 10 last week. We can talk to the teachers about bullying, but in a way, they are contributing because of how they deal with any of the issues our ADHD children experience day to day. My son has been removed from 2 teachers since he started public school in the 1st grade. This year, the school moved him with my approval. His teacher this year seemed to make my son the martyr in class. It was so sad to see his desk facing the back of the class, hearing how he’s always moved to the computer pod to complete classwork, and behaviors being pointed out in front of the entire class. The other kids feed off this and started treating my son badly, more so than previous years.

    About the birthdays, I stopped doing whole class invites. It’s too risky, plus possibly way too expensive. We had one birthday that didn’t have a good turnout, 2 friends showed up, but mainly because his choice of parties was beach the 1st weekend in June……June gloom took over & it was freezing…….we found people are afraid of being cold & can’t handle being at the beach. We don’t do June beach birthdays anymore. I direct him with the invites, still making it his choice, but limiting the number of friends he can invite. This avoids the low/no turnout let down. He always leans towards the friends he’s close to and thankfully, they always show up.

    I’ve come to the realization that I cannot stop the bullying, I cannot put my son in a bubble, nor can I be there every day to help him with social queues and thinking before he speaks or acts. I’m now focusing on teaching him how to cope with it. I try to have conversations almost daily, even if there wasn’t an incident, just to put that seed in his brain. I explain that bullies usually have issues happening at home that we don’t know about and will never see, but this is why they pick on other kids. If you don’t like something, walk away……adding a little something to conclude the interaction as he walks away, “I’m better than that.” Most of what I’m telling him now, won’t really sink in right away, but I’m noticing how he remembers and picks up what I am saying.

    This all scares the crap out of me as a mother with a child in this internet age of not only face to face bullies, but cyber bullies. A friend’s 14 year old daughter killed herself because of this type of new age bullying along with depression. My son & I frequently have conversations about all of this stuff. I’m constantly reminding him how his behavior affects his peers and ask him if that is how he would want his friends to act with him. Every decision has a consequence whether good or bad. His decisions affect how others will react too which can be part of the consequence of a bad decision.

    It’s a work in progress, but I think teaching him coping skills is the key. My son is also in cub scouts and has recently started working with horses taking riding lessons and learning how to care for something much larger than himself. I’m hoping as the riding lessons continue, I start seeing a more confident kiddo.

    I’m so sorry that your child had to experience that on his day. But behind that disappointed child is an awesome parent. Kuddos to you for being there and reaching out for advice!

    Good luck with future birthdays and events!

  • #51238

    amudgarden73
    Participant

    I am very sorry for you and your son. My son, who is 12 now, suffered terribly due to bullying a couple of years ago, before we were able to get him into the right school (a school specifically designed for children with ADHD and other behavioral challenges). He became so distraught and anxious about not fitting in at school that he began pulling out his hair on one side of his head, creating a large bald spot.

    One thing I have learned by working with my son…children are amazingly resilient and can overcome all sorts of obstacles that seem far more insurmountable to adults. My son has never ceased to amaze me with his ability to make it through what I see as paralyzingly difficult situations, and doing so with incredible grace and consistency.

    One positive that can come from a child who struggles with making friends is that, once he/she does find a friend or two that he/she is comfortable with, those friendships usually become very strong and are an extremely emotionally positive experience for the child.

    Your son is lucky to have such a caring and dedicated parent as yourself. That alone will help him through these tough times more than anything else.

  • #51239

    Jn185
    Participant

    I am very sorry to hear that this happened. But I want to also take a moment to share some very valuable information. I have twins, one boy and one girl, and I have had the experience as well. Both of my children have ADHD, one hyper and climbing walls while the other is inattentive, and they drive each other insane. I can only imagine what peers must go through.
    We tried for years to have birthday parties, you name it and we did it. What I learned shocked me…I am also a teacher so once I figured this out, I see it constantly now for what it really is, time and effort. Kids are over scheduled and parents are exhausted. My children have a spring birthday. Parties this time of the year have never been successful for us. So I switch it up. I schedule them after all the testing is finished, never on a three day weekend, and around our closest family and friends. One year we had a summer birthday pool party. We did it the first Saturday after school ended and had lots of silly games, pizza, snacks, and the pool. This was the most successful party as 8 kids came. My son had 5 and my daughter 3. I sat with them and explained that families have different beliefs and values and that means they don’t always prioritize kids birthday parties. It doesn’t always mean that kids do not like you. It means that this one plays a sport, this one visits a sick grandma, this one has two houses and mom/dad won’t share time, this one has no money and is too embarrassed to come, or this one forgot to show the invitation to his parents at all and no one checks the front pocket of the backpack.
    Sadly, another fact that suprises me is that people don’t rsvp or decline, it is always a guess.
    I have come to realize that it is more about the adults I am friends with and less about the kids too. So I foster friendships with parents of kids I see really interacting with my children. Just because they are in my child class does not mean they are a friend and I would rather have one real friend at the party instead of 3 bullies.
    I know this is a hard situation, but if you look it with positivity than so will your child, and unfortunately some people are selfish and don’t care how their behavior hurts others. Our kids need to know that is not their fault.
    This year we waited for summer and each child will take 4 friends to a place of their choice. My kids are 13 now, so this is much more acceptable. Another fun thing we did was offer a weekend get away of their choice instead of a party. That was fabulous as well.
    I decided that people have their own reasons for not coming to parties. I see it in my classroom, I hear it from my friends with “typical” kids, parents are too busy and forgetful, and some only do family birthdays. Our world has dramatically changed and our children are not growing up the way we did. We need to step back a little and focus on the most important things, our children and our families. The interesting thing is that everyone here has talked about their kids being resilient and that is what they need to be successful in life. We need to be resilient as well and be a champion for our kids.
    Keep positive. This is more about the other families and less about your child. We are doing the best we can today and that is ok.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  Jn185.
  • #51243

    gillian25
    Participant

    I’m SO sorry to hear about what you and your
    Sweet hearted son dealt with. I don’t have kids but as a 33 year female who has had an ADHD diagnosis since age 12, I empathize so much. Not that it changes the pain of that recent scenario, but you do sound like an incredibly good mother and in my experience-it is not the friendships or teachers that are going to play the biggest role in molding your kids self worth -it is the parent. All of the times I was told I am stupid, less than, too hyper, annoying etc etc from school interactions, it was the way that my mom NEVER gave up on me, never ever let me believe I wasn’t amazing and special and talented in ways that my siblings-who are both incredibly intelligent and ended up being doctors -didn’t possess. I am a happy successful smart fulfilled individual with good self esteem and I have my mom to thank for that. Painfully undeservedly-kids and adults can be so cruel discompaasionate -usually towards those who grow up to be the coolest and most wonderful people, that light up a room. He has the best chance at a happy life because he has a mother who loves him as much as you clearly do. I’m so sorry for the pain it is SOOO undeserved and unfair, it would be a wonderful world if we could protect those we love from the cruelty that’s out there, it isn’t possible unfortunately, but what you can do, (that will mean more in the long run, than if he was spared from any negativity), is tell him how special and cool he is and let him know he is unconditionally loved-i.e. What you obviously already are doing! Things will get better and he will be that kid who lights up a room!!!!

  • #51261

    annawarner26
    Participant

    I am so sorry you and your son had this experience. My son who is 19 now had a similar iincident happen at his 10 birthday pool party. He h had No one that showed up. We had family and extended family that was there but they were all adults. It was sad for me as a parent He did 4-H for 8 years and he showed fainting goats for 2 of those 8 years. He went to a school that they other kids were not very farm oriented. They started to call him Goat Boy in third grade and bullied him about his animals. I would call him Cowboy because he always were Cowboy boots. One day another student asked me if I called him Cowboy because he liked cows too. Forgive me but I said no, he is a bull rider. Well that got some of their attention. Fast forward to now. He really is a bull rider and he loves it. It scares the hell out of me but he has a few bull riding buddies and they go to a few rodeos and he is seems happy. Not one kid he went to and graduated high school has ever called the house during or after graduation. He never fit in at his school but now that he is out, he seems to becoming into his own. That nickname I gave him sort of molded him. He has a few girls that will call and ask for Cowboy. Yes he seems to really like that nickname even at 19 soon to be 20 years old. Love you son for who he is and remind him and yourself to NEVER let anyone dull his sparkle.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  annawarner26. Reason: Misspelled words
  • #51297

    UlliG
    Participant

    I am so sorry about this experience. My son is 9 and has ADHD and had his fair share of problems in school and with making friends. Does any of you know a group in Dallas Texas to join? I still run into the problem that other parents don’t understand what he goes through and it would be nice to meet and make friends with parents and kids that have the same experiences.
    Thanks!

  • #51298

    Vick2964
    Participant

    Boy, do I know how you feel. So sorry you and your child are going through a very difficult time. It’s horrible, heartbreaking and very difficult for a parent to watch, not to mention our Children to go through. But it does get better if you get a few people involved at school, as I did. When I went through a similar birthday experience with my Son and saw how heartbroken he was and how cruel and unfair other children were treating him, I made appointments with his teachers, guidance counselor and case manager as my Son is under an IEP, to discuss the situation at hand. I also asked them to tell me who (if anyone) my Son appeared to get along with in class and who he sat with at lunch. Once the word bully came out of my mouth and I described the problem we were having, they moved heaven and earth to help me. From changing seat assignments in class and regrouping children during lunch to avoid the clicks. They started keeping a watchful eye on who he gravitated to and talked to during recess, which were kids that were on the same boat as he. In a few weeks, they were able to pinpoint a few main instigators, where the rest of kids just followed along to be cool. They were all spoken to by the principal, as were their parents, which appeared to be unaware of this behavior. To help, I tried to attend most school functions and Back to School evenings so that I could meet the parents of the children who were in his class. By doing so, I was able to make friends with the parents themselves, who turned out to be my most valuable allies in this type of situation because some did not know what my child was going thru and were very willing to do whatever was necessary to help. Those who really wanted to help would invite us to their parties and in turn make sure to attend ours. They would alert me to activities, social skills classes and other fun stuff that their children were trying that I wasn’t aware of that he might enjoy with familiar kids. We’ve come a long way since his troubles at school began and he may not have more than 5 friends at this time, but I know that the 5 he does have are great and lasting friends. They enjoy each other’s company and treat each other with respect and that’s what it’s all about.

    Please try to get your school involved and mostly the parents. They are your most valuable allies. There are some parents who will be disappointing to you but those who really want to help you and care about this situation, will definitely help you. Good luck and all the best to your wonderful family!

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  Vick2964.
  • #51304

    zorik14
    Participant

    Way back when I began organizing my own parties in college I made sure they followed a certain set of rules. First, I was not gonna to plan it for a date and time the people I wanted to attend couldn’t come. Next, I do not invite sets of people that will not get along with eachother. For example I would not invite my great aunt to the same party as my husband’s friends with no filter. Now that I have a child I have added one more, we will not invite a child who’s parents I do not know, and subsequently will not attend the party of a child who’s parents I don’t know.That is for safety reasons, and I want to be comfortable communicating with the parent and being at the party.
    If your goal is to just have a bunch of kids show up, then have the party somewhere the kids want to go to anyway. Like a waterpark or lasertag. However, just because they show up does not mean they will play with your child, and he will be equally heartbroken.
    10 to 12 percent of a children at a school have educational plans for adhd. So there is no way your child is the only one in the the class with it. People know what it is. I do suggest you volunteer as much time as you can in your child’s class so you can see what is really going on in there and get to know the other kids.
    Everyone in my family has adhd. My husband has severe adhd and he was always the most popular kid in school. He is still super popular and I hate him for it. Don’t blame the adhd, don’t blame the other kids. Spend your time figuring out what the real problem is.

  • #51309

    elsitacheetah
    Participant

    I’m so sorry. We also had a rough birthday party this year. To participant Ullig- I also live in Dallas, TX and I have been looking for a group to join. My son is also 9 and has ADHD, and it would be great to have someone to talk to who understands what we are going through. I’m not sure how we can contact each other through this site, but if you end up replying I’m sure we can figure out a way.

  • #51310

    UlliG
    Participant

    @elsitachteetah, let’s get together, yes not sure how we do it through this forum though. I live in Bedford.

  • #51322

    elsitacheetah
    Participant
  • #51325

    karri.messina
    Participant

    I have run into the same issue! My son starts to to count down the days until his birthday about 2 months out…even though we try not to indulge him in it because of not wanting him to be disappointed by the outcome. This year, I initiated with another student’s mom in the class whose son had the same birthday. Both boys were turning 8 and we invited all the boys in their class as well as neighbors, friends and family. We had a successful turnout but I could tell as we got closer to the birthday celebration date, he was starting to get nervous that people weren’t going to come because he started asking to invite random kids he would play with at the pool for the day. I think the fear of not having kids show up for his party really worried him. I do blame some of the parents as well! As we focus so much as a nation on spreading the anti-bullying campaign, don’t parents realize exclusion/ostracizing is a form or bullying! Every child needs to have friends and feel loved! Usually, they act out when they feel insecure or unloved which just perpetuates the problem! Hopefully, with the release of the movie Wonder this summer more kids and families will work together towards Acceptance, Compassion and Empathy, not just for those with obvious physical challenges but also with those that have challenges in social, behavioral, and psychological development!

  • #51362

    LovemyADHDers
    Participant

    Thank you all for sharing and letting me know I am not alone in this struggle. My son has a heart of gold and it broke my heart when I continuously noticed people (children and adults) shutting him out. Long story short, we as parents share that common pain. As for birthdays, we keep it small, just our immediate family that lives in our house. We made it a tradition a while back where everyone gets to pick their favorite meal/dessert and either I make it or we’ll go out. They also get to pick a fun activity they want to do and we all do it. Both of my kids look forward to their birthdays. But before this happened, we had to have a very candid conversation with my son about how people act/treat people and we talked about how it made him feel (I left my feelings out of it because I wanted him to know it was all about him). After he talked about it, we would pull the positives out of the negatives and he’d be back to his happy, helpful self…It always amazed me how things could roll off of him like a bead of sweat… I truly believe that because of those conversations he was able to reflect on his own behavior and begin focusing on using strategies. I’m not saying bouncing and being overly excited do not happen still, because it does. We made the decision to pull him out of private school and allow him to do school at home. OMGosh! What a difference that has made! His self-esteem has been repaired, he’s willing to reach out to the youth at church and low and behold, he has formed some bonds. Nothing too strong because he is very discerning and analytical of a person before letting them get too close. I’m not complaining. Keep your head up, hang in there and know you’re not alone and breathe! (smile).

  • #51505

    anomalocaris
    Participant

    I don’t have kids and I was not diagnosed with ADD until adulthood, so only then did I learn why my childhood was so difficult. One thing I want to toss in for parents, based on my experiences, is that my parents were bothered by the fact that I had no friends, and their solution was to force me into social situations — insist that I go to the birthday party that I didn’t want to go to because I’d be either left out or bullied. Forced me to attend Girl Scouts (with the same result). I was quite happy with my own company and preferred to be alone, reading, or walking in the woods observing wildlife. Friends would not have been an issue, but for my parents and other adults acting as if there was something wrong with not having friends.

    I’m an adult now, and more capable of navigating the social world. I get a lot of respect from the people around me, and recently was invited to be interviewed by the BBC. but I still don’t have close friends that I spend time with. I have a team of folks I rescue rattlesnakes with (Yes, I did just say, “rescue rattlesnakes.”) and my sister and I do things together. That’s about it, and I’m fine with that. I was not scarred by growing up without friends, but I do carry some scars caused by being forced into social situations I couldn’t handle, and by people hinting that I was somehow lacking as a person because I preferred to be on my own. Those negative experiences have a great deal to do with my reluctance to engage with people as an adult.

    If your kids WANT to have lots of friends, by all means facilitate it. But I wanted to tell my story because I think a lot of kids with ADD find socializing overwhelming and exhausting like I did (and still do) and I think it’s important for parents not to force the issue with ADD kids.

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