Can you make a kid more “likeable” and if so, should you?

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    • #189655

      My 11 yo son has add/adhd. We are seeing a weekly therapist and he’s on Adderall. He often lies, argues everything and is a know it all. We are finding he’s having issues with friends. We want to help but he takes it as constant criticism. It doesn’t help that we have a younger son, 9, who plays the perfect child role. He says yes to everything and is kind and has lots of friends. My husband and I try talking to the 11 yo and explaining situations like, “well how would that make you feel” but we are wondering how much is too much? Are we just giving the kid a complex and hurting his self confidence or are we teaching him? We don’t know what is right and really need an expert to tell us what the right balance is. Thanks

    • #189795
      Penny Williams

      Your son with ADHD is developmentally delayed in social skills. He appears to be a “know-it-all” because he’s not yet good at social reciprocity and weighing how something feels to someone else. He seems “argumentative” because he’s likely a concrete, black-and-white thinker, and only sees one way.

      When I realized that my son was lagging in social skills when he seemed bossy and selfish with friends, I was able to create change by implementing social rules (concrete thinkers are great at following rules when they can). For instance, when a friend comes to your house, you always let them choose what you’re going to play first, because they’re your guest. Or, When you share something with someone like introducing yourself or telling them what you like, you then ask them what the same thing. “I like building spaceships with Legos. What do you like to build?”

      Social stories have helped a lot over the years too.

      Free Webinar Replay: A Parents’ Guide to Social Skills Strategies for Children with ADHD or Autism (or Both)

      “Social Emotional Learning for Children with ADHD in Quarantine” [Video Replay & Podcast #324]

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

    • #191991

      I could have written this post myself, right down to the 9-year-old brother part. My son is losing friends constantly and I think it’s because he can’t gauge when to stop—when to stop bragging, pushing the other child to do what he wants, taking a joke too far, being too clingy.

      He’s the opposite of good with rules—believe me, I’ve tried concrete rules. I wish I had a solution.

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