HomeLearning DifficultiesHealth & DevelopmentLife After High School

It Worked: The Dating Game - Helping Our Daughter With AD/HD Play it Safe

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By GreatSchools Staff

Describe up to 3 things you learned from the situation?

  • Kids with AD/HD and LD are not as socially mature as their peers. For years I have read the literature on this, but it took this incident for me to take it to heart.
  • When a child turns 18, her AD/HD and LD don't magically go away. This incident impressed upon me that these are chronic, lifetime disorders.
  • Advocacy for your child and teaching self-advocacy to your child never stops and is still the most important tool for success.

Describe up to 3 things your child learned from the situation?

  • She is not yet able to handle grownup or adult relationships.
  • She needs to be less submissive, and she needs to re-evaluate her own self-worth.
  • She needs to carefully choose the people with whom she associates and realize that she can decide that certain people who do not share her values will not make good friends.

What do you wish you had done differently, if anything?

At the onset of this situation, we would have been stricter and acted more quickly and thoroughly when we saw red flags. We would have emphasized her self-worth and provided more aggressive counseling.

What advice would you give other parents in this type of situation?

As your child with AD/HD reaches dating age, she will still need your input, support, and advocacy. She has needed your advice on organizing her schoolwork; now she needs your advice on choosing friends. Keep an open and frank dialogue. Discuss everything and particularly have sex education conversations and "healthy relationship" talks. Use relevant resources that provide information to her in a way that she will accept. Tell her you will be there, you ARE there if she needs to come to you. Stress her self-worth and value.

Did a widely available resource help you handle the situation or provide you strategies? If so, please provide us with either the title and author/producer of the book or video, or the website address.

The school nurse provided pamphlets on dating.

Our local domestic abuse shelter provided information about abuse identification markers.

There are articles in periodicals like ADDitude Magazine that provide guidance.

Comments from readers

"thank you for this information I have a daughter who has AD/HD as well. She's not old enough to date yet however, I can see your daughters story becoming my daughter story. I like to teacher how now how she should be treated by young men. "