"Kids don't hang out anymore, they just play games online" -ADHD Dude - Ryan Wexelblatt

"Kids don't hang out anymore, they play games together online."
I can't tell you how many parents have told me that their sons have said this to them.

-Boys who struggle with understanding how to cultivate friendships (or move up the friendship pyramid in my video from last week) may need to learn some or all of the following:
-Scaffolding to learn how to initiate "hanging out" & making plans.
-How to show that they're thinking about their friend(s) thoughts & feelings during playdates/hanging out.
-What it means to be a good host and a good guest.
-How to successfully be part of a group which may include learning how to be more cognitively flexible.
-How to show interest in peers so they understand they're interested in moving up the friendship pyramid.
-How to spend time with similar-age peers without the supervision of adults (self-regulation).
What makes this difficult for many kids?
-Many parents do not put parameters around screen time thus many kids are spending excessive amount of hours in front of screens and have no social interactions outside of school or structured activities.
-Some parents believe that permitting unstructured hanging out time is being a neglectful parent due to our current culture of fear-based parenting.
-Overscheduling kids with activities (which denies kids the opportunity to develop social & executive functioning skills).
This list could go on and on.
My best memories of being a kid were not activities I participated in but the time I spent with friends playing & hanging out. This helped me develop creativity, critical thinking skills and self-regulation. I'm sure many of you I would say the same.
This is not a parenting problem, it's a systemic problem as I mentioned above. Having social learning challenges only complicates this for kids with ADHD.
I took this picture in my office today. These guys asked if they could come to my office during lunch so they could hang out, talk Pokemon and trade cards.

What memories will your son have 20 or 30 years from now in terms of his social relationships? I think that's a question we need to ask ourselves in order to figure out if there's something we can do to be helpful.
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