Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > ADHD > Coping With ADHD > Son Not Communicating at Home

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Son Not Communicating at Home

Gifted and Talented Expert Advice from Mary Ruth Coleman, Ph.D.

Q: My nine-year-old son is being treated for ADD and has many characteristics of being gifted. He is enjoying his school year and is in class with his best friend (also gifted), with a supportive teacher. However, when he gets home from school, he is very antagonistic toward his younger siblings, will not talk about his day with me, and gets upset if I try to ask him any questions. His homework gets done, but in a careless manner. My husband thinks our son gets frustrated being around younger kids who can't communicate or behave on as high a level as his schoolmates. It could also be his ADD medication is wearing off at that time. Although his mood improves later in the evening, after tae kwon do or his Destination Imagination meetings, he still offers little information about his day. I'm so worried that I can't communicate with my son, and he isn't even near his teenage years yet.

A: I know that you're frustrated, but perhaps we can look at this a little differently. The amount of energy your son expends in school is two to three times that of a typical child. When he gets home, he needs some downtime, when he can regroup and relax. If he also has any verbal or auditory processing problems (not unusual in bright kids with ADD), then he also needs release time from talking and listening! How about making it standard operating procedure that when he gets home he has one to two hours "off" and that in the evening you both share some time reflecting on your day. This time together should be fun, not a "what did you do today?" drill. Your son is more likely to answer specific questions rather than general ones. Perhaps you can collect questions in a jar that you draw out and answer. "My favorite thing that happened today was..." or, "One thing I would have changed about my day is..." This way you both share something and it's not like a quiz time. Hope this helps.-- Mary Ruth Coleman, Ph.D.

More on: Expert Advice

Mary Ruth Coleman is the director of Project U-STARS (Using Science Talent and Abilities to Recognize Students) at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Coleman has taught in both general and gifted educational programs in both public and private schools.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!