Family/teen social activities for a socially challenged family in Oakland
We have a 15 year old daughter who does not have friends outside of school (and not very many in school). She doesn't have good social skills. She can be lively and charming, but can also be loud, bossy and cranky. She is not very empathetic and so has a hard being a friend. As background - she moved in with us through the foster care system at 9; we adopted her at 10. She has ADHD, anxiety, and is about to be diagnosed with a mood disorder. On top of that she has a venous malformation on her face that has impacted her experiences with others throughout her life. (She has been treated at UCSF with no success so far.) She has a therapist and a psychiatrist. She's taking medication. At present she seems to be doing well in that she's fairly cheerful, has much more self-control than in the past and is doing slightly better at school. But, she would benefit from more social interaction and activities. And, my husband and I are feeling isolated. This is compounded by life in the bay area. We had a group of friends/young families who had known our daughter from her first days with us, but almost all of those families have moved or - in one or two cases - can't quite deal with our daughter.
She's in an after school program at her school but that will end with her freshman year. Her main activities and interests are pop music, teen vampire shows, celebrity gossip and fan fiction, both writing and reading. She does not have a phone. I'm not sure she wants one. She broke her old phone on purpose and won't do the tasks we asked her to do to get a new one. She has an old IPOD touch but doesn't participate in social media much. She will NOT take any classes/activities (sports, art, music, outdoorsy things) outside of school. Please don't tell me to make her - I cannot. And please don't tell me to talk to her - I have. Believe me, she is a tough cookie. I might be able get her to go if paid her but I haven't thought that was a good idea.
Being a teenager, she also won't do as much with us as she would when she was younger. (No more bike rides, walks, museums, etc.) She'll go out with us to some movies and to dinner (or if we're taking her shopping or buying her ice cream). We will leave her at home alone for short periods - sometimes as long as a movie - but don't feel comfortable leaving her home alone for a long periods. Lately when we've had our adult friends over she's complained loudly and in front of the guests that we're not paying enough attention to her. We do our best to ignore this, but it's uncomfortable for our guests, particularly those that don't have much experience with big kids. We have one friend who can sometimes have our her over for an evening, so that we can go out, but in general my husband and I take turns doing things.
As I write this I'm realizing how much control she's exerting over out lives. Suggestions? Organized family activities for parents with teenagers that might be a fit? Anyone in similar circumstances who would like to try to create a get together?
Thanks so much for wading through this long post! You responses will be much appreciated.