Tips That May Help Your Teen with ADHD
Tips for helping your teen "do the rest"
What's the rest, you ask? It's the important things in your teen's life. Here are some tips that may help your teen with ADHD to take responsibility for their ADHD.
Tips for helping boost your teen's confidence
If your teen could use a little extra confidence, here are some tips that may help.
- Tell your teen you love them unconditionally. Let them know you'll get through the good and not-so-good moments together.
- Play to their strengths. Many teens with ADHD have strengths in areas like art and computers, just to name a few.
- Make time just for them. Special time together can help your teen maintain feelings of self-worth.
Tips for helping your teen at home and at school
Try these additional strategies for ADHD:
- Provide structure. Keep a routine and go with a similar schedule every day, from morning till lights out. Include time for homework, activities, etc. And write down any changes to the schedule in advance.
- Post a chart of household chores. Check off items as they're completed.
- Have a place for everything. And keep everything in its place: clothing, books, etc.
- Create an organizational system. Come up with a system for writing down homework assignments and tests and for planning out projects.
- Be clear and consistent with your teen. Teens need rules they can follow, teens with ADHD just as much.
- Praise good behavior. Teens with ADHD often expect criticism. Reward them when they follow the rules.
- Respond when rules are broken. Teens want to be independent and try new things. If they break the rules, maintain calm and be matter-of-fact in your response. Sometimes it helps to have a short time-out to calm down.
Tips for helping limit procrastination
Consider working with your teen to help them pull together a to-do list. Have them ask themselves questions such as:
- Time: How much time do I need for this task?
- Know-how: Do I know how to do this? Who do I know that can help?
- Resources: Do I have the materials I need?
Tips for helping you work with your teen
As a parent, you may be aware of a lot of these techniques already but read them over as you might discover something new. Post them prominently in the house and be sure to give a copy to grandparents and other caregivers (babysitters, etc) so they can follow them as well.
- Be consistent with rules. When you make rules, make them simple and specific.
- Be clear. Provide clear expectations, directions, and limits.
- Stay calm. Try to remain patient and calm when dealing with your child.
- Offer praise. Look for every opportunity to provide positive reinforcement.
- Use "do" statements in place of "don't" statements. Example: "use your inside voice" instead of "don't shout."
- Set up routines. Have routines for getting ready for school, mealtime, homework, and bedtime and stick to them as closely as you can.
- Take the good with the bad. Expect that teens will have good days and bad days.
Tips for helping you get support
- Join a support group. Meeting up with likeminded parents of teens with ADHD could make all the difference.
- Seek professional help. Remember, you don't have to do it alone. Helping yourself feel less stressed can benefit your teen as well.
- Work together to support your teen. Involve other adults in your teen's life, from grandparents to teachers, to agree on an approach for how to handle various issues as they arise. It takes a village!
Looking to meet other parents of teens with ADHD? Consider joining a support group.