The Fine Art of Parenting a Teen With ADHD

Experience and surviving the teen age years can be challenging for both the parents and the teen. Parents can remember their experiences and are so sure that they had it much harder than their teen. I bet you; your goal as parent with a teen with ADHD is to hopefully reduce the impact of the crash landings our teens will invariable experience. As parents with a teen with ADHD we must ultimately take off the training wheels and watch as they weave all over the road and accept that they will occasional get their knees scraped. You will face some unique challenges parenting a teen with ADHD. Here are some strategies to help.

Address Your Concerns Directly – It’s easy to think that your teenager with ADHD would dislike a 11:00 pm curfew, if his or her friends can do the same thing. If you allow your teen to stay out after 11pm; have a discussion with your teen about your reasons of concern about staying out later.However,if your teen feels like they are ready to take responsibility for staying out later, and you have made the necessary adjustments to ensure success (such as possibly changing his or her medication routine to enhance attention while driving), Then If they arrive home on time with no evidence of high-risk activity, reward your teen with a continued 11:00 pm curfew. Moving in this small direction allows you to continue to build a mutual trust and respect—vital for your teen’s self- esteem.

Provide Structure & Support – During your child’s younger years, you kept track of what was going on in school and their behavior. Now that your teen is becoming more independent, you may feel it is time to stop keeping track. However, for a teen with ADHD you may still need to still provide structure and support. While it may be best of other teens to back off and let them manage their own homework, for a teen with ADHD you may still need to keep track that he or she is completing work and turning it in on time. While providing and support is necessary, it must be done in a way that is also respectful of your ADHD teenager and his or her developmental needs.

Establishing & Enforcing Rules– A teen with ADHD might have an argumentative style, and resistant to your continuous monitoring and may lead to a a great deal of boundary testing, and negotiating. It maybe best for you to identify 4 or 5 nonnegotiable rules based on the issues you consider essential for your family. For example, you may decide that your teen can’t use the computer after a certain hour on school nights. When you have come up with 4 or 5 basic rules, write them down and discuss them with your teen. Discuss that the trust built through these rules can open the door to other things that her/she would like to do. Discuss the rewards (i.e. extended privileges in other areas) and the consequences  for breaking these rules.

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