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Parenting Teens with ADHD


Adolescence is a very confusing time not only for teens but for parents as well. Having to experience and survive the teen years brings a great challenge to both parents and adolescents.  Your teen might start to make decisions on their own and think for themselves. Don’t distress. It’s natural and important for your child to break away from you during this age. It is in our nature as parents to shield our children from the disappointments and confusions that life has to offer during this trying stage. Read this blog about parenting ADHD Teens.

Unfortunately, although we try so hard to shield them they usually go astray on their own and we feel helpless. Our goal as parents is to help them get through the crash landings that they would surely experience. Try as we might, we should take off the training wheels and watch them as they go about the road of life getting their knees scraped along the way. In other words, we parents should do our best to protect them from the most trying consequences of their actions and inexperience.

Being a parent is hard enough what more when you are faced with various challenges especially when parenting a teen who has ADHD.

ADHD in adolescence

The utmost manifestations of ADHD involve being inattentive, highly impulsive and very hyperactive, these manifestations are constantly present throughout adolescence although the pattern of these manifestations and problems might somehow evolve. Unfortunately, your adolescent child might experience more difficulties due to their ADHD symptoms. They usually perform poor in school due to the increasing demand that adults expect from them.

ADHD during their teens

What does it really feel like to suffer from ADHD? To start of, a teen diagnosed with ADHD might be experiencing stigma or might feel embarrassed about their diagnosis. In this case, they often deny having ADHD. A teen who has ADHD might feel different toward their peers. Thus it is important for you to have a heart to heart talk with your teen about Attention Deficit Disorder. You have to explain that suffering from ADHD is not a result of any mistake that they might have made nor is it a punishment to them. Compare ADHD to other medical conditions like pneumonia or having bad eyesight. Explain to them that they are not at fault for experiencing this certain disorder and that a number of treatment options are readily available for them to take to succeed later on in life.

A teen with ADHD might usually have self-perception concerns and would be more vulnerable to a poor self-esteem compared to their peers. In a survey, teens who have ADHD and are suffering from certain learning disabilities have found it stressful to study in school and sit in class, they find it tiring which would often result in frequent quarrelling with their close friends and have a sense of feeling that their parents don’t really comprehend the extent of what they really feel. Allowing them to engage in worthwhile activities which they love and feel successful could be a powerful way to combat and change these concerns. When a teen feels effective and self-assured about themselves in a certain aspect of their life it often spreads to other areas too.

Trials for a Teen who has ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder might be affecting a lot of aspects in your teen’s life. Although most teens face academic hurdles, social struggles and troubles at home, having ADD might cause these issues to be harder for them to deal with.

Academic Presentation:

High school is often characterized by a hectic pace, a lot of demands to put up with while there is less supervision. Academically speaking, the workload and difficulty of the lessons increases as well and long-term projects are required rather than homework. These factors present a big challenge to your teen with ADHD. An adolescent with ADHD might benefit from help with note taking, studying and time management.

As a parent, you should make sure to help your teen learn the skills they need to be able to adjust from being handled by parents to their teachers who are usually helping them with their time and schoolwork to having to do it with their own ability. If your teen has been diagnosed with ADHD and has been a cause for poor academic functioning, your child might qualify for separate classroom accommodation. Accommodations might often include being given more leeway during tests or having to take a test in another room where there is less distraction. You should inquire from a school worker if you feel that your teenager might qualify for such and gain from it.


A lot of teens with ADHD find it hard to interact with peers due to their impulsiveness, highly hyperactive actions and being overly aggressive while a young child with ADHD might be invasive during their social interactions and can be excessively louder compared to their friends. Experiencing peer rejection during their childhood often continues on to adolescence. More to that, lacking positive friendship or interactions limit their chances to practice and improve their socializing skills. A teen with ADHD is at a higher risk for meddling with the wrong crowd due to their experiences. In order to avoid such, you have to provide a teenager with an opportunity to take part in a structured social function like youth groups or engage in sports which will eventually provide them with positive experiences that will hopefully offset other negative interrelationships.

Life at Home:

An average household of an adolescent who has ADHD is bound to have more conflicts with their parents. Admit it, parenting a child who is suffering from ADHD is tiresome. Being a parent, you feel the need to demand something from your child like tidying their bed, doing their homework, helping in the household chores and most of all coming home before a set time. A teen with ADHD would have a difficult time complying with these request and would often need a lot of management. This need for extra supervision is confusing for both parent and teen and often leads to negative interrelationships.

When you constantly ask your teen something which they are not capable of complying it would often result to an escalation resulting to negativity. During such cycle, you might find yourself yelling, scolding and demanding more from your teen who would then respond with hatred and anger. To put an end to this tiring cycle, you have to establish a clear means of communication to your teen including telling them of the rules and what you expect of them. Bear in mind that discussing certain problems when you are mad is not productive. Alternatively, you can plan to talk during a time when all of you are in a good mood to converse about the areas of conflict. If this conflict is taking a huge toll on your family’s well-being, you should consider asking for help from a well acquainted mental health psychiatrist.


A teen diagnosed with ADHD is at a greater risk for a serious problem when they transition into adulthood. As a parent, be sure to be more supportive of your teen and be more understanding towards them for them to become successful and productive in their adult life. Remember that a continuous treatment is important in helping your teen avoid negative impact on their lives and for them to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.

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