The teenage years are challenging for most children, and they can be even more so for a child with ADHD. Dealing with peer pressure, fear of academic or social failure, and issues of self-esteem can all be especially tough for an ADHD adolescent.
A doctor may have evaluated your child several times over the years, but the early teen years are a good time to have a complete heath re-evaluation. Medication, therapy, and other needs may change as your child grows.
Making rules easy to understand is especially important during the teenage years. When you set a rule, make sure the reasons for it are clear.You might want to post a chart that lists all the household rules as well as rules for school and social activities.
Understand that your teenager will sometimes break rules. Try to be calm and matter-of-fact in responding to inappropriate behavior. Use punishment sparingly. Spending a short time alone can help your teenager cool down.
As your teenager begins to spend more time away from home, expect growing demands for a later curfew and more freedoms. As a parent, try to focus on the following:
- Listen to your child’s requests.
- Give reasons for your opinion.
- Listen to your child’s opinion.
- Negotiate and be willing to compromise.
Always remember, however, that you are the parent and your decision needs to be in the best interest of your child. Sometimes your child may be unhappy with your decision.
When should your child start driving? Driving is risky for all teens, and it’s especially risky for young people with ADHD. Compared with young drivers who do not have ADHD, those with ADHD have nearly four times as many auto accidents and three times as many speeding citations.2 Before starting to drive independently, your child should spend many hours practicing with a licensed adult driver in the car.
What is ADHD?
How Common is ADHD?
Common Signs and Symptoms
Supporting School Success
The Teenage Years