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Primarily Inattentive ADHD (13 Tips for Parenting a Teen with ADHD)
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Primarily Inattentive ADHD (13 Tips for Parenting a Teen with ADHD) Information
13 tips for dealing with your ADHD teen
You face unique challenges parenting a teen who has ADHD. Here are some tips and strategies to help you with the task.
ADHD teens and driving
Three areas -- driving, homework, and alcohol/drugs -- are areas that may spark a fire between the parents of a teen with ADHD and their child. It is appropriate that parents anticipate and formulate a plan to address these issues with their adolescent.Motor-vehicle accidents are the number-one cause of death in children 16-20 years of age. Approximately 63% of the deaths are drivers; the remainder of those killed are passengers. Driving requires focus, concentration, good judgment, and the ability to adapt to sudden and often unpredictable changes in the immediate environment. The younger the driver the more likely a lack of experience and behavioral immaturity will result in risk-taking behaviors. It is imperative that parents lay out concrete concepts and consequences for their young ADHD driver. These might include the following:
ADHD teens, alcohol, and drugs
Alcohol and drug usage is a frequent topic among teens. The inclination toward experimentation and testing boundaries, a sense of invincibility and immortality, and poor judgment regarding long-term consequences for their actions provide the "perfect storm" for many teens. An adolescent burdened with uncontrolled ADHD is a setup for disaster. Parental expectations -- specifically enumerated -- provide a necessary foundation. No alcohol or drug use is to be tolerated. No attendance at parties where alcohol is consumed is acceptable, even if adult supervision is anticipated. Monitor alcohol types and quantities at home. Know your teen's friends and never hesitate to call their parents if you are concerned regarding unusual or suspicious behaviors. Watch for signs and symptoms of alcohol/drug use: unusual redness in the whites of their eyes; characteristic breath odor or frequent use of breath mints or mouthwash (which may itself contain alcohol); changes in personality (for example, emotional lability, moodiness, etc.); or deterioration academically. Don't hesitate to monitor your adolescent's activities and expect resistance. Be strong; it's your job.
ADHD teens, school, and homework
Middle school and high school can be a minefield to effectively negotiate for teens regardless of whether they have to deal with the effects of ADHD or not. Part of the issue is the "nature of the beast." Students must learn how to effectively deal with multiple teachers who believe that their subject is the linchpin holding the teen's entire academic experience together. Likewise, the usual lack of integration of the school curriculum may be another hurdle to overcome. Parents should be their child's advocate with his or her teacher. Establish a good rapport and communication between your child's teacher and yourself. This implies a give and take regarding their adolescent's ADHD diagnosis, possible side effects of his/her medication, and informing the teacher of any comorbid learning disorders and learning styles (for example, visual vs. auditory) which will promote success. Often such information and teacher feedback may be exchanged using a school's email system. At home, parents can strive to maximize an effective learning environment. Organize an area for homework and limit distractions. Provide structure with consistency for start and finish times. Several studies have demonstrated that one hour of vigorous physical activity after school and before starting homework allows for more efficient use of time, quicker mastery of the material, and improvement in accuracy in subjects requiring calculations. (Simply put -- the ADHD teen needs to "burn off" his or her extra energy.) Since nothing succeeds like success, praise your teen when they have worked hard and done their best.Teens with ADHD and their parents may note that homework projects are often much more challenging from 7:00 p.m. and later. Often their medication effectiveness has waned to minimal. Speak with your teen's pediatrician. One option is to take a short-acting (three- to four-hour duration) version of the same medication taken in the morning. Taking this preparation at about 6 p.m. will enable continued effectiveness for academics but should not interfere with dinner appetite or sleep patterns.While the natural inclination of a parent is to intercede to resolve problems between their ADHD teen and an instructor, a better long-term strategy involves the student and teacher discussing the problematic issues without the direct input of others. Teens need to learn how to present their case in a rational way. Such an approach will guard against a parent from being trapped between their teen and the teacher. There are always two sides to any story. Better results usually occur when the discussion is restricted to the two principal parties involved. Otherwise parents may become the victims of hearsay.
Alcohol use by children
Below is a current survey of American children and alcohol usage. The message is alarming.12th Grade
Introduction to parenting teens
Experiencing and surviving the teen years is challenging for both parents and adolescents. All parents can conjure up personal recollections of the experience -- and are absolutely sure that they "had it much harder" than their child. Similarly, we mature adults are now clever enough to realize all the inappropriate, risky, and "just plain stupid" things we did (and thus put our parents through). As parents, we want to shield our children from all the frustrations and disappointments we experienced -- and as bonus -- free ourselves from the fate our own parents were forced to endure.Unfortunately, try as we might, history often repeats itself. Our goal as parents is to hopefully reduce the impact of the crash landings our adolescent children will invariably experience. Try as we might, we must ultimately take off the training wheels and watch as they weave all over the road and accept that occasionally knees will get scraped. (Our main responsibility is to make sure that a helmet is always worn.) In other words, we must do our best to protect them from the most severe consequences of their inexperience.
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