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6 Strategies to Help a Teen with ADHD 

how parents can help a child with ADHD

Raising a teenager with ADHD can present unique challenges for parents. But, with the right strategies and a supportive mindset, parents can empower their teens with ADHD to thrive. This comprehensive guide, How to Help a Teen with ADHD, will provide practical tips and guidance to navigate the complexities of raising a teen with ADHD and ensure their well-being, academic success, and social growth. Drawing from expert insights and experiences, we’ll explore practical approaches to support your teen’s well-being and equip you with the tools you need to help them thrive with ADHD. 

Understanding ADHD in Adolescence  

Understanding how ADHD presents itself during adolescence can significantly impact your teen’s overall development and wellbeing. Parents should understand that the symptoms of ADHD may manifest differently in adolescence compared to childhood. Additionally, awareness of the unique challenges teens with ADHD face can help parents provide the necessary support and guidance during this transformative phase.  

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity patterns. This disorder presents uniquely in each teen, with core challenges varying. Yet, this diagnosis does not define or determine future success; support, understanding, and strategies can help those with ADHD navigate challenges and thrive. 

Teens with ADHD often face challenges with cognitive functions—a range of skills including organization, time management, and impulse control. Yet, these skills are crucial for academic success, authentic social interactions, and wellbeing. It’s essential to recognize that ADHD can manifest differently based on individual experiences and gender. Each teen’s journey with ADHD is unique, and by acknowledging these differences, parents can gain valuable insights into their teen’s specific challenges and strengths. 

Remember, ADHD is not a limitation, but a part of your teen’s story. By providing a nurturing environment, understanding their struggles, and equipping them with practical strategies, you can help your teen harness their full potential and embrace their journey with ADHD. 

Creating a Supportive Environment  

Building a supportive environment is crucial for the wellbeing of teens with ADHD. Open and non-judgmental communication is critical to fostering a solid parent-teen relationship. Encourage your teen to express their thoughts and feelings and actively listen to their perspectives without dismissing or minimizing their experiences. 

Managing expectations and setting realistic goals is equally important. Understand that your teen’s journey will be up and down, but it’s essential to celebrate their successes, no matter how small. Avoid comparing your teen to others or imposing unreasonable standards. Instead, focus on their progress and growth. 

Collaborating with Professionals  

Professionals, including psychiatrists, therapists, and educators, are crucial in supporting teens with ADHD. Collaborate with these experts beyond your teen’s initial diagnosis to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Your teen’s professional team can provide valuable insights, strategies, and resources to help your teen manage their ADHD symptoms effectively. Additionally, involving professionals in the process can ensure that your teen receives the necessary support and accommodations in academic settings to thrive. But medication isn’t the only solution professionals prescribe. 

Behavioral parent training can be another practical approach. Behavioral parent training involves parents utilizing specific strategies and techniques to help manage their teen’s ADHD symptoms. This can include implementing consistent routines, setting clear expectations, and providing positive reinforcement for desired behaviors. Parents can play a crucial role in supporting their teen’s overall wellbeing and success by actively participating in behavioral parent training. 

Empowering Your Teen with ADHD 

Empowering your teen with ADHD is about fostering their independence and self-advocacy skills. Encourage them to take ownership of their challenges and successes. Allow them to make mistakes and learn from them, which is crucial for personal growth. Support their interests and passions, providing opportunities for them to explore and develop their talents. 

Empowerment also means involving your teen in decision-making processes regarding their ADHD management. Engage them in discussions about treatment options, school accommodations, and setting personal goals. Including them in these conversations demonstrates that their voice and opinions matter. 

Nurturing Executive Skills  

Teens with ADHD often struggle with certain executive skills, such as time management, organization, and planning. As a parent, you can provide support in these areas. Help your teen develop effective strategies for organizing tasks, breaking them into smaller steps, and creating schedules or to-do lists. 

Establishing routines and structure is essential for teens with ADHD. Encourage consistency in daily routines, sleep patterns, and homework schedules. Modeling these habits in your own life can positively influence your teen’s behavior. Narrate your thought process when planning and organizing, demonstrating how these skills apply in real-life situations. 

Strengthening Relationships and Social Skills  

ADHD can impact a teen’s social interactions and relationships. Encourage positive friendships and social involvement by providing opportunities for socializing. Engage in open discussions about social dynamics and peer relationships, helping your teen navigate social challenges.  

Extracurricular activities aligned with your teen’s interests can boost their self-esteem and provide valuable social opportunities. Encourage their participation in activities that foster their strengths and allow them to connect with like-minded peers. 

Redefining Academic Success  

Expanding your household definition of academic success is another valuable strategy when navigating ADHD with your teen. It supports positive social development, and your teen can focus on personal growth and learning rather than solely on grades and academic achievements. Emphasize building meaningful relationships and developing strong communication skills, which are crucial for success in educational and social settings. 

Academic success can indeed be a significant concern for teens with ADHD. You’ll also want to work collaboratively with your teen’s school to ensure they receive appropriate support and accommodations. Regularly communicate with teachers to monitor their progress and promptly address any challenges. 

Beyond this, you can teach and model practical study skills, such as breaking down tasks, creating study guides, and implementing time management techniques. Encourage your teen to seek help and explore resources like tutoring or study groups. 

Self-Care for Parents  

Supporting a teen with ADHD can be emotionally and physically demanding. Parents must prioritize their own wellbeing and avoid burnout. Engage in self-care activities that promote relaxation, stress reduction, and personal fulfillment. Seek support from other parents or ADHD support groups, where you can connect with individuals who share similar experiences. 

Raising a teenager with ADHD is like parenting any child, neurodivergent or neurotypical. It requires dedication, understanding, and a commitment to their wellbeing. By following the strategies and techniques outlined in this How to Help a Teen with ADHD guide, you can provide the support your teen needs to flourish.  

Remember, you are not alone on this journey. Embrace your role as an advocate and supporter, and watch your teen with ADHD grow and succeed. With the knowledge and resources at your disposal, you have the power to make a positive impact on your teen’s life.  

To learn more about mental health disorders or to seek the help of a mental health professional, do not hesitate to call Turnbridge. Turnbridge is a recognized mental health treatment provider with both inpatient and outpatient programs for young men and women. Call 877-581-1793 to speak with a treatment specialist today.