Raising teens is challenging as it is. All parents want to protect their kids from making mistakes and ending up hurt and disappointed, but at the same time, it is something that is bound to happen, they can only lessen the blow. This isn’t only the time when teens explore the world around them but also when they have to fight the raging hormones continually.
Nevertheless, if your teen has been diagnosed with ADHD, the challenge is even greater. At first, this new manner of living is completely unfamiliar to you, and you will have to learn how to deal with each situation individually. Due to this reason, we are going to present you with the list of tips that will help your child grow and develop.
1. Behavior management plan
As we have already said, the first thing that you have to do is to accept that your teen’s behavior will be challenging most of the time and that you won’t be able to use traditional parenting tips. Every situation will be unique, and therefore, it will require a different approach.
Because of this, you should try to create behavior strategies that will not only help you, as a parent, but they will also be quite beneficial for your teen. Naturally, you have to come up with some that completely suit your family and that focus on different aspects of your child’s life. We are talking about their social skills, success at school, managing their energy levels, and obviously, those that will help them develop and become responsible and independent.
We know that this task appears to be almost impossible, so you should discuss it not only with your spouse and other family members but also with their teachers and therapists.
This will enable you to have realistic expectations and goals, and it is crucial if your teen is taking any sort of medication. Finding the right therapist is another difficult task that you have to complete, and it will take you some time because your entire family has to be satisfied with the choice. So, start looking for someone online or ask other people for recommendations and visit mitchelkatzmd.com to learn what kind of service they can provide you with and what requirements should be on your list.
2. Be understanding of their behavior
Children who have ADHD oftentimes cannot control their behavior completely. Plus, no teen likes being criticized for their forgetfulness or irresponsibility. The moment you begin scolding them, they will become defensive, which is only going to lead to argument and screaming matches. As you can imagine, these will get you nowhere. It means that you have to be patient with them and try to solve every problem calmly while showering them with love and compassion.
3. Praise them, but don’t forget about boundaries
Every time your teen completes their task responsibly, or they manage to contain their behavior, you have to praise them. This is the only way to encourage them to continue down that path, and also, they will feel good about themselves, and they will be proud of the things they have accomplished, and therefore, do their best to repeat that success.
At the same time, you have to set boundaries when it comes to the things that aren’t acceptable. This is another thing that you should discuss with them not only to make sure that the rules are crystal clear but also to figure out what works for them. For example, you can agree that they will lose access to their phone, laptop, or some other device for a day or two if they manifest aggressive behavior.
4. Set a routine
Praising them and setting rules isn’t always enough because you want your child to cooperate. One of the best ways to ensure that this happens is to set a predictable routine that you will all follow. We are not saying that every part of their day should be organized down to the last minute, but they should have a bedtime routine, know when it is the time to complete their homework, when they can play video games, go outside, and stuff like that.
One of the greatest difficulties that these kids face is how to integrate themselves into society and how to get along with others. It means that they will probably need your help with this aspect of their life, and there are a few things that you can do.
First of all, talk with them and help them learn how to deal and resolve an issue with a friend or classmate. Teach them that they should always try to control their behavior, to take a deep breath, count to three, and think how they should act and what will be the consequences for their acts.
What’s more, encourage them to sign up for an extracurricular activity or a social group. These will help them develop their social skills, learn how to communicate with others, and deal with the issues that will arise.
6. Listen to your child
Another thing that you have to help them learn is how to express their emotions. Every time they start opening to you and tell you about what has happened to them, let them finish. Do not interrupt them, or what’s worse, tell them they did something wrong. Generally speaking, this will make them feel ashamed, and they will close up, meaning that they won’t be willing to share anything with you.
Naturally, this is another occasion when you have to set boundaries in the sense of how they act to other people, that they cannot insult them and call them names. If you are unsure how to behave in a certain situation, make an agreement to take some time and then continue the discussion later.
7. Give them enough space
The final tip that we have for you is to give them enough space to experience different things. This is something that you cannot avoid, so you have to be there for them. Let them try out different activities and socialize with new people and classmates. Teens need space to explore the world around them and learn new things.