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Most Helpful Methods to Parent Teens with ADHD

What is ADHD?

Parenting a teenager with ADHD can be a daily struggle. “Teens with ADHD may be hyperactive, act impulsive, or struggle to sit still or pay attention.” These symptoms range from mild to severe.

Symptoms of Teens with ADHD

Symptoms of teens with ADHD include:

  • Inattentive
  • Hyperactive/impulsive
  • Distracted
  • Forgetful
  • Difficulty staying focused on a given task
  • Trouble learning something new
  • Bored
  • Not listening when spoken to
  • Slower and less accurate at processing information than other teens
  • Daydreaming and confusion
  • Lots of moving or talking
  • Touching everything in sight
  • Struggling to sit still
  • Inability to work in a quiet manner
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Impatient or frustrated
  • Acting without thinking through consequences
  • Interrupting others
  • Making inappropriate comments
  • Being unable to hold back emotions

Many of these symptoms can be hard to control, and parents need to learn balance. They should enforce rules and consequences, and still provide unconditional love.

teens with adhd
Parents Need Self-Control

It’s normal for parents to become frustrated when adolescents don’t listen. “But, teens tell me they only grow more agitated and defiant when their parents explode.”

Parents need to relax, and then try to help their teen. Start by taking a deep breath and pausing. Once you’re recomposed, approach your teen with kindness instead of anger.

Showing Compassion to Teens With ADHD

Parents need to understand the challenges that come with ADHD. Know that “your child develops skills and emotions at a different rate than her peers.”

Teens with ADHD have executive functioning delays that slow down their development. This necessitates more patience than you might think.” Parents should be supportive. And, with time and encouragement, teens with ADHD can change, grow, and flourish.

Be Collaborative

Teens with ADHD think in a different way. Parents should “work with their child to find solutions to challenges.” Instead of imposing rules, parents and teens can work together to find common ground.

Plan a “we” attitude instead of a “you” attitude. This helps teens feel less alone, less targeted, and they are more likely to try.

Use Consistency for Teens with ADHD

Parents should work on creating steady rules. “Kids with ADHD say it is very confusing for them when consequences, directions, or expectations change.”


Take time to commemorate small feats. “For every negative observation, make three positive ones. That is the ideal ratio for promoting behavioral changes and can-do attitudes.”

To learn more about ADHD, click here.