13 Tips for Parenting a Teen with ADHD

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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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/15/2013

ADHD in Teens Test

Children mature at different rates and have different personalities, temperaments, and energy levels. Most children get distracted, act impulsively, and struggle to concentrate at one time or another. Sometimes, these normal factors may be mistaken for ADHD. ADHD symptoms usually appear early in life, often between the ages of 3 and 6, and because symptoms vary from person to person, the disorder can be hard to diagnose. Parents may first notice that their child loses interest in things sooner than other children, or seems constantly "out of control." Often, teachers notice the symptoms first, when a child has trouble following rules, or frequently "spaces out" in the classroom or on the playground.

No single test can diagnose a child as having ADHD. Instead, a licensed health professional needs to gather information about the child, and his or her behavior and environment. A family may want to first talk with the child's pediatrician. Some pediatricians can assess the child themselves, but many will refer the family to a mental health specialist with experience in childhood mental disorders such as ADHD. The pediatrician or mental health specialist will first try to rule out other possibilities for the symptoms. For example, certain situations, events, or health conditions may cause temporary behaviors in a child that seem like ADHD.

SOURCE:
National Institute of Mental Health


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