At some point in their lives, even healthy adolescents become inattentive, overexcited, or impulsive. Preschoolers, in particular, are known for having short attention spans and the inability to focus on a single task for extended periods. Even when kids grow up, their attention span is still heavily influenced by how interesting activity is to them.
Hyperactivity is a similar issue. Children are inherently active, and they can keep going even after their parents have tired out. Furthermore, some children are born with a higher degree of energy levels than others. Note that kids should not be seen as having an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) simply because they’re not like their peers or relatives. A proper diagnosis is required.
Here are ten basic tips to help you manage ADHD in your teen, the basic information about this mental condition, and what you can do about it.
ADHD in Teens: An Overview
Is it difficult for your child to focus on activities? Do they appear to be highly active and agitated? Do they have trouble sleeping at night? If these issues are having a negative impact on their physical and social activities, as well as their daily routines, you should speak with your child’s doctor; these are possible signs of ADHD.
ADHD is a chronic mental and behavioral disorder that affects millions of kids and frequently persists into adulthood. It is characterized by several chronic issues, including difficulties in maintaining focus, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. Children with ADHD may also have low self-esteem, strained social relationships, and poor academic performance. Although symptoms may diminish as they grow up, some people never fully recover without medical attention. They can, however, develop techniques to overcome them.
The previous medical term for this condition was attention-deficit disorder (ADD), regardless if a person was exhibiting hyperactivity. The term was later changed into attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and ADD is now considered an inattentive type of ADHD.
10 Important Parenting Tips For Raising Child With ADHD
Managing teen problems can be challenging, especially if they have a mental health condition. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, here are some vital parenting tips:
Maintain A Positive Attitude Towards Your Child
A calm and focused home environment will foster a calm and focused attitude in your child. A positive attitude can help you build a more solid and trusting foundation, resulting in a better parent-child connection.
Keep An Eye On Your Actions And Words When Talking To Your Child
Your child has their own unique sense of understanding and perspective, and whatever is okay for other children may not be okay for your child, it’s important to understand your teen’s brain. Be sensitive when it comes to jokes and remarks. Something that seems inoffensive may not be taken as such by your child.
Avoid Arguing About The Small Stuff And Make Some Compromises
Refrain from making everything a big deal. A missed chore or school task should not end up in an argument. Remember that they struggle with focusing, so try to understand and make compromises whenever possible.
Believe In Your Child’s Abilities And Talents
Trust that they can learn and succeed with your support. Do note that every child is unique and will accomplish their goals at their own pace, so try not to rush them if they are just starting a journey.
Do Not Be Afraid To Ask For Support
Parenting is one of the most challenging roles in the world, and feeling overwhelmed is perfectly normal sometimes. This is especially true if your child has ADHD. However, you don’t have to do it all on your own. You can help in your child’s treatment, things can go smoother if you seek support from people you trust or professionals like doctors, counselors, and therapists.
Take The Breaks You Need
Just like your child, you also need to take a rest when you feel tired. Spend some time with your friends after ensuring that someone you fully trust can take care of your child while you are away.
Do Not Forget To Take Care Of Yourself
You are your child’s superhero and source of strength, so it is vital to show them that you are strong enough to be their inspiration. However, since taking care of children with mental health problems can be stressful, remember to eat healthily and exercise regularly. You could even try meditating practices such as yoga.
Set And Follow A Routine
Schedules help children with ADHD guide what they will do for the day. Set an everyday routine that’s tailor-made for your child’s interests and abilities. Avoid as much idle time as possible, so they don’t get bored and distracted.
Maintain A Peaceful, Safe Environment For Your Child
Make sure that your child stays in a place where they can improve their ability to focus, may it be their bedroom, an art room, or any safe space in your house.
Try To Involve Their Peers Or Young Relatives In Recreational Activities
Just like any other child, they need to socialize with kids their age. Find a sport, outdoor game, or any recreational activity your child loves, and encourage their closest peers or relatives like siblings or cousins to play with them.
ADHD In Children: Boys Vs. Girls
According to a 2016 parent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6.1 million American children are diagnosed with ADHD, comprising 9.4% of the population. Among them, 388,000 are aged 2 to 5 years, 2.4 million are aged 6 to 11 years, and 3.3 million are aged 12 to 17 years.
Teenage boys (12.9%) are more likely to have ADHD than girls (5.6%). ADD is two times more prevalent in boys, while ADHD is four times more common in girls.
A person who has a mental illness or mental difficulties may opt to self-medicate, which might lead to substance use disorder (SUD). Substance addiction and mental disorders are more likely to start in adolescence (12 to 17 years old), then develop into early adulthood (18 to 25 years old). They may suffer stress at this point in their lives, which can also cause depression. Adolescent mental health and teen substance addiction are particularly prevalent nowadays. The use of drugs has a significant negative impact on an adolescent’s cognitive development. Psychosis and other mental health issues, such as ADHD, are also probable effects of addiction and SUDs.
Doctors cannot fully describe all the possible causes of ADHD and its severity since it varies from person to person. Fortunately, symptoms of ADHD can be treated with medications like Adderall. This drug is medically designed to reduce impulsive behaviors and improve the attention span of a patient.
How Can You Boost Your ADHD Teen’s Confidence?
Most ADHD teens often feel inadequate and regard themselves as inferior to others. They might feel useless when they cannot accomplish the same goals as the other kids they know. They also tend to think that they are failures when criticized by their peers and teachers.
As such, you can try to boost their self-esteem. Whenever your child makes an effort, reward and praise them. Focus on the positives and try to avoid unnecessary conflicts. Do not use stern words that may trigger their feelings of uselessness. Instead, educate them on drugs or how they can improve their behavior.
It is helpful for your teen to know that you love them unconditionally, so remind them of this every day. The outside world can be harsh, especially with their condition, but it can be easier to manage if they are guided and supported by their family. Help them go through their journey so they can try to learn to deal with the negativity that surrounds them.
When Does My Child Need To Seek Medical Attention?
All mental health concerns should be addressed, especially when the signs they exhibit are too evident. Losing motivation is common for teens sometimes, but if they lose interest in everything, that’s a sign of a mental health concern. Your child needs immediate medical attention if you notice the following recurring symptoms of ADHD:
- Getting easily distracted and having difficulties in focusing.
- Constant forgetfulness and disorganization.
- Self-centered attitudes.
- Unreasonable hyper-activeness.
- Extreme emotionality over simple issues.
- Poor decision-making abilities.
- Poor concentration.
- Inability to accomplish simple tasks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does ADHD get worse during the teenage years?
The human brain does not fully develop until adulthood, so most mental health conditions — such as ADHD — can have severe consequences during adolescence and young adulthood. As such, it is crucial to seek professional assistance as soon as you notice signs of ADHD.
How can you cope with someone who has ADHD?
To cope with teens with ADHD, communicating with them or meeting their needs and interests are some of the best strategies. Remember that there are two types of ADHD, the inattentive and hyperactive types, so it is best to determine where they fall under first. It is also crucial to be careful with the things you say since they might find innocuous remarks offensive.
What are the effective ways to discipline a teenage boy with ADHD?
The best method to discipline teenage boys with ADHD is to talk to them. Explain why their behavior was unacceptable, and allow them to correct their faults. Consider talking about possible consequences the next time they commit the same mistake. However, do not be too stern to avoid them from feeling discouraged.
Is it possible to develop ADD or ADHD during adolescence?
Yes, it is possible for kids to develop ADHD during puberty. Although most cases of ADHD start during childhood, the external world has a significant impact on cognitive development during the teenage years. These factors include substance use and addiction, lack of socialization, academic difficulties, trauma, fear, and use of social media.