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teen years
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Teens And Adhd
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Teens And Adhd

The teen years are often a difficult time for both children and adults, but for a teen with ADHD life can seem especially difficult and challenging.

While some symptoms for ADHD wane as children get older the challenges of more difficult school work, becoming independent, and attempting their first jobs can exacerbate other symptoms.

Here are just a few of the ways that ADHD can affect a teenager.

Embarrassment Over Their Condition

Studies show that about 1/3 of teenagers who have ADHD are embarrassed over their condition. This means they are going to be less likely to ask for the help they need or discuss the issues involved with ADHD with employers or others.

It also means that they are going to be less likely to ask for help or tell anyone they are having difficulty with school work as they simply want to pretend their condition doesn't exist.

This may mean they end up struggling more than ever with school work and feel as though they have no where to turn.

Issues With Self Esteem

The problem of low self esteem experienced by younger children with ADHD may worsen as your child reaches their teen years, often manifesting itself in an uncaring attitude and attempts to self medicate.

Studies show that there is a higher risk of substance abuse in teens who are suffering from ADHD.

More recent studies done on girls with ADHD show that they are more likely to inflict self harm and attempt suicide than their peers are which is raising even more concerns.

Too Many Risks

In addition, those teenagers who remain hyperactive may seem less so on the outside, but may engage in high risk behavior on a regular basis. ADHD teens are 4 times more likely to get speeding or recklessly driving tickets and be involved in driving accidents that are their peers.

How To Help Your ADHD Teenager

The best time to help your ADHD teenager is before they reach their teenage years. Proper parental discipline when they are young helps them learn control and establishes a pattern of following rules which may well help to reduce some of the high risk behaviors as they get older.

Working to build and maintain a child's self esteem right from the start may help to alleviate some of those teenage self esteem issues later. Help your child find those things that they can excel at and will be interested in continuing as they grow older.

The more self esteem your child has as he approaches his teenage years the more likely he is to be able to ask for help when dealing with more difficult issues and the less likely he is to turn to self harming behaviors.

Talking to them openly about their treatment options, and allowing them more say in their own treatment as they grow older will help them to feel more in control of their condition.

As some children reach their teenage years they often refuse to take prescription medications and attend counseling. However, if you involve them in their own treatment, and allow them to make or at least help make some treatment decisions themselves they are much more likely to partake in at least some type of treatment.

Allowing your teenager to choose between prescription medications and natural or homeopathic supplements gives them more control over their condition and at this stage teenagers know what really helps to reduce those symptoms.

While teenagers with ADHD face more challenges than their peers, you as a parent can help your child face those challenges by setting rules and following through with them.

Also, building your child's self esteem while he is young and just being there as a sounding board when he wants to talk thing out, and helping him to find solutions that will work best for him.

If you do those things chances are that both you and your ADHD teenager will get through the turbulent teenage years with less stress and more success.

Street Talk

Thank you Shawn Lee for your comment.

  about 9 years ago

Very good advice Mary. The key is hands on attention to the teen. It will do wonders. The firs thing the teens feels is that he/she is different and that creates anxiety.

  about 9 years ago
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