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What can I do for my teen with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

One of the main symptoms of ADHD is impulsiveness - the tendency to act without considering possible consequences. Impulsiveness can create severe consequences from school failure to life-threatening situations. One thing you can do for your teen is to learn how to listen to him or her. A teen's developmental task is to separate from the family so his or her tendency to test boundaries is developmentally appropriate. The more you listen, the more he will talk. You can express empathy, and show respect while offering guidance. One way to lessen impulsiveness is to validate your teens emotions while suggesting other courses of action. For example, you might say "You have a lot of good reasons to be angry at your friends, but trashing them on facebook might create more problems for you" rather than "What are you thinking?? When will you grow up?"

Your teen will really appreciate if you can help her find her gifts and strengths. They will stay more connected to you if they believe that you respect them. You can help your teen build confidence and motivation by defining her by her strengths rather than her weaknesses. My book The ADHD Workbook for Teens is a great, easy, cheap resource for supporting your teen to understand ADHD and and thrive.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Pay close attention to your teen with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many teens become sensitive and reflective during adolescence anyway. If you have a daughter with ADHD, she may benefit from counseling. Girls with ADHD tend to have trouble with anxiety, depression, and substance abuse in their teen years.

If your teen seems to have any negative feelings associated with her condition, encourage her to talk about it. If she clams up, do not be afraid to send her to a therapist. Consider adding regular therapy sessions to ADHD medication treatment for teenage boys and girls. This combination of medications and therapy may reduce ADHD symptoms and any coexisting emotional problems that often crop up. Support your teen in learning healthy ways of communicating and in making friends. These strategies can help your teen with ADHD thrive.


Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
A combination of medication and therapy reduce ADHD symptoms and emotional problems. While medication and behavioral therapy do work on their own, like Batman and Robin, they work better as a team, especially in teens.

Do not be afraid to use a therapist.
Teens with ADHD can have trouble with anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Therapy can help by enabling your teen to learn healthy ways of communicating (also good for parents!) and making friends.

Support your teen. Set clear rules for him or her to follow. Try not to punish your teen every time he or she breaks the rules. Let your teen know you can help.

This answer is based on source information from National Institute of Mental Health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.