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Navigating the storm - parenting an ADHD teenager

Parenting a Teenager with ADHD: Navigating the Storm

Parenting a teenager is already a rollercoaster ride, but add ADHD into the mix, and it can feel like navigating a storm without a compass. As a parent, you may find yourself in a whirlwind of emotions, from stress and frustration to confusion and helplessness. You're not alone in this struggle; many parents of teenagers with ADHD face similar challenges.

One of the most overwhelming feelings you may experience is stress. The constant worry about your teenager's well-being, academic performance, and future prospects can weigh heavily on your mind. You may feel like you're constantly walking on eggshells, never knowing what to expect next or how to handle the situation.

Not knowing what to do or who to turn to is another common struggle. Despite your best efforts, it may seem like nothing you do makes a difference. You may feel isolated and alone, unsure of where to find support or guidance.

Arguments become a regular occurrence in your home as you try to navigate the challenges of parenting a teenager with ADHD. From forgotten chores to missed deadlines, every day brings new conflicts and frustrations. Communication breaks down, tempers flare, and it feels like you're constantly walking on a tightrope, trying to keep the peace.

Constant reminders and bribes become your go-to parenting strategies as you struggle to motivate your teenager and keep them on track. You find yourself nagging them to do their homework, clean their room, and attend important meetings at school. It's a never-ending cycle of coaxing, cajoling, and pleading.

But who is more anxious in this situation? While you're busy worrying about your teenager, they may be struggling with their own feelings of anxiety and frustration. It's a delicate balance between trying to support them and respecting their independence.

The chaos extends beyond the walls of your home, with calls to the school, warning letters, and teacher meetings becoming a regular part of your routine. You're constantly fighting battles on multiple fronts, trying to advocate for your teenager while also holding them accountable for their actions.

Meanwhile, your teenager's lack of routine and disorganization only adds to the chaos. Their room is a mess, homework goes unfinished, and they seem to have no sense of urgency when it comes to their future. It's a constant struggle to get them to prioritize their responsibilities and plan for the future.

To make matters worse, your teenager may resist medication or other forms of ADHD help, leaving you feeling even more helpless and frustrated. You may find yourself questioning your own abilities as a parent, wondering if there's something more you could be doing to help them.

And amidst all this chaos, you may start to realise that you too may have ADHD. It's a startling revelation that adds another layer of complexity to an already challenging situation.

Parenting a teenager with ADHD is no easy task. It requires patience and alot of resilience, which with everything else going on in life you may not have much left of at the end of the day!

My advice to parents in this situation feeling helpless is to do everything you can to support you - reach out to other parents of ADHDers, talk to an ADHD professional and the absolute game change is reading ...READ and learn AS MUCH AS YOU CAN about ADHD!

The book I am currently engrossed in comes highly recommended by both parents and professionals as an essential read.

The Explosive Child by Dr Ross Greene, although first published in 1998 is loved for its easy explanation of what is going on inside our children and teenagers, helpful tips on how to approach and real life examples of how explosive feelings happen inside and outside the body.


One Parent review said:

One key point the book makes is that "explosive" is a bit of misnomer. It also refers to kids that get overwhelmed with frustration (or something else) and shut down, rather than explode. My own kid becomes either frustrated or overwhelmed with a problem that he can't solve and retreats to his bed and lays there a while. This book helped explain why my 9 year old son is behaving the way he is, and provides a method to help him improve. We haven't gotten that far yet, but the book's description of my son is so spot on that I am hopeful the method will work.


If you would like to see what else the parents and professionals I support are reading and finding super helpful right now pop over to..

Rebecca X

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