iStock_000011540923XSmallteenboydivorceWe had a previous post by Dr. Henry Berman on ADHD that reviewed how it can affect teens and warning signs that it may be impacting a teen’s life. We wanted to follow up that post by talking with a parent, so interviewed a friend who raised a teen with ADHD.

For our friend, we’ll call her Rachel, having a teen with ADHD was a struggle. She loves her son more than anything, but his symptoms of impulsiveness were uncontrolled for much of his childhood. Even as a young adult, he continues to struggle with life choices and the inability to focus. ADHD is affecting more and more children and teens. It can disrupt school performance, lead to poor self-esteem, and make a huge impact on family and home life. Our friend had the following tips for parents who are raising teen’s with this challenge:

1. Keep the bond going strong. Each night our friend would tell her son that she loved him. She may summarize the day with a statement like, “we had a really rough time doing your homework today, but I still love you and will always love you.”  For teens, they may not acknowledge this affection, but we can’t emphasize enough how important it is for them to know they are loved and supported.

2. Take time for yourself. Rachel would utilize family members who offered to watch her son for a few hours to spend time on herself or with her husband. In order to take good care of our families, we have to be in good health as well (mentally, physically, and emotionally).

3. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. This can come in the form of family members, friends, or professionals. Rachel and her family had a psychologist who was able to provide strategies for managing her son’s ADHD in addition to her family.

Rachel’s son will be 24 this month and she is proud of the man he is becoming. While their relationship isn’t perfect, they have open communication and trust that wouldn’t be present if she hadn’t continued to support him over the years.

Do any of you have a teen with ADHD?  What are some challenges you’ve faced? What are some triumphs?  Do you have tips for other parents of teens who may have trouble with concentration?