Parenting ADHD Teens: Discipline and Behavior Tips

Positive reinforcement can be effective in changing an ADD/ADHD teen's behavior. Make parenting your ADD/ADHD teen or tween easier with these simple steps for better communication, getting organized, and offering choices to reduce decision-making stress.

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Choices and Decision-Making for ADD/ADHD Teens

Choices give your ADD/ADHD teen opportunities to solve his own problem. Threats create a fight-or-flight response that leads to withdrawal or a heated argument. Have you ever heard your teen say, “So what? I couldn’t care less!” when you threaten him?

How do you tell the difference between a threat and a choice? A threat includes punishment as one of the choices. “Clean your room, or you can’t use the car. The choice is yours.” A better way to say this is, “You need to clean your room. You can do it now or after dinner.” Another example is, “You can choose to stop bothering your sister or to leave the table.” If choice two is a punishment, the teen interprets this as a threat. A better approach is to say, “Please find a way to stop bothering your sister, so we can all enjoy our meal.” Substituting positive choices for threats will improve your communication with your ADD/ADHD teen.

More Resources for Parents of ADD/ADHD Teens

ADD/ADHD Teenagers and Parents: The Get-Along Guide for Coping With Anger, Fights
ADD/ADHD Fights: When Parents, Kids Both Have ADD/ADHD
14 Tips for Parenting ADD/ADHD Teens

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