Reply To: Need Parenting Classes n Therapy for 16yr son

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Penny Williams

What you have been doing (punishments and consequences) isn’t working, so it’s time to try something new. Punishments never address the root cause of the behavior, so they aren’t effective. He’s late and struggling because of ADHD symptoms and executive functioning deficits common with ADHD. He’s not giving you a hard time, he’s having a hard time.

What Is Executive Function Disorder?

Sit down and have a collaborative, non-accusatory conversation about what he’s struggling with and what he thinks might be helpful. At his age, you can’t just dictate a strategy and have it be implemented and successful. He must have buy-in too.

And, remember, he’s 2-3 years behind his same-age peers in a lot of ways, especially developmentally. Potentially a lot further behind with executive functioning. That means he has the expectations of a 16yo upon him, but he’s only 13-14 at best in being able to meet those expectations. That disconnect is the reason he’s not able to succeed.

The ADHD-Executive Dysfunction Link

ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism