Reply To: Do we explain ADHD to our 17 year old son?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Parents Teens & Young Adults Do we explain ADHD to our 17 year old son? Reply To: Do we explain ADHD to our 17 year old son?

Allison Russo

This reply was originally posted by user bigmidget in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

Definitely explain to him why he is taking the medications and that it is because his brain works differently. I explained it to my son that is you have a thyroid problem, you take medication to compensate and/or fix the problem. Same goes for ADHD, you take the meds to fix the problem.

Regarding discipline, It is a challenge. And I hate to say that starting at 17 will be very very difficult as we started at 4 and still have issues with it with our son. A positive reward system works really well with ODD/ADHD kids (my son has both as well). Reward them for all the behaviors you want to see and catch them being good and give lots of praise. Try to avoid scolding and lectures. Swift consequences for bad behavior and don’t drag on the consequences too long. Find something they want and let them earn that as a reward but take it away if they aren’t complying. We found a good app that tracks reward points and we assigned rewards to certain point values and each behavior or chore we want done they earn points. It is called OurHome – Chores and Rewards. Hope that helps.

Also find a support group (CHADD is good) near you to help you with ideas. We also go to group therapy with our son so he learns and we learn better how to work with him and not be yelling at him and pulling our hair out at every turn (although it continues to be a challenge).

Being unemotional helps as well. I found my son doesn’t throw the tantrums as much and calms down faster when I am not yelling or scolding him.

Unfortunately, the Concerta will likely help with focus during school hours but (for my son at least) it likely won’t help with the back talk and arguing. The medications also typically wear off in the evening so unlikely that you will see much of a change in the night when you are having the issues with him.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by Allison Russo.