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Return to Don't Freak Out! And 13 More Rules for Navigating Teen Behavior Challenges

Don't Freak Out! And 13 More Rules for Navigating Teen Behavior Challenges

Too strict. Or, too wishy-washy. Lecturing constantly. Or hardly communicating. Inconsistent parenting strategies can exacerbate unwanted behaviors, especially among teens with ADHD. How to create the right pattern at home.

7 Comments: Don't Freak Out! And 13 More Rules for Navigating Teen Behavior Challenges

  1. I’m so guilty of the first 3 on this list, but I give my 14 (soon-to-be 15) year old daughter unconditional love too. How can I stop these annoying behaviors when nothing has helped? My daughter can be very emotional.

    1. The best thing you can do for a sensitive, emotional child is to show empathy and compassion. Validate how she’s feeling, even if it doesn’t seem appropriate or rational to you. Whether appropriate for a neurotypical teen her age or not, it is how she is feeling and that is valid. That then opens the door for support and conversation that is helpful to her, and nurtures your relationship with each other. Connection is the most powerful need for all of us.

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

  2. My brother is 14 and he’s coming off his medication for bipolar disorder but continues to take medication for adhd. He’s been doing good but lately I’ve noticed that he’s become defiant. In school he’s fine he has amazing grades. At home it’s a different story. He does things when he feels like it and it’s a constant struggle every day. I don’t know what I could do to keep him from getting mad so much or saying that I never understand him. I know he’s a teenager but this is all new to me. Any suggestions?

    1. I don’t know why he’s stopping his bipolar medication, but that could very well be the reason for his mood changes and increased anger. Talk with his doctor about what you’re seeing.

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

      1. We stopped the medication because he was sleeping to much. To the point that he couldn’t concentrate on his homework. He would come home from school and just sleep wake up to eat dinner and then sleep the whole night. I don’t want him to go back on the medication, so we’ve been trying natural meds instead. I’ve noticed that he doesn’t get as agitated as long as he’s on a schedule and knows what to do.

  3. The biggest question I always have when reading these types of articles is HOW DO I NOT FEEL EMOTIONALLY VIOLATED?
    I remember fussing with my parents and not intending to hurt them but that doesn’t help me. I am still so very hurt.

    1. I know exactly how you feel. My daughter’s words have dug deep over the years. Some I don’t think I will ever be able to forget. Because they DO emotionally violate us. We are humans. We sink 110% into loving them and they backlash when things don’t go their way and can be emotionally abusive. What I remember is that she is likely “flooding”, a phenomena whereby the emotion of anger saturates their brain, literally leaving no room for rational thought or judgment. It’s like a virus attacks our computer. I remember her maturity is 3-5 years behind. I remember she lacks impulse control and will keep being this way until I walk away and give her time to simmer down. Once she is calm, often the next day, we talk. It is so important to reconcile the relationship. Tell your child “you must have been really angry to have said that to me.” This usually leads to an apology. They don’t want to lose control. Then I help her find coping strategies she could use next time these feelings take over (like have a special word that gives u both permission to walk away until things are cooler). Then I remind her I know she will do a better job controling herself next time. ADHD is a regulation disorder, so understand your child’s limitations and accept them where they are. It gets better. You are more equipped than you realize, and love always wins.

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