Feeling like their problem is yours?
Are you frustrated that your teen doesn’t seem to be taking school seriously? That homework assignments are late and textbooks are often forgotten at home? Perhaps your teen is going to bed well after midnight, no matter what limits you’ve put into place. And you’re tired of teachers telling you that your teen is simply not working to their potential. At Lynda Hoffman Life Coaching, I offer ADHD support for parents in Montreal.
You want to raise your teen with good results, but sometimes it feels like you just can’t do anything that makes a difference. You may be worried about the quality of your relationship with your teen. It feels like all you do with them is argue and worry. It’s frustrating and never-ending. You love them. And you crave the connection you used to have.
Parenting a teen with Adhd
The reality is that parenting a teen with ADHD does mean more vigilance, more time spent organizing, following up, and meeting with teachers – and you are never sure when the next crisis will hit. You feel worried all the time that if you take your eyes off the situation, your teen will not do well at school, or at life. But with coaching, your teen will learn to manage themselves, you will be free to turn back to your own life, and you will BOTH feel more loved and connected to each other.
IT’S NOT POOR PARENTING
ADHD is not caused by poor parenting – and you are not a bad parent. But you can make a huge difference in your child’s success. This is an opportunity for you, too.
How you parent will be determined by what you believe about this situation, and how much inner and outer work you are prepared to do.
The more inner work you do to identify your perspectives, fears, and limiting beliefs , the better the outcome for you and your teen. It may include checking to see if you also have ADHD, as it does run in families. Knowing this will empower and organize you as you create structures at home.
The outer work is to become informed about ADHD so that you will know in a split second why your teen is not taking out the garbage – even though you know very well that he heard you – and how to respond.
Fast Facts About ADHD in Children and Teens:
- The rate of school-aged children affected is 5-12%, or 1-3 students per class. (CADDRA, the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance).
- ADHD is more prevalent in boys than girls by a 3-1 ratio. Impulsivity and hyperactivity show up more in boys, so their symptoms tend to be noticed earlier than girls.
- Impulsivity in girls often looks like talking a lot—the “Chatty Cathy”. Their ADHD difficulties are often first interpreted by adults as anxiety and depression.
- ADHD lasts a lifetime but symptoms may subside over time. Learning executive functioning skills for coping and managing improves outcomes.
- Symptoms typically begin to show between ages 3-6 in boys and around 9-12 in girls.
- The cause is not yet understood, but it does run in families.
- 50% of those with ADHD will also have 2 other conditions such as anxiety, depression, or a learning disability
- Teens who do not receive treatment for ADHD are at a 4 times higher risk for addiction.
Not sure if your teen has Adhd?
Here’s how to spot possible ADHD symptoms in your teen
1. Look for patterns of behaviour that cut across several domains of your teen’s life. For example:
Is your child disorganized at home and at school?
Are they doing better in highly structured places?
Are they more emotionally reactive than other teens you know?
Are they fidgety or in constant motion?
Is their speech continuous, without pause or structure?
Is there a history of anxiety? (Remember, 50% of people with ADHD also have anxiety.)
Have you noticed that your teen tends to report that things are actually better than they are?
Do they appear convinced of this despite the evidence?
Does your child follow through when you ask them to do something, or do they wander off as if they had not heard you?
Does your teen avoid what they do not like?
2. Talk to your child’s teacher. Notice if they sound frustrated: this is often a good sign that their efforts to “teach” your child appropriate skills and behaviours are not working. Notice what they say to you—for example:
Your child is not working to their potential.
Your child needs to work on organization.
Your child is not working in class.
Your child is not studying. (You know they are but teachers often equate low test results with low effort.)
Your child needs to focus more.
Your child is lazy.
3. Talk to your teen. Do they say that they are often bored? Do they describe themselves as lazy and say that they just don’t feel like working? How hard is this for them? What is their level of distress? If it is high, this is a reliable indicator of possible ADHD.
4. Check in with yourself and trust your instincts. How frustrated are you? Your own emotional response is often a good indication that there is something going on that may be beyond regular parenting frustrations.
Your child does not need a diagnosis of ADHD to get started.
The first step is to contact me and book an hour together. Your teen will be an integral part of this discussion. They will have an opportunity to express what is really going on for them, what they most want, and just how much they wish things were going differently. You will have an opportunity to ask questions about how to make the change, and we will decide together whether or not to move forward. In either case, you will have a plan and clear next steps.
Everything meaningful begins with one step.
“LEARNED HOW TO MANAGE SITUATIONS”
“My daughter’s ADHD used to get me upset at key points in the day when too many things were happening at once. With my own ADHD I was already having enough trouble focusing. Her behaviour threw me off and I would feel angry. Now, I have learned how to manage these situations more calmly and effectively. It’s changed the dynamic inside me and with my daughter.”