youth teen adhd

Get On The Right Track With ADHD Youth

The Healthy Family Connections Podcast

Episode 233 · Duration: 00:29:50

In this episode Neil along with his co-host Robin, respond to questions from a mom about her ADHD son who resists parental limits, stays up late on devices, and is, overall, going in the wrong direction. 

Today we’re answering a follow-up question from Rebecca whose question we responded to a few weeks ago. Rebecca writes:

Hello, again! You answered a question from us on a previous call, and it was very helpful (Episode 229: You're A Better Parent Than You Think). You focused a lot on different ways to say "no", which is great advice and also helped us realize that it's normal that our kids won't always like us. We love the advice to find ways to be "cool parents" even if our rules are stricter than others.

We are still struggling, however, with our 15-year-old (going into 10th grade, and he has ADHD), and we are debating the best strategy.

We've had an ongoing issue with him staying up on screens far later than agreed, and then he is groggy and tired and grouchy the next day. In addition, getting him to do his responsibilities is a daily battle. Often after I prompt him or threaten to take away screens if he doesn't start, he will grab his list, cross off stuff he doesn't like or agree with, or sometimes tear it up. He ultimately usually does at least some of the items on the list. He often says "no" to going to scheduled activities (such as sports or Scout activities that he is committed to), which causes a conflict and stress for us to convince him to go. Ultimately, he usually ends up going, but he's caused stress in the meantime. He is very social and happy to go biking or out with friends. But when he is home, he defaults to screens for his free time - which can result in 5-8 hours per day between his phone, Oculus, and PC. He used to spend time on different hobbies, but not much anymore. This situation has been going on all summer. During school, we had similar issues, and his school performance declined significantly during the last part of the year.

Last night was one more example of us asking him to get off screens by 11:30, and he was still on his Oculus past 2 AM.

Overall, we are torn between the approach of "the talk" and removal of privileges until he does a better job of overall attitude, maturity and responsibility, VS. continuing to monitor his daily "performance" and giving a consequence as needed when he doesn't comply with what we expect.

We need a solution that doesn't cause our son to think we are totally out of line so he completely rebels, but also a solution that gets us out of daily battles. We are all going crazy with that!

Thank you for any advice that will help us!

Neil offers a model that focuses on helping the youth grow his executive functioning skills and seeks to build a parent / youth coalition to that end.  Neil suggests Dr. Lara Honos-Webb’s book, 6 Super Skills for Executive Functioning as a resource for parents and teens. 

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Posted in The Healthy Family Connections Podcast.