Strategies for Parenting Adolescents with ADHD

Arthur Robin (1998) has written guiding principles for parenting adolescents with ADHD and has provided explanations and multiple examples of how these can be implemented:

Facilitate appropriate independence seeking

Maintain adequate structure and supervision

Establish bottom-line rules for living in your home and enforce them consistently Negotiate all issues that are not bottom lines with your adolescent Use consequences wisely to influence your adolescent's behavior Maintain good communication Keep a disability perspective and practice forgiveness Focus on the positive. (p. 307)

These principles highlight developmental issues that emerge during adolescence, requiring changes that are often difficult for adolescents and parents alike. Robin's emphasis on encouraging appropriate independence-seeking reminds parents that their task during the adolescent years is to nurture their son or daughter's efforts to function with more self-management and less intensive dependence on parents and teachers. His mention of the need for forgiveness acknowledges the inevitability of adolescents sometimes behaving, sometimes deliberately, in ways that are disappointing or hurtful to their parents. Forgiveness can help to repair and put into perspective such mistakes so they do not unnecessarily disrupt the bond between parent and child that is so crucial to facilitating mutual growth.

Other books that may be helpful to parents of adolescents with ADHD include Marlene Snyder's 2001 book on problematic issues that often arise as adolescents with ADHD begin driving motor vehicles and Chris Dendy's practical guidebooks on parenting adolescents with ADHD (1995) and teaching adolescents with ADHD (2000).

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