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ADHD in Children Health Center

ADHD: 7 Life Skills Your Child May Need to Master

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3. Organization

Resist the temptation to pick up the piles of clothes, books, and other messes in your child's room.

"If you keep organizing their room, they will not learn what works and what doesn't," Goldrich says.

Find a system that works for your child, such as bins or a bucket to hold their school supplies and shelves for their books.

Nadeau suggests keeping a "launching pad," a spot to put things kids regularly use, such as their keys and phone, if they have one.

4. Money

Because money can be a real problem for anyone with impulsivity issues, start developing financial skills now. Some banks will allow you to open a bank account for your teen. Having their own account helps kids learn how to save and manage their allowance and the other money they earn.

"I would suggest getting them a debit card and a credit card," Goldrich says. Put a set amount of money in the debit account and a limit on the credit card. Because you get the statements, you can see exactly what your child spends.

Establish a budget together based on how much your teen will need for clothes, food, and other necessities.  

5. Medications

If your child takes ADHD medications, get her in the habit of remembering to take them each day. 

You can put her in charge of this, with a little help from a smartphone alarm. This gets her started with taking ownership of this part of her life, though you'll probably have to refill her prescriptions and make her doctor's appointments for several more years.

6. Relationship Skills

You are the gatekeeper of your child's friendships for now. Once he leaves home, you'll have less of a say in the company he keeps.

"It's important for them to understand how much they are influenced by the people around them," Nadeau says.

Encourage your teen to choose friends with similar personalities and interests. A good way to do that is through clubs, sports, and community groups.

7. Wise Decision-Making

ADHD often includes impulsivity, which makes teens more likely to get into trouble with drugs, alcohol, reckless driving, and other problem behaviors.

To help curb that impulsivity, focus on consequences. Set penalties, like no car privileges for 2 weeks if he gets a speeding ticket. And, he has to pay for his own ticket.

If you're having trouble reinforcing these skills on your own, consider calling in a certified ADHD coach. As Goldrich says, "The coach can help them grow."

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Reviewed on February 10, 2014

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