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Quiz: Help Your ADHD Teen's Behavior

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If your teen has lost her homework again, you should:

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If your teen has lost her homework again, you should:

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Remember, ADHD is a medical condition. Don't blame your kid for the symptoms, like forgetfulness. That's like punishing your kid with allergies for sneezing.

Instead, help your teen with problem solving. Would organizing her schoolwork in brightly colored folders help? How about posting reminders near the door? Try different approaches until you find one that works.

 

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ADHD teens who use stimulants are more likely to abuse drugs.

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ADHD teens who use stimulants are more likely to abuse drugs.

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Studies show the opposite. Kids who take stimulants to decrease their ADHD symptoms seem to have a lower chance of trying alcohol and other substances. Stimulants may help focus kids and make their behavior less risky.

However, untreated ADHD can lead to dangerous behavior. People with untreated ADHD are six times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol as adults.

 

To reduce conflict with your ADHD teen over household rules, you should:

To reduce conflict with your ADHD teen over household rules, you should:

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  • Correct Answer:

Teens with ADHD do best when rules -- and  consequences -- are clear and consistent. But when you come up with them, try including your teen.

You still have final say. You're the parent, after all. But your teen will like having some input. He may be more likely to stick to the guidelines, and not argue with you, if he helped set them.

Compared with other teens, those with ADHD have about:

Compared with other teens, those with ADHD have about:

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Teens with ADHD are more likely to take risks. Those can have serious consequences once they’re driving. Teens are also three times as likely to get speeding tickets.

As a parent, set rules about driving safety. Teens with ADHD may need extra practice driving with an adult. They may also need to take short-acting medication before driving -- especially at night.
 

Teens with ADHD are too old to get rewarded for good behavior.

Teens with ADHD are too old to get rewarded for good behavior.

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Teens with ADHD don't want star charts or storybooks like a kid might. But rewards can still motivate them. Keep your teen accountable by posting household responsibilities, leaving boxes for her to check off what she's done. If she does what's expected, offer extra video game time or a trip to the movies. Try out different rewards and see what works best.

Getting more sleep could improve behavior in teens with ADHD.

Getting more sleep could improve behavior in teens with ADHD.

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Not getting enough sleep can make ADHD symptoms worse. Unfortunately, fewer than 15% of all teens -- even those without ADHD -- get enough.

Most teens need about 9.25 hours a night. Help your teen make sleep a priority. Start a calming routine about an hour before bed. Have her turn off her cell phone and computer. Have her stick to reading or other quiet activities.
 

Parents often have trouble disciplining teens with ADHD because:

Parents often have trouble disciplining teens with ADHD because:

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ADHD runs in families. If a teen has ADHD, there's a 25% to 50% chance that both his parents have it, too.

Good discipline takes consistency, and that’s hard if you have ADHD yourself. You may need treatment. You may also want to work with a therapist to set household rules. Come up with policies that are clear and easy to follow -- both for you and your teen.

ADHD symptoms usually go away after the teen years.

ADHD symptoms usually go away after the teen years.

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Studies show that 60% of kids with ADHD still have symptoms as adults. For many, ADHD is a lifelong condition. The good news? Setting limits and teaching self-discipline now -- when your kids are teens -- will help cut back troubling behavior. Limits will also help them deal with ADHD symptoms later in life.
 

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