ADHD in Teens and Anger Issues

Tallahassee Parents with ADHD Teenagers,

Anyone who has been diagnosed with ADHD has a tendency to feel emotions more intensely than your average person. Add changing hormone levels, pressures of school and balancing a social life to it and there is no wonder ADHD teenagers might have anger challenges.

One of the challenges an ADDer (person with ADHD) has difficulty managing is their working memory, which plays an important role in managing feelings. Usually teens can hold themselves together during school only to lash out and release their frustration at home toward other family members.

Here Is A 6 Step Plan To Help:

Step 1: Identify the triggers, what sets off your teen and what time of day the episodes usually occur. Is your teen able to handle their feelings independently? What are their actions when they stay calm, get really angry? Write down all your observations. Work together to discuss your observations and ask them if you are understanding how they feel. Make sure you approach them so they know you want to help and it is not a personal attack on their “flaws”.

Step 2: What are you doing to set them off? Are there particular actions, words or phrases that seem to annoy them or set them off that you can change?

Step 3: Learning is a process of trying, having a set-back, and trying again. ADDers working memory challenges make it harder to learn new behaviors. Both of you recognizing the effort put in and not just the result will reinforce patience and keep the frustration levels lower. Don’t hesitate to tell them you ADHD will make learning a new behavior take more time. However, reassure them once they learn the behavior, it will stick.

Step 4: Know the best time to have a conversation with your teen. Talking after dinner one on one, before bed or on the weekends seems to work better for teens. Discuss changes you both would like to see and write them down showing you are serious in your support. When people write things down, it shows they are important and you are listening.

Step 5: Come together and develop a plan of action. Often teenagers, especially with ADHD, feel alone or the whole world is against them. Let your teen know this is a team effort. You might even come up with some fun accountability rules. If one of you loses your temper, the other has to fold your laundry for a week.

Step 6: Your agreement cannot be written in stone. Understand the first few weeks are going to take some trial and error. See what is working and what is not, modify your agreement accordingly…but both of you have to agree. That is why we call it an agreement!

Once you get a good plan together and see some results, do not be surprised if your relationship becomes a little closer. Trust is incredibly important at this time of your child’s life. The more they trust you, the better chance you have of them coming to you with challenges small and large, keeping them safe.

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