ADHD and managing teenage responsibilities

Many teenagers who had ADHD in childhood will still have the symptoms in their teenage years. Added to the challenges of managing these symptoms is puberty. Along with poor concentration, distractibility, hyperactivity and impulsivity, now teenage irritability can be experienced. Your body is going through hormonal changes and a growth spurt will happen at some stage as well.  You may feel awkward in your own body, all teens feel this way.

As a teenager your family will have greater expectations for you to take more responsibility for yourself and in your role within the family. Your home leisure time is something that you are going to need to manage through the next few years. The routines and structures that you had in place in primary school will have hopefully prepared you for managing your teen years.

So the question is, how can you manage your ADHD symptoms and do all the things you want to do and the other things you have to do eg. home chores and school work. Let’s have a look at some things that might help you:

  • First start by thinking about all the things that need to be done by organising your thoughts. How do I do this – one way is to use a mindmap to brainstorm your ideas and get them recorded.
  • Prioritise these things by getting organised. How do I do this – you need to think about your day and create a routine and schedule to keep you focused.
  • It is important to have a balance of work and leisure, so work out what leisure activities you find interesting and you want to be a part of. Next how do these fit into your routine- are they after school activities, can they happen on the weekends or are they something that you can do during the school holidays
  • What chores and responsibilities do you have to do at home to help your family- do you need to look after younger brothers and sisters, attend family functions, put the garbage out. All these need to be managed along with the things you have identified above.
  • Do you have or do you want to get a part time job part time work is a great way of developing your social skills and it could be linked into one of your leisure interests eg. working at the local bowling alley before you play with your team.

Routine will help you to manage your home activities. Often your distractibility will get in the way of tasks being finished because you have forgotten about what you were doing as you have moved onto to the next thing. Most of us have lists, reminders on our phones and sticky labels to prompt us what to do during the day. Make use of schedules, lists and reminders to keep you focused and organised.

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