Being safe in the community will be one of your parent’s biggest concerns for you. As a teenager you will want freedom to explore new things with your friends. Being aware of how your ADHD could impact on your freedom is something you need to think about and come up with a plan of how you will manage this. You need to take responsibility and work with your parents to show them that you are aware of potential issues and what you might do to manage these. By discussing these with your parents they will be able to help you with things you might not have thought of and everyone is going to feel comfortable about you venturing out.
Think about places that you might want to go to with your friends, how you could plan for it and some of the things that could happen. How will you manage these? Let’s have a look at some these:
Going to the movies
Things to consider- how will I get there, how much will it cost, what time am I meant to be there and where is the meeting point
Possible issues- I am going by bus, the bus is on time, I get to the meeting point, I have forgotten my wallet.
Possible solution- I can borrow the money from my friend or if they don’t have enough money I will need to go home and get my money.
Going to a football game
Things to consider- how am I getting there, what is the cost and have I got enough money
Possible issue- I am going with my friend and his older brother who is driving us and I have my debit card. My friends brother has had too much to drink at the end of the game and shouldn’t be driving.
Possible solution- I get a bus home or phone my parents and discuss options.
By planning ahead, you are preparing yourself for things that could go wrong. You know that your ADHD could cause you to be impulsive and communicate inappropriately in such instances so planning for what could happen is a good way to prepare yourself. For example, if you know that you are going to be using the bus as a way of getting around create yourself a simple checklist:
- Have I got my wallet
- Have I got my bus swipe card or do I need to buy a ticket
- Do I have the bus timetable
- Do I know which stop to get off at
- What do I do if I miss the bus or the bus is late
- What do I do if I get off at the wrong stop
You can create these simple checklists to help you prepare for most things. It is time to explore and have fun!