7 min read

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Managing ADHD in High School

Featured Image

ADHD in high school introduces a whole new set of problems often missing in childhood. From peer pressure to driving cars and new freedoms and part time jobs, high school introduces various pressures and opportunities. Additionally, teens have rebellious streaks, which ADHD might only make worse.

You as the parent have enough to keep in line already which means managing ADHD in high school might just feel impossible. ADHD in high school can present challenges and difficulties. After all, you more than likely remember your own high school years and how awkward and confusing they were even if you didn’t have ADHD.

In this article, we want to go through some helpful tips on managing ADHD in high school well. We want to look at how you as the parent can start addressing some of the common stressors early. Ultimately, we want to show you how to get out ahead of the potential pitfalls and give you tools to be prepared for when the peer pressure and distractions come.

Teach Your Teen Responsibility Early

A teen’s high school years revolve around managing responsibility well. In many ways, this makes high school a trial ground for taking on bigger responsibilities later on in college and adulthood. Unfortunately, for many teens with ADHD they tend to lose focus and become overwhelmed fairly easy. As a result this makes managing several responsibilities difficult.

To help prepare your teen for managing ADHD in high school, you should teach them responsibility starting at a young age. If you start teaching responsibility in grade school, by the time your student reaches high school they will know how to manage multiple responsibilities. For starting young, you should start with giving your child chores at home. Review this article for the perfect chores for ADHD children.

Additionally, you should try to encourage your child to get a part time job as soon as they are old enough. This job should be for a few hours a week and shouldn’t interfere with school work. The idea here isn’t to make your child work constantly, but rather to introduce them little by little to more responsibility.

Ideas for part time jobs might be many of the typical things you might think of. Your teenager might look to babysitting or mowing lawns or lifeguarding or being a camp counselor for younger kids. Look in your community around you for ideas that might work best.

Ultimately, teaching responsibility when your children are young will provide greater benefits as they get older. As the parent, you want to give your child as many tools as possible to succeed. Success with ADHD in high school must involve knowing how to keep responsibilities in line. For more ideas on teaching responsibilities to your kids review the tips in this article.

Help Your Teen Set and Keep Schedules

Talking about responsibilities naturally leads us to our next topic: setting and keeping schedules. Teens in general have a notorious reputation for oversleeping or just being late to things. Part of this lax approach comes from our society’s lack of expectations from many teens. Additionally, though, many times teens simply don’t know how to manage time well. No one has taught them yet.

Setting and keeping schedules takes time and effort to learn and perform well. To help your child manage ADHD in high school, work with them regularly to help them learn time management. One great way to teach scheduling might be to have a calendar that you go over with your child weekly. Add things on the calendar for the upcoming week that they need to know about and attend and review with your child daily what is upcoming.

To teach keeping schedules well, you need to understand that the ADHD brain works differently from other kids. The individual with ADHD struggles more than others with organization and keeping things in schedules that can be followed. As a result, people with ADHD need routine and structure on a daily basis.

You as the parent should institute routines as much as possible. You can have daily mourning routines, afternoon routines, and weekend routines. These regular rhythms over time will help show your teen how to stay on schedule and task. You can read more on good time management ideas in the article at this link.

Help Your Teen Manage Symptoms in the Classroom

Teachers see many ADHD symptoms in the classroom that you might miss at home. For high school students, the classroom and school social scene make up their entire world. If they fail to manage their ADHD symptoms well at school, they could lose face in other aspects of high school life.

To best help your child manage ADHD in high school, set them up for success first in the classroom. If they can handle the classroom, this increases the likelihood they can find ways to handle the rest of their high school lives. To approach the classroom well, start with a game plan you can run with.

The first part of your game plan should focus on communicating with your child’s teachers about ADHD. Your child’s teachers can provide support in the classroom where you can’t go.

In addition to getting your child’s teachers on your side, you also want to give your child tools to better perform in classroom settings. Start with teaching your child good study tips and tools. You can use the study tips at this link as a starting place.

Encourage Team Sports and Exercise

Managing ADHD in high school expands beyond the classroom. High school gives teenagers ample amounts of free time and the ability to move around. After school hours and weekends can either involve wasting hours with friends doing nothing or spending time on constructive activities.

One of the most constructive activities of your child’s high school years should include team sports. Sports provide great benefits to any teen in high school. Sports help to teach social skills, help to build responsibility, and keep teens out of trouble. Studies indicate even that participation in team sports actually helps to improve academic grades.

Take advantage of the opportunity for your teen to play team sports while you can. High school provides the best chance for teens to get active with sports. After high school, collegiate sports become much more competitive. After college, demands of work and home prevent participating in activities such as sports.

Use the chance of high school while you can. For ideas for your teens on which sports to participate in, check out this post on the best sports for ADHD.

Let Your High School Student Pursue Their Dreams and Passions

To help manage ADHD in high school, not only do you want to encourage team sports, you also want to encourage your student’s passions. For most students, high school provides an opportunity to learn about themselves. The high school years can be a time of great discovery and growth. Depending on your reaction to this as the parent, this discovery can either turn negative or create positivity.

As the parent, you cannot always force your child into a box. Limits and structure play helpful roles in ADHD management. Used too liberally, though, they also can create rebellion in your child especially a child with ADHD.

Unfortunately when parents institute too many rules their teens might turn towards rebelling. Instead of giving your child reason to rebel, give them reason to find themselves.

Yes, you need to set boundaries and routine for your teen. You also, though, need to build in time and days of the week for them to do what they want to do or to explore their passions. Find ways to encourage creativity in your child. Don’t encourage negative behavior, rather encourage positive outlets for what your teen enjoys and likes.

Address Drugs and Alcohol Early

The desire to steer your child away from drugs and alcohol helps drive some of the motivation for encouraging your student’s passions. Every high school student deals with the reality of drugs and alcohol on a regular basis. The drive of peer pressure and wanting to fit in puts pressure on students to try drugs and alcohol early and often.

The added effect of ADHD only makes matters worse. Studies show us that individuals with ADHD have a higher likelihood of abusing drugs and alcohol. Evidence even indicates that teens with ADHD that have medication still have a higher chance of abusing substances. As a parent, this information can set off alarms.

Today’s world and culture already has enough pressures and stresses for teens. What can parents do to fight back against substance abuse?

First, you as the parent need to educate yourself on ADHD and addiction. You need to recognize and know that substance abuse is a real threat to teenagers with ADHD. If you think you see signs or indications, don’t ignore them. Instead confront and address them in your teen.

Secondly, as a parent, you need to monitor who your child spends time with and where they go. Yes, every teenager hates this, but bad influences can send your high school student down the wrong path early. Make sure who your child hangs around provides positive influences.

Finally, address drugs and alcohol early and regularly. You shouldn’t wait until your child’s junior or senior year to bring this up. In today’s world, kids know a lot more than their parents have any idea about. Talk to your kids about the dangers early and check back in on them periodically.

Be Proactive to Effectively Manage ADHD in High School

In the end, the best way to manage ADHD in high school starts with taking a proactive approach. As parents, it is hard to know everything about your child’s life and day. Many times the last thing teenagers want to do is tell their parents about what’s going on in their lives.

This doesn’t mean, though, that you shouldn’t try to connect with your high school student or prepare them well. In this post, we have looked at some of the most common positive approaches to helping kids in high school. These topics are common because nearly every student deals with them at some point. This means that as a parent you can know something about what your child experiences even if they don’t tell them yourself.

Take the tools outlined here and be proactive in managing and addressing ADHD in high school. Talk to your kids early and often about the pressures of high school and growing up in our culture today. Through starting early, you will be able to set your child up well for success later in life.