Overall Strategies

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The following strategies may help you address your loved one's ADHD symptoms at home. While some of these strategies are most appropriate for children and teenagers with ADHD, some also may be useful if you have a spouse or partner with ADHD:

  • Educate yourself about ADHD.
  • Establish a daily routine for chores and other household responsibilities.
  • Focus on certain behaviors—be clear and consistent about your expectations.
  • Praise your loved one for his or her strengths and positive behaviors. Use proactive discipline methods (eg, time-out, loss of privileges) for negative behaviors.
  • Make sure your loved one knows that you support and love him or her unconditionally.

Strategies for parents and caregivers of teenagers

The way ADHD symptoms appear in childhood may be different than teenage years, and can make managing ADHD difficult. During this transition, it is important to work with the health care professional to effectively manage your teenager's ADHD symptoms.

It may help to keep the following points in mind:

  • Teenagers with ADHD may choose tasks or activities that provide instant gratification, rather than those that provide delayed rewards.
  • To help provide needed structure, set rules that are clear and easy to understand.
  • Help your teenager stay focused and organized. Post a chart listing household chores and responsibilities with spaces to check off completed items.
  • Teenagers with or without ADHD want to be independent and try new things, and sometimes they will break rules. If your teenager breaks rules, your response should be as calm and matter-of-fact as possible.
  • Sometimes, giving your teenager time alone can be helpful.