Are you one of those teens bursting with ideas but challenged when it comes to sitting still or waiting your turn?
If the answer is yes, then you could be are one of thousands of teenagers struggling with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder); a neurobehavioral disorder than affects teens and adults alike.
The good news is you’re probably smart, creative and enthusiastic. Most people with teen ADHD are. The not so good news is you’re probably a bit impulsive, impatient and inattentive. All traits you can manage. Here’s some ways to cope with ADHD and use it to your advantage.
Take those lips and zip `em
Do you ever find yourself so engrossed in a topic that you forget to consider whether anyone else is interested? Watch for signs that your friends are no longer listening. You may want to ask a good friend to let you know when enough is enough.
A good idea will keep
Interrupting others to share a “brilliant” idea is something many people with teen ADHD struggle with. You know it’s rude, but you just can’t seem to stop. Try using a notepad – or an electronic device – to jot down ideas that pop into your head while others are talking. Monitor yourself and apologize if you slip up.
Turn a con into a pro
Do you hyper-focus on tasks or projects you find particularly interesting? Take advantage of this trait and funnel your energy into projects – and subjects – that pique your interest.
Did I really say that?
You may see yourself as refreshingly honest, but others may see you as simply rude. Avoid hurt feelings by taking the time to consider your comments and how they might be taken. Try a self-imposed five-second delay. Count to five (in your head) before saying something you may regret later. The same goes for harsh emails, texts, or decisions you may be tempted to make while angry. If it has to be said (or sent), it can be done later.
Look over there!
Consider ways to cut down on distractions that pull your focus away from the task at hand. Sit near the front of the class and/or ask to take tests in a private room.
Daytimers … when memory fails
Do it now or write it down. Better yet, program your phone or another electronic device to track your to do list and provide you with reminders about important deadlines and events.
Do I have to?
No one likes to be bored, but for teens with ADHD, boredom can make the situation (and them) intolerable. Try delegating “less interesting” tasks to a lab partner or do them when you have the most energy.
I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date
Tardiness is rude and gives the impression that you are unorganized. If being late is an issue try setting an alarm on your watch, computer, or phone.
Be a ‘NO’ person
You want to say yes but the truth is you’ve already crammed too many things into a jam-packed day. Resist the urge to over commit to school or afterschool activities that can only cause stress. Remember, a job done well is better than several done poorly.