Begin Excessive College Proper: Ideas for ADHD Teenagers
Your teenage boy with ADHD is about to graduate from high school? Congratulations! It’s an exciting (and scary) time of change. You may initially feel overwhelmed and nervous about everything on your child’s plate, and this is normal as the demands on executive functions increase from middle to high school. Students are suddenly expected to manage their time and materials independently, switch seamlessly between classes and activities, and, oh, then there’s homework.
For students with ADHD and executive challenges, a few key strategies can relieve stress in school and home tension – and greatly improve the high school experience.
How To Start High School Right: 4 Ways To Support Your Teen
1. See the big picture
Year round (and throughout high school), help your teen see the bigger picture by asking them about key study topics, specific study units, and the relationship between their homework or projects.
You don’t have to have all the answers; Just thinking about these questions is a useful way for your teen to find out what they need to know or find out. Understanding the big picture also increases motivation.
In these conversations, show your child that you are genuinely interested in their everyday life and let them play the role of teacher while they explain their subjects to you.
[Free Download: Transform Your Teen’s Apathy Into Engagement]
It helps immensely for a student to have a solid understanding of the routines and operations of each class, especially at the beginning of each school year. Each teacher has their own norms and procedures for submitting papers and scheduling assessments, and an early guidance on each course can avoid a great deal of frustration. Go over the expectations of each course together and remember that 100 percent understanding doesn’t have to happen overnight.
2. Use a planner with monthly and weekly / daily views
Many teachers use a website or a learning management system (LMS) to publish lessons and assignments and keep track of them. While such a system is useful, a personal planner can go a long way in helping organizational skills and increasing your teen’s motivation.
A sleek paper planner does the job, but your teen may want to use a planner app, calendar, or the calendar and taskbar features that come with their favorite email platform. Regardless of the medium, your teen’s planner needs to have these essential elements:
Use this to memorize
- great assessments
- Project due dates
- important family and school events
- Weekend commitments
[Read: Your High School Get-It-Together Guide]
The monthly view is important as it helps teenagers make better daily decisions. For example, your child may think they can catch up on all their homework this weekend, but a look at the monthly calendar reminds them that they have an overnight stay from Friday to Saturday and a family party on Sunday. This means that if your child wants to enjoy their weekend plans, your child will have to prefer their homework to other activities during the week.
In online calendars, the monthly view boxes are often too small to be effective. So use the week view and help your child look at each other regularly a few weeks in advance.
Day or week view
Use this to remember
- The class of the day and the homework of the evening
- Assignments or materials needed for extracurricular purposes
The day / week view helps teenagers know what materials to take home for the night and what to pack for the next day. Having a to-do list on hand can also motivate your child to use free hours or time before after-school classes to get a head start.
The day / week view can also help your child understand how much time a task takes. Before doing a task, have her estimate how much time she thinks it will take. Then ask them to write down their start and end times to see how long it actually took.
If their estimates differ widely from the results, your child should ask:
- Did I underestimate the time it took to complete the task?
- Did interruptions, such as switching between work and writing, prolong the task?
3. Create a homework schedule
Homework is a common pain point for parents and teens. To minimize conflict, bring everyone on the same page.
- Talk to your teen about how you want homework time. Think realistically about your child’s extracurricular activities and how that schedule can affect their homework schedule.
- Ask your child to work in uninterrupted blocks of 20 to 40 minutes with short breaks in between.
- Discuss your expectations for social media and online entertainment during homework time. Many teenagers do their homework with their mobile device by their side, constantly switching between the two, resulting in unproductive, distracted work hours. Save social media or games for a reward when homework is done. You can expect some resistance here, but if your teen is willing to give it a try, they will likely get their homework done faster and see other benefits.
- Agree to some check-ins, maybe at the start of homework time and in the middle of it.
4. Celebrate small wins
Acknowledge when your teen is successfully using a strategy or when they want to fix a problem. Celebrate when homework goes smoothly and enjoy your free time.
If you often meet your teen with positive feedback, it shows that you are committed to their success.
With these four strategies, keep in mind that your teen naturally wants more independence. It’s important to really work with them to create routines that balance the support and independence they crave. That way, they will see that a little time planning (as many parents would like) saves a lot of time and stress in execution, and that by communicating with you and using the strategies you have jointly developed, you give them more Independence.
Beginning High School: The Next Steps
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