Transitioning to High School is hard for any teenager and even more sensitive for a teenager with ADHD. High School comes with more freedom and exposure, which is scary for any parent. When your kids are in high school you have less control. The best strategy is to brace yourself and your teenager well before time, and here’s how.
While you should discipline your kids, do it in a sensitive manner. For instance, it is not fair to discipline a teenager for something that was out of their control. Again, people with ADHD tend to forget easily and have emotional meltdowns. Allow them to cool down, and then you can talk it out. Disciplining your kids from a point of anger will only fuel their tantrums and emotional outbursts.
Disciplining your kids in a calm manner teaches them how to exercise control of their emotions. Remember in high school, they are likely to face ridicule and other volatile situations. It is best to prepare them by showing them how to do it. If you’d like to learn more about what is ADHD or the various treatments and support available then visit Think Organise Do for a complete step by step plan of action.
Instill Discipline at an Early Age
Good discipline and proper mannerisms need to be instilled when the child is at an early age. While ADHD comes with symptoms such as careless mistakes, forgetfulness, being easily distracted and lack of organizations skills, this does not negate the need for discipline. Discipline will not only give them a smoother experience in high school, but it will give you peace of mind once they leave your nest. You cannot hope for a quick fix just before they transition to High school. There is lots of ground work that needs to be established.
Create an Open Communication System
High school is an unpredictable place. A lot can happen to your child, remember that they are also undergoing numerous hormonal changes. If anything happens to your teenager, you want them to feel free enough to share it with you. Well, this will not happen overnight. Communication needs to be fostered in a family setting. You can hold regular family meetings where you encourage honest and open communication. In case, of a crisis, ensure that you deal with it as a family.
During these meetings, get everyone’s opinion and feedback. Also ensure that all the members get to air their grievances without being judged. This will instill communication as a value. When your kids face difficult situations in high school, they will remember that they have the support of the entire family. The good thing about instilling family values is that your children will pass them down to their children as well.
Makes Rules and Enforce Them
Often, parents make rules that they cannot enforce. What this communicates to your teenagers is that you are not serious and committed towards discipline. It also tells them that they can push limits to see how much they can get away with. Once you explain and state the consequences of any actions ensure that you make good on the promise. When you enforce these rules, it gives your teenager an easier time following rules in High school.
While you have done everything you can to prepare your child, this does not mean that problems will not arise. You need to have a workable strategy of what you will do when certain things happen. For instance, they skip school, throw tantrums, break curfew, come home drunk or get into bad company. If you anticipate these issues, you will demonstrate better control when they happen. It is more challenging when you are caught off guard.
Whatever you do, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember this is a learning process for you and it will get better with time.