How To Motivate A Teenager With ADHD

When it comes to motivation, it can be difficult for any of us to get going, but when you have a child who suffers with ADHD, it can seem even more of a battle.

How To Motivate A Teenager With ADHD

Motivation doesn’t have to be a struggle, however. Most teens, ADHD or not, will find that if they have a goal in mind that was chosen by them, then they will feel more willing to become motivated.

In this article we shall have a look at some simple ways to get your teenager with ADHD motivated, and that doesn’t necessarily mean buying them the latest Playstation 5 game.

How To Begin Motivating Your Teenager With ADHD

It likely wasn’t really that long ago when you were a teenager. Having the knowledge of once being a teenager will help you to understand exactly the kind of things that they will want.

For example, it comes as no surprise that once you hit your teenage years, you want to be treated like an adult. Afterall, you start to give your own opinions more matter of factly, and it always helps to have them heard and valued.

So, how can you use your own experience to help set goals for your teenager? The goal to get them motivated is to work on getting your teenager to move forward to their adulthood years.

This will not only help them to become more grounded as they grow up, but they will understand the importance of having the motivation now, as a teenager.

Here are a few things to think about when thinking of a teenager’s end goal:

  • To have the freedom to make decisions and choices
  • To be able to be treated as an adult, rather than a child
  • To create new rules and see how they are applied – for example, how they are grounded
  • To make sure their own opinions are heard and valued
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How To Talk To Your Teenager About The Process

When you first begin to talk to your teenager on setting up a process, you will want them to know that this is solely for their benefit, and to help them accomplish something.

To put it simply, it is to help you both work together in order for your teenager to make their goal a reality. The process that you take is how they will become motivated to do something.

Because you are making it a team effort, your teenager can then understand that these aren’t orders, and are in fact something fun to work on together. They will feel like they are a partner, rather than being asked to do something.

Remember To Ask Some Questions

The end goal needs to be realistic, but also specific. Whilst they might have something in mind, like getting into a particular college, they need to know how they are going to get there.

To help, you should ask questions like what the plan is, what kind of schedule they might have, and when will the process begin?

This makes the teenager have to deal with managing the process in order to get to the goal, rather than having his or her parents do all the important work.

You also need to make sure that they have a plan B. If their first plan doesn’t work, what other ideas do they have?

Your Teen Should Choose The End Goal

Your Teen Should Choose The End Goal

Do remember that the end goal isn’t yours, so try and refrain from having your own input. If the fact he or she wants to start up a band scares you, then you could ask if there is anything like a degree that they might be interested in doing with music.

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If they have no idea where to start, then ask them what things they like, or what they can see themselves doing as a career. This way, you can look at different college degrees and find out how to have a career in a particular field.

Make Sure It Includes Having Independence

At this stage in your child’s life, they are likely to want independence. Whilst it can be sad to see your child going off and doing their own thing, it is a really important step for them to take towards the journey of adulthood.

If your teenager has been doing well with their steps towards the goal, it is great to acknowledge that. For example, you can let them know how responsible you think they are being. As a reward, you can even let them do something that they would like.

This could be something as simple as going to the movies to watch a new film, just for example.

Rewards Are Always Welcome

Speaking of rewards, it is a good idea to set up a system for incentives. These can help to support the process in reaching the goal, and give your teenager huge motivation in doing so.

For those who show executive function deficits, having some form of practice will help them to build some skills. Using rewards can help with this as it can encourage your teenager to practice.

For example, if they are struggling in school, then creating a fun point system with rewards will not only encourage them to do better, but it will also let them see how much better they are doing.

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To make it even better, give them the option to trade in points for things they like.

Write Everything Down With Lists

A to-do list will be the best thing they can do. Whilst they might think they can remember things, encourage them to write the things they need to do as a list.

Make the support you give them minimal, but help where it is needed.

Final Thoughts On Motivating A Teenager With ADHD

Whilst at first it might seem like a struggle to motivate a teenager with ADHD, it doesn’t have to be. Setting up a goal system and letting them work towards it with rewards will start a great process to get them motivated.

Suzy Prichard