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  • Sam B.

Holding Teens Accountable

When our children advance grades, they are often faced with new burdens and expectations that they never had before. One year, they suddenly get lockers. Another year, they are expected to have class-specific binders. BUT, no one has actually taught them how to handle these new expectations. At the same time, the demands from school work and academics are increasing.

Here are some great tips for working with teens and adolescents as they enter into new phases of life.

1) When you look at planning, don't just make a plan. Think ahead about what might get in the way. Think about past plans you made. What worked, and more importantly, what didn't work? Try to think ahead and to overcome those blockers.

2) Figure out what's working well with your system, your routines, and your practices. Take an inventory of your strengths to make sure you are aware of what you are good at. Leverage your strengths to offset your weaknesses.

3) Organization and planning are part of the equation, but desire is also a crucial part. You have to want change in your life to make change happen. Say it out loud: "I want to make a change in my life."

4) Watch your body. Exercise. Breath. Calm down. If you let your automatic brain rule your emotions, you won't be able to effectively plan.

5) Pay attention to SPECIFICS to understand yourself better. If you just say "I'm disinterested" or "I'm bad a being on time," try to take it one step further - ask yourself why. Why am I disinterested? Why am I bad on being on time? Talk through it with another person. You will gain a lot of valuable insights!

6) Remember to take your medication! Make sure this part of your routine.

7) Don't be afraid to ask for help. Ask for accommodations. Ask your professors for help - that's what they are there for!

8) Pay attention to your environment and the context of your situation. You may study well in your bedroom, and find that you actually cannot study well in the library because there are too many distractions. Think hard about time of day and location as it affects your performance.

For more great tips, check out this recent CHADD podcast episode!

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