“My teenager has ADHD can’t focus on her homework. How do we help her do well in school?”

Hello, welcome to Tips on Teens. This is Kent Toussaint, licensed marriage and family therapist,
coming to you live on Facebook every Wednesday at noon to answer your parenting questions.
And let's jump into today's question. My teenager cannot focus on her homework. She's very
smart and is very capable of being an A student, but there are always things to distract her.
Sometimes she does the work, but won't turn it in. This is causing big arguments between the
two of us and arguments between my me and my wife she is ADHD and takes medication but we don't
want to give her a booster after school because we want her to eat and the medication suppresses
her appetite how do we help her do well in school without the arguing so let's jump right in let's
start with the medication part so full transparency I am NOT a medical doctor I cannot give you
medical advice so the first thing you want to do is talk to your psychiatrist or your pediatrician
or whoever is prescribing this medication and really

collaborate with that medical professional to make sure that your child is getting the right
medication for the right diagnosis and if the symptoms are not being addressed to your satisfaction
keep talking to that doctor if you need a second opinion then get a second opinion but finding
that right cocktail of medication that works right for your kid can you ask doctors it can take
some time to figure out what that is secondly I totally get the concern about giving your kid
too much medication I hear that a lot from parents especially with a lot of medications for ADHD
do suppress appetite and you want your kid to eat you know especially if your kids an athlete
and active you want your kid to have nutrition I get that and so giving your kid a booster at 3 30
or 4 o 'clock may mean that you know your kid doesn't eat all day and that's a real legitimate concern
again it's something important talk to your doctor so let's assume for argument's sake you're
deciding not to give that booster to

your kid so how do we help your kid focus on doing the homework she needs to do so she can achieve
the way she wants to first thing is when you pick her up or when she gets home no screens get her
off the phone get her off the iPad get her off the console and the reason is is that starts stimulating
the brain in a way that nothing else can and you'll start she'll start on the phone to say just
give me a half hour that half hour turns into a three -hour fight trying to get her off the phone
and even if your kid says okay I'll give it up it's really hard for kids to transition here off
the phone they may not have the phone anymore but they're thinking about all the things that
they just were doing what they're missing now so I really encourage you to find a way to delay
screens until homework is done secondly she probably needs to eat cuz she probably hasn't eaten
all day so make sure she gets a healthy snack and thirdly a lot of the kids that I work with they
really struggle with you know

their their brains going everywhere and they need to stimulate their brain and their body so
a lot of kids what I find is helpful if they go in the front yard and shoot hoops for a half hour or
go for a run or a bike ride or a swim or Pilates or you know it doesn't really matter what they do
it's not that they get their body physically moving because a lot of times ADHD kids are physical
kids and the more they're in tune with our physical body the more grounded they feel so get them
some physical exercise something fun something they enjoy don't mandate they go to the gym
if they hate going the gym let them do something fun if it's racquetball if it's basketball if
it's playing tag you know I don't know what that is every kids gonna be different but make sure
they have that physical outlet after school before homework and then they may find that they
are able to focus a little better also a lot of kids will focus better with some music in the background
and you may think that's distracting

but for an ADHD kid and and just teenagers in general, having background noise helps them focus
because being totally quiet is too quiet. So it's really important that we set up an environment
for a kid to succeed. Also, maybe not have your child do her homework in her room, maybe in the
kitchen or the dining room, somewhere where you may be around, just not to hover, but just to
be around enough to monitor. So it's not easy to just jump on Facebook, or your kid's not on Facebook,
but snapchat or something else like that and make sure if she has to have a computer that you can
see the screen if you're in there chopping up vegetables for dinner that night you can just look
over and look at the screen make sure she's not on YouTube or something like that excuse me so
it's really important we set her up to succeed another point in this is that there's a lot of arguments
arguments between the parents about this and that is something that your daughter is not in
control of but she will accept

all the blame for so it's really important that if you and your spouse are disagreeing with how
to handle the situation or what's going on that you do that in a respectful way so if she does hear
it it's done in a respectful way but more importantly just out of her earshot and if you think
oh she can't hear us we're in the other room kids can hear everything you don't want them to hear
everything anything you want them to hear like hey go can pick up your socks they don't hear that
but they hear the argument down the hall in the other room with the door closed and the music on
that's what they'll hear so it's It's really important that you find a way to talk about these
things with your spouse in a respectful way and a way that is outside of your daughter's awareness.
So that's the big thing on this. Obviously, we can keep talking about this. There's hours of
information about this, but we can only do so much on a Facebook Live Tips on Teens video. If you
like these videos and you want

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on Teens. If you want more information about us, you can go to our website teentherapycenter
.com and we'll be here next week at 12 o 'clock on Wednesday answering your parenting questions.
Thanks again. This is Kent Toussaint and I'll see you next week. Bye bye.

School and homework are easily some of the more common causes of arguments with families we’ve seen. Now if you factor in ADHD and medication, things become more complicated. This week’s Tips on Teens looks at a question from a parent wondering how to deal with a situation like that. Here’s the question:

“My teenager can’t focus on her homework. She’s very smart and is capable of being an A student. There are always things to distract her. Sometimes she does the work, but won’t turn it in. This is causing big arguments between the two of us and arguments between me and my wife. She’s ADHD and takes medication but we don’t want to give her a booster after school because we want her to eat and the medication suppresses her appetite. How do we help her do well in school without the arguing?”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com.  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.