Are you stressed and unsure on how to cope with your teen’s attention deficit disorder? If so you’re not alone. Many parents are faced with the challenges that come with taking care of their teen who has attention deficit disorder. To help understand the impact attention deficit disorder can have on a parent / teen relationship and how a parent can cope with their teen’s attention deficit disorder, I have interviewed therapist Robert Moylan.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I was raised by a single mother and had 12 brothers and sisters growing up in poverty on the west side of Chicago. My father suffered from Alcoholism and died when I was thirteen years old. I had emotional issues growing up but was able to get help from a counselor at Northwestern University. I decided to change my career path and give up a career in economics and go and serve our youth as a teacher and counselor. I hold special teaching licenses as a behavior disorder learning disability and mentally handicapped teacher as well as a supervisor.”
What type of impact can a teen’s attention deficit disorder have on a parent / teen relationship?
“A teen with attention deficit disorder usually presents symptoms of hyperactivity, distractibility and impulsivity of varying frequencies, intensity and duration. The range can be very great and can have a huge strain on a relationship with significant others such as parents/siblings.”
What common mistakes do parents make when parenting their attention deficit disorder teen?
“I think sometimes parents do not seek out professional counseling for their teen that has attention deficit disorder. Professional counseling can treat and help many of the symptoms that cause emotional pain for these youngsters. This year the Federal Mental Health and Substance Parity Act came into effect for all United States citizens. That means that that teens suffering from this sometimes debilitating mental health issue can be treated and paid for through insurance. Prior to this law going into effect, there was typically a disparity in copays, deductibles and number of visits for all mental health and substance abuse issues. If one had a kidney problem one can expect treatment till one gets better. Well now the same can be done for teen’s that have attention deficit disorder and other mental health issues. So a parent shouldn’t wait but get the help their child needs.”
What can a parent do to cope with their teen’s attention deficit disorder?
“I think it is best for a parent to be supportive to a teen when they are getting help with struggling from attention deficit disorder. By getting the help their teen needs will help the parent to better cope with their teen’s attention deficit disorder.”
“There are several different techniques that are utilized to get a teen to improve their behavior. Often times, a therapist has to try several techniques over a course of a few months. Sometimes, a teen may have to try one or more therapists also. It is important for a teen to trust a therapist and that trust takes time to build. Remember, this is likely the first time a teen has to work with a therapist so it is important to support the therapeutic process, which takes time. As the teen’s behavior changes the ability for the parent to cope will also improve.”
“When things do become stressful it is also important for the parent to take care of themselves by taking a break away from their teen. For example, getting a massage, going out for a walk, meeting a friend for dinner or simply taking a bubble bath.”
What type of professional help is available for a parent who wants to better cope with their teen’s attention deficit disorder?
“I think both teen and parent need support. So I would encourage any parent in need of help with their teen to do a google search for a mental health counselor in their area for assistance.”
Thank you Robert for doing the interview on how a parent can cope with their teen’s attention deficit disorder. For more information on Robert Moylan or his work check out his website on robertmoylan.com.
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