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ADHD Parents Together
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15 year old daughter ADHD with time management problems affecting family

My daughter has difficulty doing many things timely like getting up for school and getting to bed at night. Basically getting ready to go anywhere takes to long and creates a stressful home environment for the family. She makes excuses and doesn't accept responsibility. I think she needs help with this. She's new to behavioral therapy and the therapist convinced me to trial allowing her to manage getting up in the morning and going up stairs by 10 and in bed by 11. During this trial my husband and I would allow her to manage herself in the morning and evening and not stay on top of her to stay on schedule. The trial is going into 3 weeks now and the 10 o'clock time up stairs and 11 o'clock in bed time is getting later and later. She also has missed the bus to school 2 days in a row (today Monday and Friday). Any suggestions on how to help her?

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This sounds exactly like my 11 year old daughter. Unfortunately I don't have any advice because none of my methods are working. I give her so many prompts and reminders and try to help her manage time but, I swear, in her mind there is no such thing as time. Just wanted to let you know I feel you.

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Okay, well since she is 15 she's likely to resist any advice from you. If there is someway to gently encourage her to search for solutions to this problem on her own, that's what I would try next. For instance, on YouTube look up How To ADHD and there are all kinds of great videos about getting ready on time, waking up, organizing yourself and doing homework. Are you using a motivating system, like being ready on time = more phone minutes and friend privileges and missing the bus = no phone for x amount of time? I've read about making actual contracts with teens on Asperger Experts and I think it's a great way to get Mom, Dad and teen to agree to behavior with rewards and repercussions. Anyway, my daughter is still 7 so a checklist and a friendly race between her and Mom is the way to get her ready in the morning. I know that is not likely to help a teenager, sorry. Keep trying and revisit the issue with the therapist if it isn't working out for the whole family. It needs to work for everybody. Good luck!

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This sounds like me and one on my kids. With that said, I would suggest that she set reminders on her phone or some other device. (That way you aren't telling her what to do and when to do it.) I would also suggest setting the alarm for 5-10 minutes before the actual time to allow her to finish-up whatever she is doing and then when the actual alarm goes off, its time to move on. A huge morning timesaver is to have clothes picked out, and ready to go the night before- Be sure to check the weather the night before. Missing the bus should not be OK!!! Maybe once a school year, but not part of a normal routine. Also, she cannot rely on being at the bus stop at the last possible moment- This is just a guarantee for missing the bus at some point. Her schedule should be to actually wait at least 5 minutes for the bus. If she cannot stick to the schedule on her own, then there needs to be consequences- like you go back to managing her time for 1 week.

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I attended a podcast about independence sponsored by Attitude. The presenters were the founders of ImpactADHD. Between them they have five complex kids. One founder has ADHD. I attended the annual CHADD conference in 2016 where they also spoke on a different topic. During the podcast they walked us through the four phases of independence along with acknowledging that individuals with 80 HD are 3 to 5 years behind their peers when it comes to things such as independence. I now have the tools to help my son move through the four phases to independence and in some areas he's in the first phase in other areas he's in the third phase and we were warned that there will be regression as well. So you might consider parent education on the matter through organization such as Chad or impact 80 HD or other reputable organizations.

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Edits to my post 80HD is ADHD and Chad is CHADD. Lol.

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Personally I think that she is going to bed too late so you will find that she cannot wake up in the morning because her body is still tired you may want to have a talk with her that will allow her to be in bed by 930 now usually when you tell a teenager at 9:30 it will end up being 10:00 also she can't we going to bed with Cell Phone etc.

And maybe before bedtime you make her a nice warm cup of tea that will also help her sleep well even for a 15-year-old consistency is very important

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My son is now 22, but I can still remember the frustration and anxiety of those high school mornings and the race for the bus! If she's not on any ADHD medication, I would advise looking into it. Here's what we did to help our son: I was always up earlier than everyone and I would wake him up, give him is ADHD medication, and he went back to sleep for about 45 minutes. This was enough to allow the meds to get into his system and he was more organized when his alarm finally went off. I also agree that perhaps losing phone time or something could be a consequence of not getting to the bus on time. Is she on her phone in bed? Removing the phone could also be a consequence. She gets the phone back on her way out the door to the bus.....

Try not not argue with her - you won't win those battles.

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I'm sorry, and I know how stressful this is. I have a 12 year old middle school aged daughter, and our lives have become excessively unmanageable because she cannot get dressed and go anywhere without it becoming super stressful. I feel like her counselor does not get it. My child cannot even dress for her ballet class without my having to coordinate the whole thing. She's in class 2 days a week and asking for a third!!! She's doing something that she likes, but cannot get dressed/hair done for this activity. I am very close to taking her out for awhile.

I insist that she go to bed each school night no later than 9 pm--preferably by 8:30 pm. She has to rise by 6:10 am (or earlier) to catch a bus. She often misses the bus and needs to be driven to school. Sometimes we have her sleep in her clean school clothes because having her dress in the morning is a recipe for failure. Here is what I plan to do going forward:

1. She must sleep in comfortable sweats that she will wear to school.. She even has to sleep in socks.

2. She cannot go back to ballet until she can get ready for school--she will need to find another form of exercise.

3. I'm sending her for a sleep study consultation to find out why consistently getting 9-9.5 hours of sleep on school nights in not enough for her to function in the morning.

4. She will start the brushing protocol that we learning when she was in occupational therapy. The protocol helped her a bit when she had problems adjusting to the feel of her clothes. She is once again having problems with her clothes not feeling right.

5. She must be responsible for using timers for getting to bed on time, or deal with the consequences.

6. Talk with her counselor about helping my daughter accept some responsibility for making efforts to improve this situation.

Again, I'm sorry that you are dealing with this. I do understand what this is like and how it diminishes quality of life. Good luck to you in getting things turned around.

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