Seeking tips for son turning 18 - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Seeking tips for son turning 18

MomO_Sea profile image

1. Sharing for info: Our 17YO son/we have been waiting 6 months for his appointment with a psychiatrist for med mgmt. The first one we saw via telehealth that was referred to us only prescribes after a clean urine drug test and our son uses recreational marijuana so while we asked that he cease use of it, I don’t want to add that step to our long list of tasks and we are now switching to a different psych. ( I found out that most don’t require a clean urine test).

2. My question to this group is: our son will turn 18 in September this year, what advice do you have for us as we lose parental control in helping him? We are on a waitlist for a formal diagnosis, and his initial psych reported depression and mild ADD. I want to make sure I squeeze in as much support as I can before he’s an official adult! Thank you!

3 Replies

My son just turned 18 and we have not lost parental control in helping him. He just needed to sign a form allowing us to talk to doctors. As fiercely independent as he seems, he didn’t hesitate to sign. We’re paying the bills and our involvement is part of that. I hope this eases the pressure you feel!

Hi MomO! Thanks for posting and know that you're not alone.

Parenting doesn't end at 18 and you know your child wouldn't survive very long on his own without your help. He probably knows it too.

Treat him respectfully and reinforce that you want to work WITH him to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. This means he'll have to cooperate with you and you with him.

This especially goes for meaningful, significant things like medication, respecting your boundaries, etc. Unless he's working a good job that pays him well, you're probably supporting him and his marijuana use. You should leverage that if he's unwilling to do what you think is best for him.

It's beenna while, but I remember reading clinical studies showing that risk of psychosis with marijuana use is significantly higher in people with ADHD. That being said, while I'd encourage him to find other things that serve the same purpose would be helpful in the long run, also point out that his marijuana use may be self-medication for his ADHD and mental health issues.

As for supporting him, encourage him to find a source of education and support. If he's planning on post-secondary education, see if there are any peer groups or formal supports. I also recommend books by Hallowell (a doctor with ADHD) like "driven to distraction". I also highly recommend "how to ADHD" on YouTube, and Rick Green (Canadian comedian) has a bunch of good stuff as well...

Also get the best education about ADHD you can yourself so you can help him effectively problem solve and reframe things for him. Also make sure he has the formal supports he needs so you can be mom more than counsellor.

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