What To Do When Your Teen Won’t Take ADHD Meds
It is surprisingly common for teens diagnosed with ADHD to avoid taking their prescribed medication. This can be very worrisome to parents helping their teens learn to live with ADHD. If you are the parent of a teen who is refusing to take ADHD medication, there are a few ways you can approach the situation. In every case, stay supportive and help your teen understand the importance of consistently taking their medication.
When teens aren’t complying with their medication plan, many parents turn to ineffective and drastic measures like military boarding schools. However, those sorts of programs don’t produce effective results or help the students in the long run. Residential treatment centers like Sundance Canyon Academy provide the support needed to help students learn to manage their ADHD and take their medication consistently.
Why won’t my son take his ADHD medication?
Before addressing your son refusing ADHD medication, it’s important to understand some of the common reasons that teens don’t like the medication. Some common reasons include:
Not Wanting A Need For Medication It’s tough to be diagnosed with something that you don’t want to have. They don’t want to have something “wrong” with them, so they act like everything is fine. Refusing ADHD medication is an easy way to act like everything is fine, even when it isn’t.
Not Wanting To Be The Only One In Their Group Who Needs Medication For teens and tweens, being accepted by their peers is extremely important! This is why it’s so common for kids in middle school and high school to start dressing and acting more like their friends. If none of their friends need ADHD medication, your child might feel like an outsider for needing it and might refuse it.
Feeling Like It Changes Them Sometimes, teens don’t like the way their ADHD medication makes them feel. Though it has the benefits of helping them focus more and stay on track at school, it can make them feel like they aren’t the same. If it makes them feel too different, they might be hesitant to take their medication.
How to talk to your teen about taking their ADHD medication
Because ADHD is a lifelong problem, it’s important for teens to learn how to manage it before reaching adulthood. So if your teen doesn’t like taking their ADHD medication, you may need to coach them through taking it correctly. Badgering them about it doesn’t typically work. Having an honest and open conversation with your teen about their medication is much more effective.
Find out why they don’t want to take the medication. It’s really important that you understand why your child doesn’t want to take their medication. From there you can start to address the root issue. They might need support to know that they aren’t “weird” for needing medication or that there are plenty of other kids who need the same medication. If they don’t like the way the medication makes them feel, you may need to meet with your child’s doctor to discuss the side effects and see if they need to tweak the dosage.
Educate them on how the medication works. A lot of teens and tweens don’t understand how the medication works or why it’s important. Bring them in on the process. Help them understand how it works and how it will make a difference in their life.
Set expectations for if they refuse to take it. If your son is still refusing to take his ADHD medication, you may need to set some consequences for refusing to take it correctly. For example, if their grades suffer because they refuse to take it, they might not get to go out on the weekends.
If your son still refuses to take his ADHD medication, you may need to get professional help. Therapeutic boarding schools like Sundance Canyon Academy help the students by removing them from their current environment and surrounding them with therapists who are trained to help teens with ADHD. The students still get high school credit while attending the school, and they learn how to properly manage their ADHD. Contact us today with any questions about how we help boys with ADHD.