How to Help Teens with ADHD Tackle Homework

How to Help Teens with ADHD Tackle Homework?

how to help children with adhd with their homework themba tutors

Parenting teens with ADHD comes with distinct challenges due to a number of reasons.

  • Teens are in a transition phase from childhood to puberty. Teens with ADHD struggle more with academic and social issues. And the ADHD symptoms become worse due to the stress and upheaval during their transition to adulthood.
  • Teenagers are more often the victims of bullying and peer-to-peer rejections. But teens with ADHD experience more rejections and bullying than others. These teens are embarrassed due to their diagnosis of ADHD. Often, they don’t accept their diagnosis.
  • Plus, increased screen time majorly contributes to their disruptive behavior. Teens with ADHD who are engaged in electronic gadgets or online activities like video streaming are more likely to show an uptick in their ADHD symptoms. However, teens with ADHD face more difficulty in transitioning from electronics. That’s another important concept – but we will go through this very quickly later in the article.

All these results in  increased pressure, high insecurity, low self-esteem, reduced self-consciousness, and a thousand more! 

Therefore, school becomes difficult, and homework becomes even more challenging. Do you need help from a middle school or high school tutor? Themba Tutors can help.

Consequently, parents jump in as saviors and start protecting their children in every area. 

While it’s natural for parents to be protective of their children, it can sometimes take a toll on their parent-child relationship.

The teenage years mean a lot more independence. If you try to hold your teen throughout, it will make them rebellious.

The major aim of the parents should be to reduce support and promote independence.

So How Do You Help Teens with ADHD Tackle Homework in Such a Situation?

How to Help Teens with ADHD Tackle Homework

Teen years are already turbulent but being diagnosed with ADHD makes life more challenging. Here are a few actionable strategies to help your teen with ADHD complete homework. Let’s dive in.

1. Promote self-care by finding activities or hobbies that are highly rewarding. 

This is a strength-based approach.

The limbic system is a crucial brain part that facilitates behavioral and emotional responses. The limbic system rules the behavior of adolescents. The child performs best within the area of their natural interest. 

Therefore, find the activities that attract or interest your teen with ADHD. Please take advantage of the human limbic system to help teens with ADHD tackle homework. 

Promote self-care. Self-care can be walking, exercising inside, taking a yoga session, or simply listening to music. But teens should refrain from engaging with electronics during a self-care session.

Self-care can help teens with ADHD improve executive functioning. Incorporating self-care in your teen’s daily life can improve mood modulation, depression, etc. A study reveals mindfulness can essentially benefit children in a number of ways:

  • Mindfulness programs help children improve stress resilience and cognitive performance.
  • Mindfulness practices offer health benefits.
  • Mindfulness helps manage ADHD symptoms.


How Can This Strategy Help Your Child Complete Homework?

Reduce Burnout 

Burnout is a major issue among teens with ADHD. However, it’s not the child’s fault—it’s due to their different brain wiring. 

For example, if your child likes playing the piano, you can assign a small homework task for a certain period and then allow your teen to play the piano during a break. Along the way, homework will also get done. 

However, please do not allow your child to use electronic gadgets during breaks, as children with ADHD face more difficulty transitioning from electronics than their peers. Screen time disturbs their normal flow between study time and breaks time. Always keep screen time at the end of tasks, so they can put in little effort to get back to homework.

Suppose your teen needs to use electronics for research or to ask a teacher or classmate about a project, prepare an engagement contract. A contract can help teens know clearly when they can use electronics and when they can’t.

Note: You should always allow your teen to play video games only when all the high-priority tasks are completed.  

Control Their Impulsive Behaviors 

Teens with ADHD lose their control because of poor impulse regulation. Still, they work best in the area of their interest—they can stay focused for much longer hours. 

Parents can adopt this as a strategy to keep them focused throughout the whole homework session. What’s the strategy? Allow them to pursue the activities of their interest during breaks except for using electronic gadgets or video games.

2. Spend more time in a supportive environment 

Every area—whether it’s the classroom, playground, part-time job—have unique opportunities and challenges. Teens with ADHD thrive beautifully in a supportive environment.  Children with ADHD can be equally or more creative and successful as their peers if they are raised in a supportive environment with the proper parenting. 

A good fitting environment facilitates the following:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • Skill development
  • Personal development


A poor-fitting environment leads to:

  • Task avoidance
  • Reduced effort
  • Demoralization


A good-fitting friendly environment can help teens with ADHD tackle homework efficiently without much back and forth. 

It would be best to watch your child consistently in different situations to gather information about the teen’s response to different situations. This way, you can create the right study environment for your teen. Proper parenting can make a difference.


How Can a Supportive Environment Push a Child to Complete Homework?

How to Help Teens with ADHD Tackle Homework

Increase the engagement time

Teens with ADHD are heavily distracted. As a result, homework remains pending after spending hours on it. But a supportive and friendly worki space reduces distractibility  It keeps teens on the same path for a comparatively longer time. 

Builds adolescents self-confidence

Many adolescents suffer from low self-confidence due to peer pressure and constant rejections in different areas. It affects their natural impulse to do homework and other academic work and lead to negative self-talk. They will never get good at anything, no matter what they do. It eliminates their natural urge to show interest in homework. But a supportive environment will help teens build confidence and get out of the negative thoughts. 

3. Strategize home routines

Some teens tend to procrastinate homework because they have undeveloped executive functioning. Executive functioning is the set of skills essential to carry out daily tasks. It includes time management, planning, adaptable thinking, organizing, etc. Therefore, you need to strategize the home routine.

You can use this strategy for children with or without ADHD.

Always place the higher-interest tasks right after the lower-interest tasks. 

Lower-interest tasks are the ones that irritate your child and make them tired. They always make excuses to run away from such activities. However, these tasks are different for every child. These could be studying, household chores, exercise, etc.

Higher interest tasks are the ones that excite the child and encourage them to stick to them. Research says the neurotransmitter dopamine regulates the brain better while doing the more exciting tasks. These may be activities like screen time, pet time, park walks, etc.

The daily routines of your teen with ADHD should establish natural cause-effect relationships.

For instance, if your child wants to play a video game, don’t stop them. Instead, ask them to complete a homework assignment before that. Remember, always place the activities that involve electronic gadgets at the end—once all the high-priority tasks are done.

Likewise, always break down the huge tasks into smaller chunks to help teens with ADHD tackle homework without much hassle. Long tasks can be tiring and overwhelming for teens with ADHD. The constant back and forth will drain their energy. 

Make intelligent decisions by helping them organize their assignment into smaller chunks. Additionally, make the assignment details very clear to your child.

4. Refocus and inner talks

It can make your teen’s life a whole lot easier. Inner talk is a powerful technique to beat and regain control over their emotional imbalance. 

It can improve hyperactivity among people with ADHD. Also, it increases their ability to refocus on the tasks they are currently engaged in. Teaching your teens “how to affirm things” can also improve their focus.

These will help teens perform better academically and complete their homework consistently. This strategy will also help them become an active learner. 

5. Study place settings

The study place settings don’t refer to the creative workspace. Here, we are talking about the area/surrounding your study space. However, there needs to be a right or perfect study place. It differs with every child. 

Every space in the home has a unique energy. For instance, if you keep the study space around the bed, chances are your teen will go to bed and relax whenever they don’t feel like doing homework. 

Therefore, maintain separate zones for eating, studying, sleeping, and playing to let them clearly understand what they need to do in a particular space.

But yes, customize the study place for a focused and creative homework session. 

Check out this guide for setting up the study place better for your teens – The best desk for an ADHD child, how to make your own.

These tips can help:

  • If your teen moves a lot, give them a larger room for study. Don’t restrict their body movements—movements help children with ADHD regulate their focus. 
  • Keep the required tools around the space. For example, a squirming ball or fidgeting toy to help stay comfortable during the homework session.
  • Don’t keep the high-interest elements around the study space. For example, if your teen likes playing  video games, keep your consoles or gadgets away from the study space. Otherwise, there’s a good chance they’ll lose focus and wander to the entertainment area.
  • Keep the space color-schemed. Color-schemed study spaces can help in the healing process. Color-schemed study space includes different colors and combinations, likely to positively impact people’s mental and physical health. 

How to Help Teens with ADHD Tackle Homework

Each color in the whole spectrum has specific energy and frequency related to different chakras in our body. 

Therefore, it is believed it can activate the chemical reactions in the human body that are important for emotion control and healing. You can use different color folders for better organization.

Each color impacts the human body in different ways. However, colors have both negative and positive impacts on the human body. Therefore, it is essential to maintain balance. Get to know more about some standard colors.

👉 It energizes the body plus increases heart rate and respiration.
👉 It encourages creativity.
👉 However, it is also associated with aggression, headache, and an inability to focus.

👉 It promotes empathy and femininity.
👉 It makes the surrounding environment calming.
👉 Sometimes, it leads to anxiety.

👉 It promotes concentration.
👉 It stimulates working memory and aids in slowing metabolism.
👉 However, it also leads to anger.

👉 It helps in relaxing the mind and body.
👉 It promotes interpersonal communication.
👉 It boosts alertness.
👉 Too much of it can cause overstimulation.

👉 It lowers aggression and anxiety.
👉 It gives a feeling of well-being.
👉 It reduces appetite.

👉 It encourages creativity.
👉 A light shade of purple relieves tension.
👉 It also calms down the body and mind.

👉 It is associated with the healing of the mind and body.
👉 It reduces anxiety and symbolizes nature which promotes health.
👉 It also encourages concentration.


Analyze Your Teen’s Behavior: A Word from Themba Tutors

Maintaining an observatory sheet is very crucial for helping your teen with ADHD. Parents should take note of everything that positively and negatively affects their children. 

Note: Parents should always make the observatory notes in private. Otherwise, it will create conflicts between the parents and teens.

These notes will help parents and coaches to work in the right direction. Observe your teen during their daily activities as this can help you set up the right environment and a perfect study place for your teen.

Exploring how your teens work and their areas of weakness is essential to help them in their academics and other life areas. However, if you need any help in coaching your teen with ADHD, you can reach out to us anytime. 

Our professionals have a deep understanding of how the ADHD brain works. We guide and coach teens with ADHD in developing and strengthening executive functioning, which is a key reason your teen is not concentrating on homework. 

Check Out Our Other Blogs:

ADHD Homework Guide
Using Timers to Help Kids with ADHD Finish Their Homework and Chores
Why Kids With ADHD Rush Through Homework?


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Meet Craig Selinger, the passionate owner behind Themba Tutors, a renowned practice specializing in executive function coaching and tutoring. Together with his team of multidisciplinary professionals, they bring their extensive knowledge to numerous locations: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as well as offering remote services. As a licensed speech-language pathologist in the state of NY, executive functioning coach, and educational specialist with an impressive track record spanning over two decades, Craig has professionally assisted thousands of families. Craig's proficiency encompasses a wide spectrum of areas, including language-related learning challenges such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. He is also well-versed in executive functioning, ADHD/ADD, and various learning disabilities. What truly distinguishes Craig and his team is their unwavering commitment to delivering comprehensive support. By actively collaborating with the most esteemed professionals within the NYC metropolitan region – from neuropsychologists to mental health therapists and allied health experts – they create a network of expertise.
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