The ADHD Teenager and Homework

I have talked with my teen for the past three months about high school. At least once a week, we would talk about what would be expected of him, how whatever he did in high school would appear on his permanent transcript for future jobs and college to review if they choose to. How this was “real life” and the fact that I wanted him to do his best and not eff it up.

adhd teenager and homework

The ADHD Teenager and Homework

We’re on the third week of school and he’s flunking everything except for Graphic Arts and Language Arts (English). The principal and I both impressed upon him that using study hall as his time to (a) complete his homework assignments and (b) ask for help from his teachers if he was having a particularly rough time with an assignment, was what would be in his best interest instead of taking Latin – which he got F’s in the entire week that he was in the class also.


I gave him the benefit of the doubt the past two weeks of school – I allowed him to go and hang out with his friends once he came home from school and then do his homework when he came in at 7PM. Apparently that is not happening according to his grades and his teachers. I have seen him doing the work – sitting on his bed with books open, working out math equations and reading his notes and writing his prompts for Language Arts and History. Unfortunately the work is not reaching the teachers. Which makes me think that he’s having some major organizational issues.

I’ve already warned hubby that there are going to be fireworks when he arrives home from school today and I tell him that he’s grounded for the rest of the week. He is not leaving the house until all of his homework assignments are completed and in his binder to be turned in at school the following day. If need be, we are going to go to the office supply store this afternoon and get him whatever else it is he needs to help him with the organization aspect of everything.

I feel as though perhaps I might be being a bit harsh, but life isn’t all fun and games. It isn’t about just bluffing your way through high school and “hoping” that you pass. I want him to understand that life is real and dirty and takes hard work and determination to get where you want to be. That nothing is handed to you just because you’re engaging or funny – making dreams come true requires dedication and hard work – and he is capable of so much more.


When the teenager arrived home, I told him how things were going to be the rest of this week. He was actually surprisingly calm about all of it. When I told him to go get in the car, we were going to the office supply store to get him some extra organizational materials, he responded with a “thanks mom.” 

Thanks, Mom.

Music to my ears simply because it means that (a) he IS listening to me and (b) he IS taking school seriously and (c) he IS trying to do his best. The mere fact that he was willing to go to the office supply store with me to get some more materials is proof enough for me. 

There’s hope for my teenager yet. I just need to remember to DISCUSS and not OVERREACT – which I’m prone to doing. He’s growing up, he’s becoming a man, and I need to remember that. To be there to help, to guide – when needed.

What about your family? Do you have a teenager with or without ADHD that has difficulties with homework? How do you manage to keep your teen on track?

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