Sex, Social Media and Teens with ADHD: How to Avoid the Risks
One of things ADHD impacts is decision-making. Children with ADHD are often more impulsive and prone to making rash decisions than their peers. These tendencies become far more dangerous as they grow into teenagers. Exposure to sex, social media and alcohol can lead teens with ADHD to make choices with effects that last for years.
However, by identifying these risky areas, parents and teens can prepare for these pitfalls and avoid them from the start. Here are three areas to be aware of, and some tips for avoiding the risks!
It is impossible for teens to avoid social media in today’s world. However, for teens with ADHD, social media can be dangerous. Impulsive posts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram can affect college admissions and future career options. Encourage teens with ADHD to think “what would my Grandmother think of this post” before hitting Tweet, Post, Like, Retweet, Share, Send, Favorite, Comment or Snap (wow, there are a lot of these!)
Sex and sexuality are other areas in which teens with ADHD are at risk. Social media plays a part in this as well, as dangerous social media posts can certainly (and often do) involve sexual content. However, physical sex has its dangers as well. The impulsivity that comes with ADHD can lead teens to make rash sexual choices, such as avoiding forms of birth control like condoms. It is very important to explain to teens that they shouldn’t make a choice to be sexually involved with someone unless they are 100% comfortable, and to always use protection.
Alcohol (as we all know, has played in a part in many a risky social media and sexual decisions, for teens and adults alike. But teens with ADHD often struggle a great deal with alcohol, both in starting drinking and knowing when to stop. Additionally, alcohol can impair brain development in all teens, especially ones with ADHD. Teens should be made highly aware of these issues, and how they connect to the other risk areas. They must be aware of their limits and recognize when they are out of control.
Children with ADHD are often at greater risk in these areas than their peers. But by being made aware of these factors through honest and compassionate discussion, they can be better educated and have fulfilling, wonderful, safe teenage years!