ADD / ADHD Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal


I have a 17 year old that has been diagnosed ADD.  My question to you is, is compulsive lying and impulsiveness general symptoms of ADD ADHD or is it a deeper behavioral medical problem.  My daughter intends to come home at 2.00 pm but then stays out.  I believe she tries to come home, but I know she is very impulsive and does not make good choices (thinks things through).  Also she has lied to me throughout her life, some of it totally unecessarily.
1 Responses
521840 tn?1348840771
   Teens with ADHD are typically more impulsive than same aged peers, though it is less common among girls (they tend to be dreamy, disorganized, and underachieve in school). Among girls who display a more 'hyperactive' type of ADHD, unfortunate teen behaviors can include shoplifting, cutting class, tying cigarettes/alcohol and making other foolish decisions without thinking of the consequences. Teens almost invariably know full well the consequences of their choices when you ask them, but report that they "just didn't think about it"  when they made their mistake.

Researcher Russell Barkley has noted that adolescents with ADHD are often about 3 years behind peers in terms of their maturity and judgment. Your daughter may be enjoying 17 year old freedoms with about 14 year old maturity. I usually recommend to parents of teens with hyperactive/impulsive ADHD that they provide the level of supervision they would expect to give to a child a few years younger than the child's chronological age.

You will need to help your daughter learn to make wise choices. The lying is really annoying I am sure, but my greater concern is that her lying is preventing you from being able to protect her from herself. I recommend you implement a behavior contract with her that lays out reasonable expectations as well as rewards and privileges to be earned. Teems often respond well to behavioral contracts, particularly if they are fair and contain lots of 'goodies' for them to get. You will need to be prepared to follow through with consequences, and stand firm about granting privileges once she has fulfilled her side of the bargain.

The book The Kazdin Method by Dr. Alan Kazdin has an excellent chapter on how to negotiate a behavior plan with teens. I would encourage you to seek behavior psychotherapy if you have the time and the means, as you want to make sure that your intervention does not fail or have loopholes. The book How to Talk so Teens Will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk by Adele Faber has a lot of great information about how to communicate effectively with her and handle problems like lying. You may also wish to consult a psychiatrist to discuss medication options if her behavior is putting her in danger.

Best Wishes
Rebecca Resnik
Disclaimer: These posts in response to Medhelp.com questions are intended to be informational only. They should never be considered a substitute for face-to-face medical and mental health care by a qualified practitioner. Answering Medhelp questions is not intended to create or imply a patient-clinician relationship. Information presented in posts is not intended to give or to rule-out a diagnosis.
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
What to expect in your growing baby
Is the PS3 the new Prozac … or causing ADHD in your kid?
Autism expert Dr. Richard Graff weighs in on the vaccine-autism media scandal.
Could your home be a haven for toxins that can cause ADHD?