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How to Help a Child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

How to help children diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorders. When you have a child who’s diagnosed with ODD you need to know first of all that ODD is more than just typical difficulty with children. All children can be challenging and difficult at times, and especially teens, they can be moody, they can be argumentative but this is not ODD. Oppositional defiant disorder is really chronic and very pervasive behavior which is characterized by defiance, hostility, and disruptive behavior, especially with adults. It’s very difficult to manage.

Oppositional defiant disorder causes

ODD also comes along often with anxiety, depression, and ADHD, so when these other conditions are diagnosed and treated correctly we often see the symptoms of ODD decrease or almost disappear entirely. But when they’re remaining it’s very important for parents to be consistent and loving and this is a no short order in a child with ODD, it can be very challenging. So again you want to be consistent, you want to follow through, you want your child to know what consequences are. But you also want to be supportive, loving and not lose your temper and engage in real battles with your children.

Many parents experience this regardless of the child’s age. From the terrible two’s to the terrible teen’s oppositional defiant behavior rears its ugly head sometimes often. And when people hear oppositional defiant behavior or the term oppositional defiant that usually will also see it with oppositional and defiant disorder, which is a diagnosis. In reality, you don’t have to have oppositional defiant disorder. Meaning, your child does not need to have the disorder in order to have the behavior.

Oppositional defiant disorder in children

Now keep in mind having the behavior is extremely disruptive inside of a family system can be extremely disruptive in school and often results in tantrums or avoiding tasks that are asked of a child. What a lot of times parents have reported when I work with them in family counseling and parent coaching is that they feel in a tremendous amount of anxiety and they often will have a genuine fear of the possibility of oppositional defiant behavior happening, and they almost become like emotionally numb. They really feel disconnected from their interaction with their child.

The behavior itself, is a behavior that is developed from avoiding undesirable tasks. The motivation behind that is that, the more oppositional and the more defiant a child becomes in a particular circumstance, the less likely that they may need to do certain things.  An example would be being polite to other people, or doing castles, cleaning their room, doing their homework, or even simply just interacting appropriately at school with teachers. That goes into being polite and using appropriate social skills and interaction.

If you are seeking counseling for your child with ODD or perhaps need parent coaching contact us today to setup an appointment.

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