HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

Bad Attitude – or Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is defined by therapists as a cluster of behaviors that include many or all of the following characteristics:
  1. Accusatory
  2. Aggressive
  3. Angry
  4. Argumentative
  5. Bad temper
  6. Blaming
  7. Defiant
  8. Foul-mouthed
  9. Hostile
  10. Low frustration level
  11. Negative
  12. Oppositional
  13. Pessimistic
  14. Resentful
  15. Spiteful
  16. Unreasonable

How can a mother or father know if a teen is simply dealing with the pains of becoming an adult or has a significant conduct problem that will require therapeutic intervention? If this pattern of behavior is becoming the typical emotional state of your adolescent, he or she might have ODD. ODD can disturb home and family life, other relationships, and school efficiency.

This is often a particularly frustrating disorder, since your teen usually believes he or she has just cause to be so indignant. The youngster may fault moms and dads, friends, educators, or other authority figures for the behavior, declaring others are unreasonable, bothersome, or just plain wrong.

Signs of ODD often appear throughout pre-adolescence, around ages 7 to 13. Initially you might observe that although your youngster has become aggressive and unmanageable in your home, they don't present these exact same behaviors to the public or outside world. This can cause moms and dads to become confused, possibly making them feel guilt, because they "must have done something" to cause the hostility. Over time, however, the youngster's behavior will also deteriorate in school, and teachers may begin to complain about your youngster's attitude in class. A typical student in this stage of ODD will be disruptive in class, disrespectful of teachers and other authority figures, aggressive toward peers, and generally act like a malcontent.

Behavior modification, along with other therapeutic interventions, is the perfect solution for an adolescent with ODD. Disregarding this severe set of signs and symptoms will allow your youngster's behavior to continue to deteriorate and hinder his or her social behavior, school performance, and ability to be responsible for his or her life as an adult.

If signs have grown to be more extreme and include physical acts of violence towards property or other folks, or if your youngster has begun to commit criminal acts like stealing, he or she might be struggling with a far more severe Conduct Disorder.

What Can Parents Do?

The main parenting-tool that actually works for ODD children is consequences. You heard right …you put down boundaries for your children and then follow up with consequences when the limit is broken.

“But consequences don't work,” you say. “My kids just don't seem to care.”

Well, perhaps your consequences are ineffective consequences. Perhaps the result of breaking a boundary is actually only a punishment. And punishments do not work. Punishments trigger resentment within the youngster and do nothing at all to alter behavior.

Ask yourself, “Am I just punishing my ODD teen?” It's easy to understand the difference. A consequence must have a learning portion to it. It must be connected to the offence that your child did wrong.

For instance, if your child loses your cell phone, don't make his nightly curfew earlier. There is no link between the cell phone and his curfew and this would be a punishment. A correct consequence would be restricted use of the cell phone in the future, or even that he work to help you pay for a replacement cell phone.

Alternatively, maybe your consequences work well, but your child still does not appear to care. Perhaps your consequence to spend an hour in his room is ineffective because he has a book to read for school and had already planned to spend time in his room. Or maybe losing his driving privileges is ineffective because he plans to be away for the weekend.

You must know that a consequence that works once may not be successful another time. Learn how to assess your child's reactions and alter consequences accordingly.

Once again, your child may not appear to care because he has learned to manage his reactions. So while his outer facade displays indifference, he does indeed worry about his consequence. Don't be misled by his uncaring attitude. If this is the case he will most likely overreact to minor consequences to cause you to feel he is properly being corrected.

Become familiar with your son/daughter and know what makes him/her tick. Having the right consequence is paramount to altering his conduct.

Consequence may be difficult. I have worked with many mothers and fathers fine-tuning my parenting techniques and figuring out what works and what does not. I've created a series of videos that show you the most common mistakes made by parents. Don't get caught in this same trap. It may mean the difference between respectful kids and kids who rule your family.

My Out-of-Control Child: Help for Parents with ODD Children and Teens

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am having problems with my 14 year old daughter. I am embarrassed to say that I have no control over her and she pretty much does as she pleases. She is extremely social to the point that that is her only interest in life. I was spending $120 per week for counseling but after well over a year that did nothing. The psychologist said that she thought I would wind up placing her in boarding school. She is extremely disrespectful and she will not take no for an answer. Recently, I have caught her lying....even to her friends. Despite my efforts she is resistant to having a relationship with me. Any efforts to spend time together are met with me being told I am embarrassing and she doesn't want to be seen with me. I read somewhere that rules without relationship is a set up for rebellion. That paralyzes me (Along with her 3 attempts to run away). Other that this (haha) we are a great family.... I have 2 well behaved boys ages 16 and 10 who are just as frustrated and a husband who is very hardworking.

When I threaten her with a consequence she says “that will just make me hate you more". She has also recently started to say that she doesn't want to live here anymore. I am afraid that as she ages her behavior will just escalate.

This is literally consuming my life. She has given up all activities and her grades have dropped. Thanks to spy wear I know that she doesn't drink or do drugs. I think all of her behavior problems occur at home. The psychologist told me she doesn't have a diagnosis. Her problems are purely behavioral (entitlement and defiance) and I should just keep grounding her. Believe me this only made things worse and at this point she wouldn't be allowed out until she was 30!

Unknown said...

Ignore her.You, your husband, and your two sons. Only speak to her if she speaks to you and keep your responses short and to the point. Now this won't be with a bad attitude or anything but just be short and cordial.
When the family does something together such as eat dinner, you can cook enough for her but do not fix her plate but fix it for everyone else. Simply let her know dinner is ready and that's it. Continue all activities like this. At some point, she's going to realize that you are not giving her too much attention and when she brings it up, calmly tell her something like "Me, your father, and your brothers have tried to show you love and support but maybe how we have been doing it isn't good enough for you so we will give you the space you want and only interact with you briefly. We love you the same but we don't want to overwhelm you with attention. However, you will still follow our rules and boundaries. We love you." Still be consistent with consequences and step them up if what you are doing is not working. I had a parent who's daughter kept going to her friend's house against her mother's rules until one day the mother called the police and said her child is missing. Of course she led the cops to the neighbor but the daughter was mortified. Now, the only thing I would do different is warn her that if you leave without permission, I will call the police for help. The warning will make her think about it and if she does it anyway and you follow through, she knows you mean what you say and probably won't do it again. She might yell and scream and try to argue, but you don't entertain this. You need to save your energy for the rest of your family. This way, you're not getting into constant arguments (which might be something she actually enjoys) and you're placing the ball in her court while still holding the racquet with set rules and boundaries.

India Bass said...

Ignore her.You, your husband, and your two sons. Only speak to her if she speaks to you and keep your responses short and to the point. Now this won't be with a bad attitude or anything but just be short and cordial.
When the family does something together such as eat dinner, you can cook enough for her but do not fix her plate but fix it for everyone else. Simply let her know dinner is ready and that's it. Continue all activities like this. At some point, she's going to realize that you are not giving her too much attention and when she brings it up, calmly tell her something like "Me, your father, and your brothers have tried to show you love and support but maybe how we have been doing it isn't good enough for you so we will give you the space you want and only interact with you briefly. We love you the same but we don't want to overwhelm you with attention. However, you will still follow our rules and boundaries. We love you." Still be consistent with consequences and step them up if what you are doing is not working. I had a parent who's daughter kept going to her friend's house against her mother's rules until one day the mother called the police and said her child is missing. Of course she led the cops to the neighbor but the daughter was mortified. Now, the only thing I would do different is warn her that if you leave without permission, I will call the police for help. The warning will make her think about it and if she does it anyway and you follow through, she knows you mean what you say and probably won't do it again. She might yell and scream and try to argue, but you don't entertain this. You need to save your energy for the rest of your family. This way, you're not getting into constant arguments (which might be something she actually enjoys) and you're placing the ball in her court while still holding the racquet with set rules and boundaries.

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