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

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Parental Frustration in Raising Defiant Teens

"I get so frustrated with my rebellious 13-year-old son - and often lose my temper! You can’t leave him alone for a minute without problems of some sort (won’t go into all that here though). Am I a bad mother? How can I avoid over-reacting like this? I know I'm throwing gas on the fire!!"

Most moms lose their temper with their teens from time to time. It's OK to feel angry …just don’t take it out on your son. If you feel angry with your son almost every day or have trouble controlling your temper, get some help. There's no shame in that! Start by talking to your family doctor. Also, there are groups that can help moms, too. You can join our support group here:

Parenting Defiant Children and Teens - Support Group

When you get frustrated and upset, give yourself a break (rather than getting angry, and then feeling guilty for getting angry). Everyone needs a break from being a parent once in a while. If you have another adult in your family, take turns getting away. For example, have your partner stay with your son so you can visit friends. Take turns sleeping late on the weekends. If you're a single parent, ask friends and relatives to help by running some errands for you. Maybe they could stay with your son while you go out.

Know that frustration is normal. All moms get frustrated. Teens take a lot of time and energy. Parenting is even harder when you have problems in your life (e.g., worries about your job, your bills, your relationships, problems with alcohol or drugs, etc.). To be a good mother, you have to take care of yourself!!! That means getting help for YOUR issues first ...then you can work on your son.

No mom or dad is perfect. They all make mistakes. Even very passive parents sometimes say and do things they don't mean to do (e.g., yell at their child or call him/her a "bad" name). But if you think you're having trouble controlling yourself, get help so a pattern of emotional abuse doesn't start.

My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

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Parenting Rebellious Teens

One day you wake up and find that life has changed forever. Instead of greeting you with a hug, your little boy rolls his eyes when you say "good morning" and shouts, "You're ruining my life!" You may think you've stepped into the Twilight Zone, but you've actually been thrust into your son's teen years.

During adolescence, teens start to break away from parents and become "their own person." Some talk back, ignore rules and slack off at school. Others may sneak out or break curfew. Still others experiment with alcohol, tobacco or drugs. So how can you tell the difference between normal teen rebellion versus dangerous behavior? And what's the best way for a parent to respond?

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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Many families of defiant children live in a home that has become a battleground. In the beginning, the daily struggles can be expected. After all, we knew that problems would occur. Initially, stress can be so subtle that we lose sight of a war, which others do not realize is occurring. We honestly believe that we can work through the problems.

Outbursts, rages, and strife become a way of life (an emotionally unhealthy way of life). We set aside our own needs and focus on the needs of our children. But what does it cost us?

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The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.

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