Parenting Articles about Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Parenting a child who has very defiant behavior or who is diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder is different than parenting a “typical kid”. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is defined as: “a child or teen who has a frequent and consistent pattern of anger, irritability, arguing, defiance and often vindictiveness towards their parent(s) or other authority figures.”

Children who consistently behave in this defiant way towards parents and authority figures don't eventually comply with most limit setting or consequences. Why? Because kids with this level of defiance are focused on being in control. When extremely defiant kids are facing a limit or consequence, their acting out behavior escalates, sometimes violently. ODD is a very challenging diagnosis that takes a certain set of parenting techniques. There are ways to effectively parent a child with very defiant behavior or ODD. Below you'll find the list of articles we suggest to get you started.

No Such Thing as a "Bad Apple": Fix the Behavior, Not the Kid

How many times has this gone through your head? Your “difficult” child—the defiant one who’s constantly acting out and upsetting everyone—has just done it again. Maybe he’s called his little sister a foul name, smashed your favorite framed family photo, or screamed in your face. In a moment of defeat, you think, “What if there’s no hope? What if he’s just a ‘bad seed’—the bad apple of the family?” Read More

Angry Kids: 7 Things Not to Do When Your Child is Angry

Stop and think for a moment: When your child or teen is in the throes of a tantrum or an all-out rage, what is your initial reaction? Do you get angry yourself and start yelling, do you freeze and say nothing, or do you become frightened and give in? Maybe your answer is even, “All of the above, depending on the day!” You are not alone. Dealing with childhood anger and explosive rage is one of the toughest things we are faced with as parents. Not only is it hard to do effectively, it’s exhausting and can easily make you feel defeated, even if you don’t lose your cool. Read More

9 Ways to Get Though The Holidays with a Defiant Child

Do you have a picture of what the holidays should look like? Most of us do whether we admit it or not. When the reality doesn’t match the expectation you have in your head, it feels awful. Parents of acting-out kids know this firsthand, because the reality so often doesn’t match their expectation. Read More

When They Don’t Leave at 18: Parenting an Adult Child with ODD

There’s a calendar date parents of Oppositional Defiant kids often cling to: the 18th Birthday. That magical day when your child becomes an adult and you are no longer responsible for him — at least not legally. Sure, you’ll still be his parent. But things will be different! No more power struggles, disrespect or refusal to follow the rules. No more embarrassment over the way he behaves or the choices he makes. No more feelings of shame, disappointment or anger about the relationship. He’ll be an adult and out on his own. If he doesn’t like the rules of your house, then he just needs to move out! Read More

Your Defiant Child’s Behavior: 5 Things You Can—and Can’t—Control as a Parent

What can you do when your child just refuses to get up and go to school? You’ve yelled, nagged, pleaded and even tried bribing her, but she just digs her heels in and says, “Nope, not going, no matter what you do.” Maybe this has never happened to you—or maybe it happens every day. Many parents may read this scenario and immediately respond, “I’d make my kid go!” But without using physical means, how would you do that? If a child outright refuses to comply, other than grabbing her arm and physically forcing her to do get dressed and get on the bus—which no parent wants to do or ever should do, for that matter—what options does a parent have? Read More

4 Ways to Handle Back to School Behavior Problems with Your ODD Child

The start of every school year brings all sorts of images to mind: shopping for clothes and school supplies, getting back into a routine of dinner and bedtimes that may have become relaxed during summer, and relief from arguing siblings who have been stuck together 24/7 for the past three months. Many parents are relieved when school starts up again, but for parents of Oppositional Defiant (ODD) kids, this is often a time of anxiety and even dread. Read More

My ODD Child is Physically Abusive to Siblings and Parents—Help!

Recently, there have been several stories in the news about violence in children and what can—and should—be done about it. A five-year-old boy was taken out of his Kindergarten class in handcuffs in Indiana, and the same thing happened to a six-year-old girl in Louisiana. Talk shows and the news media have been hosting shows on whether or not a parent should ever call the police on their own child. Everyone seems to have an opinion—usually a strong one—about the “right” way to handle a child or adolescent who is violent toward others, particularly family members. There’s no behavior—with the exception of substance abuse or self-harm—that frightens parents as much as a child’s physical aggression. Read More

Defiant Child Behavior: Is Your Child's Bad Behavior Escalating?

Before you had kids, you probably expected your child to misbehave at times. Children test limits and parents respond with consequences. It comes with the territory of having kids. What you probably didn't expect was that someday — despite your best parenting efforts — your child would not only refuse to respond to your discipline, but the behavior would actually worsen over time. Read More

Young Kids with ODD: Is It Oppositional Defiance Disorder or Just Bratty Behavior?

What should you do when your child is behaving in a way that is clearly beyond "bratty" or what most of us would call “typical?” How do you know if your child’s behavior has moved into Oppositional Defiant Disorder? How young is too young to diagnose ODD? Read More

Is Your Defiant Child Damaging or Destroying Property?

Kicking holes in the wall. Breaking and throwing things. Smashing in the windshield on your car. Most of us never expect to face these behaviors from our children, and certainly not when our child is “old enough to know better.” If you have a child who purposely destroys family property out of anger or spiteful, vengeful reasons, you naturally feel a variety of hurtful and negative emotions. It feels like a punch in the stomach.  Read More

When ODD Kids, Entitlement Mentality and Verbal Abuse Collide

Over the years, as technology has evolved and material things have become more readily available, our society has developed a strong sense of “the wants.” In this modern world, we don’t like to wait for things like computers, cars and houses—delayed gratification is a thing of the past. Our children have embraced this sense of entitlement likes ducks to water; most of them have grown up with it from the time they were born. They often expect that they will get what they want (not necessarily what they need) when they want it. Their attitude seems to be one of, “What do you mean I need to earn things like a cell phone, expensive clothes or an iPod? I deserve them, simply because I’m here!With their low frustration tolerance, poor coping skills and tendency to react impulsively, ODD kids are especially prone to the belief that parents are here to meet all of their desires. Faced with disappointment or the prospect of not getting what they want, an attack of verbal abuse (swearing, name-calling, yelling, intimidating, threatening, belittling or demeaning) may erupt that can leave parents feeling as if they’ve been hit by a tsunami and wondering what just happened. Read More

Parenting ODD Children and Teens: How to Make Consequences Work

Does it ever seem as if you’ve tried every parenting approach out there, only to find that nothing works with your child? Kids who exhibit behaviors of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) can leave you feeling confused, frustrated, angry and disappointed. It often seems like nothing matters to them, which can make it hard for you to know how to respond to their behavior and what consequences to give. Kim Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner are child and family therapists who have worked with parents of kids with Oppositional Defiant Disorder for 20 years—and Kim is also the parent of an adult child with ODD. They’re also the creators of The ODD Lifeline, a new program that offers real help and hope to parents of children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Read More

ODD Kids and Behavior: 5 Things You Need to Know as a Parent

Do you often feel overwhelmed as the parent of an ODD child? Kimberly Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner have worked with parents of kids with Oppositional Defiant Disorder for 20 years—and Kim is the parent of an adult child with ODD. Read on to find out the 5 things you need to know to be a more effective parent. Read More

ODD Kids: How to Manage Violent Behavior in Children and Teens

Has your oppositional, defiant child’s behavior escalated to the point where he’s using physical force against you—or do you fear that he might? Kim Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner have worked with parents of kids with Oppositional Defiant Disorder for 20 years—and Kim is the parent of an adult child with ODD. In this article, they explain how to handle your ODD child’s aggressive, violent behavior effectively. Read More

Parenting ODD Kids: Advice from Two Moms Who've Been There

Nobody understands what it’s like to parent an oppositional, defiant child unless you have one. The exhaustion, isolation and feelings of helplessness and shame can be debilitating for any parent. Kim Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner understand where you’re coming from, because they’ve worked with parents of kids with Oppositional Defiant Disorder for 20 years—and Kim is also the parent of an adult child with O.D.D. Read More

Child Rage: Explosive Anger
in Kids and Teens

Screaming fights. Destructive behavior. Volatile moods. Do your child’s anger and rage make you feel exhausted and out of control? In a recent Empowering Parents poll, Angie S. commented, “I walk on eggshells around my 15-year-old son. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I’m afraid of his explosive temper.” In that same poll, more than 50 percent of respondents said that they end up “losing control and screaming back” when their child’s anger reaches the boiling point. But matching your child’s rage with your own angry response is not the answer. Janet Lehman, MSW, explains why—and tells you how to form a plan to help you handle their behavior. Read More

The Oppositional, Defiant Teen: How James Lehman tackles the toughest behavior disorder (Excerpted from Transform Your Problem Child)

This week, read about an oppositional, defiant teen in James Lehman’s compelling new book, Transform Your Problem Child. Meet the parents and family of Caleb, who have been dealing with their son’s behavior since he was a young child, and “raising their tolerance for deviance” with each instance of acting out. When Caleb gets physically abusive, his parents go to see James—and are finally given real solutions to his behavior-- even if those solutions are not what they expected. Read More

We Got a Diagnosis for Our Child—Now What? ADHD, ODD, LDs and More—What a Diagnosis Means for Your Child

A diagnosis is an important piece of the puzzle when we try to help kids with disabilities learn how to function. Many parents are relieved when they get a diagnosis for their acting-out, “problem child” because they see it as a guideline for the future. They think, “Now we’ll know what to do; this is it—we’ll finally get our child the help he needs.” But parents are often left with the fact that simply having a diagnosis doesn’t necessarily mean they will be able to get help improving their child’s behavior, or get them the skills they need to learn in order to function successfully. Read More

Why the Word "No" Sets off an Oppositional, Defiant Child

Many Parents of children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder feel hopeless and alone. They live in homes that become like little prisons as they deal with kids who are absolutely out of control and unmanageable. They don’t like their child any more, even though they still love him or her. And they’re confused about why nothing works. Read More

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: The War at Home

Most parents lack the tools to deal with oppositional defiance. So they generally respond to this behavior with a range of responses that includes negotiating, bargaining, giving in, threatening and screaming. The problem is when you scream, argue or negotiate, you are giving your child’s defiance even more power. Read More