The “Magic Words” that Stopped an Argument with My O.D.D. Teenager

Posted July 21, 2010 by

My teenage son has O.D.D. — Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

I have just learned that I have to retrain myself as a parent. I get frustrated and tired of fighting with him all the time. During a session with his counselor I learned that I am partly to blame for the reason we fight.

Let me explain.

My son’s counselor suggested that he attend a summer program at the counseling center. He has to go at least two days during the week. He started questioning me as to why he has to go. I explained that it gets him out of the house and gives him something to do, plus he is with his counselor and is able to get group therapy. It helps him because he won’t be keeping himself locked in the house all day and getting on everyones’ nerves.

He said he still didn’t understand but he left it alone. The next week, same question. I gave the same response, but this time he didn’t leave it alone; he kept arguing, and I argued back. The next week the same thing happened. By this time I was so frustrated that I automatically had that frustration tone in my voice. That only made things worse… so we fought more.

The counselor said that I need to stop re-explaining everything and simply say, “You already asked that question; I already answered it and the answer didn’t change.” So I tried it her way. Wow, I was amazed! That stopped him from arguing — which stopped us from fighting. So now, every time he has a question about something, I only answer it once. I just let it go. And things have changed a lot.


LeeAnn, mother of three girls and one boy, aged 16, 14, 12 and 6. Each of the children except the youngest has issues, including ADHD, ODD, poor impulse control, major anger and depression.

Popular on Empowering Parents

Reader Comments


Join our NEW Total Transformation® Learning Center!

Practical, affordable parenting help starting at $14.95/month BECOME A MEMBER TODAY!

Empowering Parents is the leading online resource for child behavior help


Parent Coaching Sessions

7.5 Million

Global Visitors

10+ Years

Helping Families