Understanding Oppositional Defiant Disorder

As a parent, you know that children sometimes do not like to be told what to do. Every child has their moments when they do not do what they are told, throw a temper tantrum, or act out in some way rather than doing what they should. However, if your child seems overly defiant at all times, there might be a clinical problem.

Some children suffer from a disorder known as oppositional defiant disorder. Understanding oppositional defiant disorder will help you to recognize potential signs in your own child. Consult with your child’s pediatrician if you think they might suffer from this disorder.

Children often go through fazes of being more difficult than usual. However, if your child has been this way for more than six months at a time, this could signal a problem. If your child never wants to listen to you, or any person who is considered an authority figure, they might have ODD. If your child is defiant to the point of creating disorder in your home, at school, or in their extra curricular activities, you need to evaluate the situation carefully.

Children with ODD are not only defiant and disobedient but often act negative, and say negative things at all times. They may act very angry and hostile. Some children with ODD even become vindictive and often say that it is someone else’s fault that they did not do what they were told. If your child has this disorder they might get angry for seemingly no reason.

If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, you need to make an appointment with their doctor. They can help to determine if your child has oppositional defiant disorder. It often takes a team of people working together to help treat your child’s condition. They might need to see counselors along with their regular doctor. You will need to work closely with their healthcare providers.

Some children with this disorder also have other mental conditions. Treating those conditions can sometimes help with their ODD. Children with ODD sometimes need to take medication. They might need one or more therapies used by psychologists. You will also need help learning how to deal with your child’s outbursts.

You will want to praise your child when they do well. Do not argue with them over the small things. If you work well with your child and with their healthcare providers, you can manage the disorder. Your child needs structure and rules and will need to learn to deal with their anger. They will also need to learn to listen to instructions as set forth by authority figures.

It might be helpful to you to join a support group for other parents of children with oppositional defiant disorder. Take some time for yourself because it will not always be easy helping your child work through their disorder. Work to reduce your stress levels by finding methods that help you to feel less stressed so that you are better able to help your child.


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