10 Ways To Cope With Your Kid's Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) is similar to ADD or ADHD in which a child's behavior is disrupted from a young age. That being said, the two diagnoses are different. ADHD can happen in young adults and adults who are hyperactive, impulsive and have a hard time paying attention. ODD, on the other hand, takes place in kids. (And yes, there is a rather high percentage of children born with ODD who go on to have ADHD when they're older.)

Oppositional Defiance Disorder is when a child has aggressive behavioral issues lasting longer than the age of six months. ODD can come in the form of violence, crying, confusion, and trouble being in social settings. While ODD can be hard for both the child and their family, there are ways to cope with the disorder. In some instances, children can even grow out of their ODD by the time their in elementary school. To help a child with ODD, here 10 ways to cope.

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10 Psychotherapy Is A Wonderful Source Of Information

If a parent suspects their child has ODD and is diagnosed with such from a doctor, there are a few options they can take. Now, depending on the parent and their take on therapy, a doctor may suggest visiting a psychotherapist.

The term psychotherapist may intimidate some parents, but have no fear, they can counsel a child in many ways for how they should (and can) react in social settings or when they're at home. This also gives the doctor some insight into what's triggering these outbursts. When a child is given these tools, they can go on to live a fulfilling and productive life.

9 It's Okay To Not Be Okay

Being a parent is hard (to say the least), because they're doing their best when trouble arises. When a child is under a year and continues to act out and defy just about everything (and everyone), it's okay to admit that you're having troubles.

For kids suffering ODD, parents need to understand their child is struggling and that their reactions may help. Kids can sense when their parent is upset or angry; so parents of ODD children should try to stay calm when their child has an outburst. When they're calm, their kids may try to get on that same level.

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8 If You Want To See A Change In Your Child, You May Have To Change As Well

Following up on a parent's reaction to their child's outbursts, they may have to change some of their methods in order for their child to change. Considering a child will learn new ways to react to situations, parents will have to do the same thing.

If your kid spilling milk sets you off in a rage, try to react in a more constructive way. You are not their friend — you are their parent. Don't give in to poor behavior outbursts and try to give praise when they deserve it.

7 ...And These Changes Need To Be Made By Every Adult In This Child's Life

It's not just mom and dad who will have to change their parenting techniques, it's their aunts, uncles, grandparents, and teachers, too. If ODD is taking hold of your child's life and making the household an unsafe place, you have to be consistent. Everyone needs to be on the same page.

Parents can easily create a method that's been working for them and send it to everyone that's involved in their child's life.

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6 Medication To Help ADD May Also Help With ODD

Not every parent has the patience or time to commit to training their child. It can be draining. And even if mom and dad have been helping their child's behavioral issues, sometimes their efforts fall flat.

If their doctor thinks it's best, medication can be prescribed to children who have ODD. Similar medication is given to kids suffering from ADD, depression, or ADHD.

5 Just Because They're Defiant Doesn't Mean House Rules Don't Apply

How a child with ODD reacts in public begins in the home. Just because a child has ODD doesn't mean they can ignore house rules, not do chores, or be rude to parents. A way mom and dad can help is to give easy house rules, and if they're broken, parents can calmly explain why those rules are in place and why it's not okay that they broke them.

When informing your kids of broken rules, be sure to be kind and gentle; give explanations so they know why they should follow house rules.

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4 And Then Ask Them If They Understand What You're Asking Of Them

As described above, after house rules and chores are set in place, it's important to treat your child like the little human that they are. Just because they have behavioral issues doesn't mean they can have outbursts every time they're dissatisfied.

If your child breaks a rule or has an outburst, get down on their level and ask them why they did what they did. Ask them if they understand what they did and why it's not good. If your child continues to defy all rules, consequences and punishments can be put into place.

3 Focus On The Good Things Instead Of The Bad

It's so easy for us to focus on bad things because they cause a reaction in so many of us. Talking about bad things is also very therapeutic for us because it's a form of venting. However, talking about bad things all the time will only bring on more bad things. When a child with ODD is finally behaving, following rules, and making small changes in their attitudes, it's time to praise them! Let them know they're on the right track and how proud of them you are.

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2 Structure Is Encouraged

It's no surprise that kids need and enjoy structure. Having a routine and structure helps them navigate their day. When a child is given time constraints, house rules, and time for activities, they may react in a better way because they understand what's ahead.

On that note, getting your child signed up in sports or being active with them will also get them outside and moving. Producing endorphins will also give your child an excuse to exude all their energy in a positive way, helping them sleep better at night as well.

1 Training For Social Interactions

One way to help your child who has ODD behave properly is to prepare them for what's to come. If they're old enough to understand what the supermarket, mall, or playground is, then mom and dad can teach them what's socially acceptable or non-acceptable. Play out scenarios and how they should act or react.

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