What Parents Should Know About Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
While all children become cranky and have a temper tantrums at times, there is definitely a tipping point with behaviors that, when crossed, may indicate signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Getting cranky when tired, hungry, stressed or upset is typical behavior, especially for a younger child who hasn’t fully learned the finer art of self-control. A normally well-behaved child may argue, be disrespectful, talk back, or defy parents or teachers every once in a while. But, how does a parent know if their child is exhibiting typical argumentative behavior for his age or developmental level versus the behavior being a more serious problem that requires some in-depth professional attention from a Family Counselor?
Every parent should know more about what Oppositional Defiant Disorder is…and what to do about it.
Is my child just “cranky” or does he have Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
If your child truly has Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), your family is probably in turmoil most of the time. Most parents are sick and tired of dealing with the frequent temper tantrums and defiant, disrespectful behavior from their child or teen with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. And they are just as tired of constantly apologizing for public embarrassments and classroom outbursts. There’s reason for concern when your child’s temper tantrums and verbally aggressive behaviors are frequent and consistent to the point they are beginning to affect his family, social, and academic life on a regular basis.
According to a “Facts for Families” page from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, symptoms of ODD to watch for may include:
- Frequent temper tantrums
- Excessive arguing with adults
- Often questioning rules
- Active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
- Deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
- Blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
- Often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
- Frequent anger and resentment
- Mean and hateful talking when upset
- Spiteful attitude and revenge seeking
What to do if you feel your child may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
If your child has signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), it’s important to seek professional help in the form of Family Counseling sooner rather than later. If you delay in getting your child the professional help he needs, trouble at school, with peers, and with his interpersonal relationships with you and other family members is inevitable. Most parents of children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder are tired of the countless phone calls from school and endless disruptions while shopping or trying to enjoy a meal with the family at a nice restaurant. And even worse, children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder have been shown to have a greater chance of developing a more serious behavioral disorder called conduct disorder (CD) or even an increased risk for substance abuse and delinquency as they get older.
How can Family Counseling help with Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
One ray of hope for frustrated parents of a defiant child is that Family Counseling can be very effective if started as early as possible after the symptoms of ODD are identified. Trained Family Counselors at our office use the most effective Evidence-Based Treatments for treating Oppositional Defiant Disorder and other child and family issues. To learn more about how we can help, check out our Family Counseling page now. Take the next step now to begin enjoying life with your defiant child!