As children grow up and develop their own unique personalities, adults and children may often disagree. Even the most agreeable and well-behaved children can sometimes act in an unprecedented and challenging manner. These may be seen as a sign of your child growing up. But if the intensity of defiance is at a level that is cause for serious concern, you might need to consult an expert in order to get to the bottom of your child’s behavior. Temper tantrums of a higher level may be symptomatic of a greater neurological problem that may be compelling your child to behave in such a manner. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) are two problems that may explain your child’s aggressive behavior.
What is oppositional defiant disorder?
Oppositional defiant disorder, generally referred to as ODD is a mental disorder that may occur in children. While most children behave in a disagreeable manner some times, having ODD suggests a pattern of persistent defiance on the part of your child. This behavior is usually directed at figures of authority, which in the case of a child is most commonly represented by the parents.
Here are a few symptoms of behavior that can help identify whether or not your child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder:
- Temper problems where you child is irritable and may become angry quickly
- Defiant behavior and a tendency to get argumentative with figures of authority
- Sometimes shows spiteful and vindictive behavior towards others
ODD is generally of three types- mild, moderate and severe. When the symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder are confined to one setting only, it may be considered as a mild condition. If the symptoms occur in two settings, the situation is moderate, but if it goes any further, the manifestation of ODD in such a child may be severe.
7 Ways to Treat Oppositional Defiant Disorder
If you are looking for Oppositional Defiant Disorder treatment for your child, the following steps may aid you:
Treatment before punishment
While it can be exhausting dealing with a defiant child, it will serve you well to remember that the ODD compels them to behave in the manner that they do. Before meting out punishment to your children for their behavior, make sure to take a moment and think about whether punishment is the way to go in the present context.
Letting out hostility
If your child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder chances are that they lose their temper a lot, often at people in places of authority over them. At these moments, kids generate a lot of energy that can quickly turn hostile. As a parent, you need to find ways in which your child can work out the hostile energy in some ways. Kids may choose from a field of available options and be more comfortable with art and even exercise in order to get rid of the anger.
Identify the patterns
If your child has ODD, chances are that they are likely extremely impulsive in their behaviour. One of the key elements to Oppositional Defiant Disorder treatment is that as a parent, you need to identify the pattern in the way your child behaves and check if there are some common elements among the fits of temper.
One major feature that can improve your relationship with your child to a great extent is clarity. When they are not being argumentative, take the opportunity of explaining to them clearly why you have a specific set of rules in place to keep their flaring temper in check. It is important to break it down to a child instead of saying that as an adult you are entitled to make such decisions, especially when the child has issues with authority figures. Help him understand where the problem lies so he can make his own contribution to Oppositional Defiant Disorder treatment.
Be calm and stern
In the face of your child losing their temper, you need to hold on to your own. Being calm when your child is expressing their anger can cut the episode of their impulsive behavior short. While being calm is the way to deal with a kid with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, you also need to be stern about the rules. If you don’t be strict about the rules, it is highly unlikely that your child will take them seriously.
Use a code word
In the throes of a charged situation it can be difficult to point out to a child that their ODD symptoms are acting up. Choose a code word that in all likelihood will not be linked to the possible context of flared tempers. Use it when necessary to make your child realize that he has been acting defiantly again.
Consult a professional
If you think that the Oppositional Defiant Disorder treatment that your child needs goes beyond what you can handle, do not hesitate to approach a professional for advice and treatment. Child psychologists or child counsellors are available who can help your child get over the condition.
If you have any reason to suspect that your child may have some form of ODD, do not hesitate to seek out oppositional defiant disorder treatment from a certified professional. If you are looking for ways to help your kid who potentially has ODD, you need something more effective than the traditional laws of discipline. The seven steps mentioned here more than fit the bill.