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Oppositional Defiant Disorder: What It Is & What To Do About It

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Oppositional defiant disorder is a pattern of behavior that is persistent and may include inappropriate outbursts, tantrums, talking back and defiance toward authorities. According to statistics, one in ten children suffer from this disorder or have suffered with it during some period of their lives. In other words, if your child shows these behaviors, you are not alone. In fact, just on my site alone, I have noticed a huge increase in questions about this disorder from parents who post on my parenting message boards.

Although oppositional defiant disorder treatment usually requires some form of therapy, in cases where professionals believe there is a mental health issue, medication may be prescribed. Even though you may feel discouraged by your child's behavior, there is plenty of help available from doctors, child development professionals and health care providers. There is also an at-home behavioral modification program that has sold more than 150,000 copies and has worked very well for parents who are seeking to use a do-it-yourself approach to turning around their kid's behavior.

Symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Although diagnoses may usually seem clear-cut, understand that it is tough sometimes to determine if a child has oppositional defiant disorder or is just a strong-minded kid. Although it's normal for kids to seek a sense of independence by rejecting their rules from time to time, it is not normal for a child to be constantly defiant, argumentative, disrespectful and rebellious. Although you'll see a mild form of this during the period that parents call "the terrible two's," it will become much more obvious during the teen years.

oppositional defiant disorder

The guidelines for determining whether your child has this disorder is how long the behaviors last. If difficult child behavior lasts for six months or longer and if your child is constantly causing grief at school and at home, you'll want to explore the options for oppositional defiant disorder treatment. Some behaviors to look for include disobeying the rules, throwing tantrums, doing poorly in school, blaming others for things that are his responsibility, easily frustrated or angered and defiant toward authority figures.

Cause of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

There is no real cause listed for this disorder. As a parent, you may blame yourself. You may think that you were too easy on your child or that you enabled him. Or maybe a lack of family stability led to an angry temperament in your kid. While some experts do believe that parenting style is a contributing factor, rather blaming yourself, learn the skills that will help you set the limits firmly, yet in a way that encourages your child's natural striving for independence. This behavioral program can help.

Word to the wise: don't put this off. Oppositional defiant disorder only worsens with time and can even become dangerous when a chronically angry, defiant kid is bigger and stronger than you. You can't afford to live in a home where you're constantly walking on egg shells, or worse yet, fearful of physical violence by your child.


Oppositional defiant disorder treatment may require office visits to a professional who will look into the reasons that drive your child's behavior and analyze your parenting skills in an attempt to help you learn how to respond to your child in ways that will help him to change. For instance, you may need to learn how to maintain your composure in the face of your child's defiance and parent him in a way that limits his choices, but still supports his growing need for individuation.

Although you may feel a bit overwhelmed at this, don't despair. These are parenting skills that can be learned. Since many parents do not like a stranger (professional or not) probing into their family life, you may wish to follow the lead of a growing number of parents who prefer to use an at-home oppositional defiant disorder treatment program that will teach you the same skills you'll learn in family therapy.

This option also works well for families whose children are resistant to seeing a therapist. By listening to the CDs and going through the workbook in the at-home behavioral program, you can apply what you've learned immediately. Best of all, as your child starts to realize the benefits of changing his behavior and emerging from the darkness of oppositional defiant disorder, his respect for you will grow and his bonds with you will deepen because he will see you as the person who helped initiate his transformation.

Related Resources

Total Transformation Review

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Treatment - Teen Parenting


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Copyright © 2009 by Laura Ramirez. All rights reserved. Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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