What and Why of Oppositional and Defiant Disorder and How to Deal With It?

Raising children is hard, but when you add things like oppositional defiant disorder into the mix, things only get more challenging. If you’re tired of putting up with a child who constantly battles with everything you say, then it’s time to transform your home and to minimize the symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder in your child.What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
Children with oppositional defiant disorder often have the following symptoms:
* They always desire to be in control and will do just about anything to gain or maintain control
* They cannot see how their actions affect others and deny responsibility
* They are often socially exploitive, manipulating their situations
* They often thrive on negativity, and are often the winners in battles of negativity (such as arguments or fights)Often oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is misdiagnosed as just a normal part of development, or just a child going through a rough patch. If you are concerned whether your child has ODD, one of the key signs is simply the duration. If your child exhibits the symptoms of ODD for longer than six months it’s likely that they might actually have ODD and should be referred to a specialist.Why do Children Develop ODD?
The cause of ODD is unknown, it might be related to the child’s upbringing or could simply be genetic. Oppositional defiant disorder might be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. If a parent is an alcoholic or has been in trouble with the law, studies have shown that a child is three times more likely to suffer from ODD. Around 10% of school aged children have ODD, and it is considerably more common in boys than girls.One thing to note is the fact that ODD rarely occurs on its own; usually there is another disorder at play. Whether this is a learning disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), mood disorders or anxiety disorders. This means that it might be difficult, if not impossible, to improve the symptoms of ODD without treating the co-existing disorder if present.How to Deal With Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Treating oppositional defiant disorder is challenging and will vary a lot depending on the individual child. It’s important as a parent of an ODD child that you focus on the positives and give the child positive reinforcement wherever possible. Often ODD children are subject to a lot of negativity for their behaviour and actions and in a way that can go on to fuel their fire.Remove yourself from the situation if you need to. Many parents find themselves regularly involved in conflict with their child, which does very little to improve the situation. If you need to, simply take some time and space away from your child so that you can cool down and re-evaluate things when you’re feeling better.Pick your battles! Remember that some things, while annoying or frustrating, really make little difference in the course of your or your child’s life. If you are constantly on your child’s back, hassling them about this and that they will start to take you much less seriously. If you only focus on the things that are really important and that you really want to change, then you will be able to make a different without overwhelming your child.Use effective consequences to reshape your child’s behaviour. Whether you decide to use a Home Contract or you simply just set up a clear list of rules, you need to be consistent with your ODD child, more than ever. Children respond well to rules and authority as long as they are consistent, predictable and fair.What have you found helpful in dealing with an ODD child? Is there anything that really made a difference in your child’s behaviour?

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