Oppositional Defiant Disorder is what O-D-D stands for. How do you deal with a child who has ODD. First of all, is that
really a diagnosis? Seriously Dr. Paul? Is that…? Yes. It is actually. It’s in
the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. And that kind of is
weird to me too. But I’ve got the criteria here that I want to share with
you. How to diagnose someone who’s got Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Here’s how
its described. First… There’s 3 components here, okay? The first is an
angry, irritable mood. And there are 3 sub points after that. Listen to these.
Number 1, often loses temper. Number 2 is often touchy or easily
annoyed. Number 3, is often angry and resentful. Okay, I know what you’re
thinking here. Because your kid probably does this. Yeah, I probably do this.
Disclaimer right up front. For any diagnosis we use for children that
involves behavior and most of them do. We have to distinguish between what’s
normal or expected for a child of that age versus what’s out of the ordinary or
bigger than what we would normally expect for a child that age. Every child
is going to go through periods or phases where these things are true for them. To
make the diagnosis, it has to be more than what we would normally expect. And
it has to persist for I think at least 6 months in order to make the
diagnosis. So, with that disclaimer, let’s go back to the diagnostic criteria. The
first one as I pointed out is the angry irritable mood.
Now, let’s go to the second category. Argumentative / defiant behavior. And
there are 4 points under that as well. Often argues with authority figures or
for children and adolescence with adults. Often actively defies or refuses to
comply with requests from authority figures or with rules. Now again, you’re
probably thinking, “Oh, that’s my kid.” Yeah, it probably is because most kids do this.
But remember, we’re talking bigger than or more than would be normally expected
for a child that age. If you don’t have a lot of experience with other children,
that are the age of your own, then withhold judgment for a while because
maybe this is pretty normal for kids. But if it’s becoming a problem or
interfering with their life, their education their ability to relate to
people, that’s when we’re starting to take a little more notice of it. So, let’s
go back to the criteria. There’s 2 more under argumentative and defiant behavior.
Often deliberately annoys others and finally often blames others for his or
her mistakes or behavior. Isn’t this fun? That’s why we call it Oppositional
Defiant Disorder. Alright, there’s one more category that I want to share with
you from the criteria. Vindictiveness. And this is described as has been spiteful
or vindictive at least 2 within the past 6 months. And then it goes into a
whole disclaimer that I already shared with you about how this is above
average. This is out of the ordinary. It’s more than we would expect for a child of
that age and development. So, what do we do about it?
Let’s say that your child is experiencing those criteria as I
described into in the first part of the video. And it does seem to be more than
you would normally expect for a child of that age
development. What can you do about it? We got 5 tips for you. Let’s start with this
one. Try to identify the sources of frustration. Check it out, we all do this.
In fact, as human beings, our frustration often leads us to an acceleration of
those feelings that we… That can be described as anger or defiance. Probably
your child is feeling frustrated about something. I’ve noticed this in just
normal development of my own kids that sometimes when they’re going into a new
developmental stage or they have a developmental milestone that they’re
about to meet, they start to experience an increase in frustration. This can lead
to behavioral problems for a child. So as a parent, just push the pause button long
enough to say, “Hmm, I wonder if my child is feeling frustrated.” That’s a little
softer to deal with than the harshness of Oppositional and Defiant. So, let’s
break away from the diagnosis enough to realize that there’s probably some
frustration happening. Here’s my second tip. Simplify your family rules. A lot of
kids who are struggling with Oppositionality and defiance. Don’t wrap their
heads around all of the rules and regulations and expectations that are
coming up for them. Let’s see if we can simplify it for them. And I really like
three in particular. Let’s see if you agree with these. Rule number 1 respect
yourself and others. This is a family rule. Mom and dad are going to follow
this rule, all the kids are going to follow this rule. This is an important part of
our family culture. What does it mean to respect yourself and others? And then you
can have a conversation with the kids about this. I would suggest that you do
it in some kind of a family meeting or come together for a family council our family home evening of some kind to establish these family rules. And
you can ask them what does it mean to respect yourself. What does it mean to
respect others? Have those conversations. Here’s rule number 2,
respect property. We’ve already established the importance of respect.
Now let’s extend that to our property, our things. Taking care of things in the
way that you should. Never vandalizing or intentionally breaking or damaging or
harming people’s property. This is important. Taking care of your own
property. You like those rules so far? Respect self and others, respect property.
What else could we want as parents? That’s pretty well covering it. But I’ve
got a third one for you that catches all of the loose ends. Cooperate and obey.
That’s family rule number 3. And that picks up everything that you might be
concerned about that wasn’t covered in the first 2 rules. Now, let’s move to
tip number 3. Tip number 3 is for you as a parent to remember the 3
rules for a power struggle. Oppositional Defiant children typically get into a
lot of power struggles. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? So as a parent,
you get to follow 3 rules for power struggles. Let’s talk about those 3.
Number 1, avoid them. Not your child. The power struggles. Avoid them. Don’t get
into them unless you need to. Unless you absolutely have to. It’s kind of like
before marching up a hill. You got to decide, “Am I willing to die on that hill
before I March up there into battle?” Be very selective in that way. Avoid the
power struggles if you can. Rule number 2, if you can’t avoid them, win them. I
would tell the same thing to your kids, too. But they’re already really good at
this rule. Because they know how to win a power struggle because they know
rule number 3. You pick the issues. Notice that if you pick the issues,
you’re going to have a whole lot easier time actually winning the power struggle.
You never pick something that they control. That’s a recipe for disaster.
You always pick something that you control. Let me give you an example. Your
child is swearing, okay? Yelling out profanities. This happens a little bit
with ODD. So, your kid is yelling disrespectful language. Don’t get into a
power struggle over his language. You don’t control that. You might instead say,
“Look, you can say whatever you feel is appropriate to say. I have some limits
about profanity. And so if you choose to use profanity in this home then you will
lose access to the game system.” For example. Now, can you win that power
struggle? Yes, you can. Because you can enforce whether he has access to the
game system. That’s what I’m talking about. Don’t get into a power struggle
about his language. That’s up to him. You might want to choose to control the game
system instead. You see? So, those are the 3 year rules for the power struggles.
Now, let’s go to tip number 4. When we’re dealing with children who have
Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Establish a family culture of positivity. This is
easier said than done. And this is part of what this whole
channel is all about. You go to the playlist here for positive parenting or
for positive personal development. You will get all kinds of ideas from the
videos that we’ve put out before about how to create this culture. The culture
of positivity has everyone in the whole family taking a more positive position
about what’s going on in the family. And it sets us up to move forward to the
next step. Which is to create some powerful upgrades. Because even though
this family culture the way it is, is really awesome.
It could be better, yeah. So, we set up a family culture of positivity. Now, one
final tip about how to deal with children who have Oppositional Defiant
Disorder. And it has to do with you and your particular example and model to
them. Here’s how I’m going to phrase it. Be calm and parent on. This is the time
for you to show them how to regulate and monitor your own feelings and emotions.
So that you’re not flying off the handle. It can be really frustrating.
Honestly, if your kids are oppositional and defiant, it might trigger things in
you to where you want to react in a way that’s not going to help the situation. I
tell you what, if you as a parent are yelling and screaming for your child to
stop yelling and screaming, there’s something wrong with that equation. And
I’ll let you do the math. Be calm and parent on. Show and model the kind of
behavior that you would like to see in your child. Maybe that one goes without
saying, “But there I go. I went and said it.” Because I think we need to know that and
focus on it and remember it as a parent. One last thing there. This is even more
important when our kids are upset. Because they don’t know yet how to
regulate their own affect as well as you do. Be that model for them. Honestly, I’m
not even sure that Oppositional Defiant Disorder should be a diagnosis. It is
something that we can deal with however. And hopefully that’s some good ideas
from this video. If you haven’t connected yet with the
Parenting Power-Up, Vicki and I’ve put a lot of tools into that but I think we’re
going to find very helpful. And you’ll have constant access there to the 18
modules that are already there any updates that we create. Go to parentingpower-up.com. You can connect to it right over there.