Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



November 2010

Dealing with Teen Oppositional Defiant Disorder

by Staff, on at risk teens, at risk youth, ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, teen odd, teen oppositional defiant disorder

Teen oppositional defiant disorder or ODD is a disorder recognized by constant disobedience, lack of respect towards authority and burst of violent behavior. We know that our children will be disobedient from time to time, it happens when our children reach the age of 2 or 3 and once again in teen years. It usually happens because our children are hungry, tired, and with teens when they are stressed, which is a lot. But none of that means that our children have ODD, oppositional defiant disorder.

ODD affects our children growth and development and their social life and may cause hardships for their future. Teens with oppositional defiant disorder have a constant uncooperative behavior, they are defiant, and they can be hostile. The most common teen ODD symptoms include wild temper, jumping into arguments, especially with parents and constant questioning of rules. Other symptoms of ODD include:

-    Defiance and in some cases deliberate actions meant to upset others
-    Shifting blame onto others for their personal mistakes
-    Touchy, easily annoyed, sensitive
-    Prone to anger bursts
-    Tend to talk mean things and insult others when they are upset
-    Tend to go for revenge when things go against their plans and desires

We are still not sure what causes ODD, both biological and physiological factors may have a role, as well as social factors. If you find your child showing more of the symptoms listed above the only course of action from there is to take your child to a professional evaluation. In most cases teens with ODD have at least one other disorder, in some cases even more like ADHD, learning disability or even depression and anxiety disorder. In order to treat ODD the other disorder must be treated as well or the treatment will be very difficult if not impossible.

Most cases of ODD are treated with parents joining a parent management training program which helps them deal with their children’s behavior. But without private therapy and anger management programs it will be hard to overcome teen ODD. In some cases medication is necessary and may be helpful, but is usually only used when there are more disorders.

If you wish to help your child that is having ODD you can try the following:

-    When your child shows cooperation make sure that you praise him for it.
-    Don’t go into an argument with your ODD teen, that will only make things worse.
-    Set up reasonable rules and stick to them, show your child that there are certain things that can’t be questioned.
-    Make sure that you take care of your mental health as having a teen with ODD can cause plenty of stress.

In most cases teens with oppositional defiant disorder respond well to positive parenting. The best course of action is to take an active role in your teen’s life and take part in the psychotherapy, which will help you deal with your teen in a more efficient way. Staff