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Oppositional Defiant Disorder - 6 Ways You Can Deal with Kids Suffering from it

Dr. Neha Shah 90% (29 ratings)
D.P.M, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Mumbai  •  11 years experience
Oppositional Defiant Disorder - 6 Ways You Can Deal with Kids Suffering from it

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a disorder found in young children. Some common traits of a kid suffering from ODD include disobedient behavior, vindictiveness, manipulation, anger issues and irritability. These kids are known to have a negative mindset and are very difficult to get along with.

Here is a list of ways to deal with a kid suffering from ODD

  1. Communicate you expectations clearly: Kids suffering from this disorder feels an irresistible urge to control the environment they are residing in. It helps when you lay down simple, but mandatory house rules such as not raising the voice, being kind to others, refraining from hurting family and friends etc. This will not only keep their behavior in check, but will help them to make better choices.
  2. Be calm: Make sure you don’t give your kids any room to argue. Remind them that house rules apply for everyone. A back-and-forth argument will give your kids to impose his will on you. Explain in short the parental requirement that is expected. While giving instructions make sure you maintain a calm and collective dialect. Scolding or arguing your kid will do more harm than good.
  3. Use empathy: Instead of imposing parental will, it is best to be empathetic towards your defiant kid. For instance despite your repeated warnings, if your kid continues to watch TV or hook to the play station, remind them why it is important to go to bed early. Explain to them that you understand his feeling of having to leave the day for the night, but also tell them how his favorite activities can be continued the next day.
  4. Reward scheme: Kids with ODD reacts wonderfully to a reward system. For instance, if he successfully sticks to the rules laid in the house or behaves the way he is expected, he should be rewarded for the job well done. This reward scheme should be declared well in advance. As a parent, your job is to continuously remind him about the reward if he manages to do a job well. This incentive scheme will force your kid to be obedient.
  5. Don’t use false threats: Be very precise with your kid about the instruction you want them to follow. If you want him to brush his teeth before going to sleep, make it very clear to him what would be the consequences if the instruction is not followed. Do not use empty threats. As a parent, if you fail to keep your end of the bargain, your kid will not value your word anymore.
  6. Create a routine: A routine works well with kids suffering from ODD disorder. Every task should be time bound with more than one choice. For instance, between 5 PM to 7 PM allow them to do either of the two things like playing outdoor games or spending time with the play station. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychiatrist.
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