Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

  • Does your child lose her temper easily?image
  • Does he often argue with adults or with those in authority?
  • Does your child actively defy or refuse to comply with adults’ requests or rules?
  • Does she deliberately annoy people?
  • Does he often blame others for his mistakes?
  • Is she  irritable or gets annoyed by others easily?
  • Is your child angry or resentful?
  • Is he vindictive or spiteful?

If you have answered “yes” to at least four of these questions, then your child may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is considered a psychiatric disorder in which your child demonstrates a negative attitude and negative behaviors that show defiance, disobedience and hostility towards those in authority such as parents and teachers. Most likely, these oppositional behaviors are directed toward people the child knows.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder has a negative impact on the family, school, and society. Individuals diagnosed with ODD seem to be at great risk for future problems with academics, development of inappropriate social skills, development of depression, and even risk of suicide. An unhealthy family environment is associated with ODD and tends to result in further problems for the child such as being admitted to a non-psychiatric facility or getting involved with drug and alcohol abuse.

Interventions that you can use today!

The good news is that there are effective interventions that parents like you can use at home. More emphasis is now being placed on Parent-Child Interactive Training (PCIT) that can lead to significant improvement in children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. You can use this program if your child with ODD is still young as it uses two phases of training for younger age groups:

  1. child-directed interaction that will encourage parents to improve nondirective play skills, and
  2. parent-directed interaction, aimed at improving your skills through the use of clear instructions, time-out, and praise.

For more information on this program visit: www.pcit.org.

The best way to treat Oppositional Defiant Disorder is to become educated on what types of changes can be made to your parenting style and home routines. This may sound scary, but to truly help your child, you will have to humble yourself and be willing to face that you have to make some changes.  No one is perfect, and we are all trying to figure this thing called life out together.  As the parent, you are in the best position to identify and change your child’s environment.



Strategies that you can try with your child right now (you can even try more than one)!


1. Establish realistic goals to shape your child’s behavior. Make this as visual as possible, such as writing the goals on a poster board or using pictures to represent the action that is desired from your child.

2. Devise a way to assess your child’s ability to reach the goals. Many kids love competition and competition with themselves is no exception. Grab a piece of graph paper and chart your child’s success together. Each day see if your child can show improvement by “beating” their record from the day before.

3. Reinforce positive behavior by praising and recognizing them and establish consequences for inappropriate behaviors. Verbal praise and recognizing what your child is doing in the moment shows them that you are noticing them “in the present” and are taking an interest in their life. Implementing CONSISTENT consequences (this includes positive consequences as well guys) every time will allow your child to feel safe with the boundaries and expectations that are set.

4. Make sure that consequences are healthy and positive ones that will help them learn virtues of patience, empathy, and responsibility.

5. Provide an environment that provides for consistent use of behavior management because this will benefit your child.

6. Focus on stopping your child’s impulsive responses, help them decrease anger-based responses, and improve their social awareness and skills. Modeling coping skills and positive interactions with others is a great way to accomplish this.

7. Learn how to watch your child’s play instead of directing him. This allows your child a sense of engagement in their activities. Making observable and positive comments along the way will help your child to feel valued.

8. Identify and reinforce positive behaviors in social situations.

9. State your commands in simple ways.

10. Calmly use time-outs and natural consequences for non-compliant behaviors.

11. Parenting style that is extremely warm and caring, complimented with firm control results in the best outcome for all children to develop in a healthy manner.


Remember that over-correcting, physical punishment, and verbal reprimands are not useful in reducing disruptive behaviors.Interventions that improve the environment at home during the early years of children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, may prevent the development of conduct problems, improve social interactions, improve academics, and improve your child’s self-control.


Further strategies are within reach!
The Building Blocks of Positive Parenting is our exclusive book that contains a wealth of interventions for oppositional defiant disorder and other common childhood disorders and behavioral concerns.
You will also find that it is packed with guidance to help you achieve a solid and positive parenting foundation in your home!


The best part of this awesome book is that you don’t have to read the entire thing! You get to pick and choose what sections your family could benefit from the most. With all of the practical ideas, reproducible behavior systems, and time tested advice; it truly is the easiest to use resource manual available to parents today. ~Now that sounds like what parents can use as we juggle life’s many tasks!



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