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ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder Definition
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is defined as consistent disobedience, hostile or defiant behavior toward authority figures. The pattern of behavior must last for more than six months and must be significantly worse than that of children of the same age.
CD - Conduct Disorder Described
Conduct disorder is more serious in that it might involve, in addition the what is labeled as ODD, serious problems with the law, dangerous behavior, thievery and recklessness and antisocial behavior.
Russell Barkley and ODD/CD
Russell Barkley's work in this field outlines many areas of intervention in the case of ODD and CD. The interventional strategies are therapeutic in nature, non-pharmaceutical, unless there are other disorders present, and he indicates that often times, there has to be adjustments with the parents themselves, in addition to whatever therapy or counseling a teenager receives.
See: Your Defiant Child, 8 Steps to Better Behavior by Russell Barkley, PhD and Christine Benton.
Many of the problems associated with these difficulties are social in nature, and Ruth Neven et al. elaborates on some of the social causes of
ADHD in the
book Rethinking ADHD, which would apply with equal force to ODD and CD, which sometimes are concurrent with young people with
ADHD. According to Barkley, a higher percentage of teenagers with ADHD also are categorized with ODD or CD. Children who are in constant trouble with the law or engaging in antisocial behavior often are dealing with pressures at home or the community, family problems or
abuse, neglect, that result in the outward manifestations of antisocial behavior, especially in the case of the more serious CD.
What Children and Teens Need from Parents
Children and teens need your time and attention. You can't expect to have control over anything, whether it be a job, a tool, or a car, if you don't take time to learn about it and take care of it. The same is true of children and teens.
Children and teens need love, it is the greatest single emotional needed. Children and teens also need self-respect and approval. An overly critical attitude can backfire. In the area of prevention a loving, but firm manner with difficult children and young people is important. Children and youth need to be able to confide in their caregivers. Keep a non-judgmental listening ear to your teen. Keep open communication with them so that they can talk to you about anything without fear. If a parent is overly critical, the teen might no longer confide in the parent and give way to lying whenever they get into trouble. Keep the communication lines open whether you are a parent or caregiver.
Develop Mutual Interests with Your Children and Teens
to Form a Bond with Them
Parents need to develop other interests with their children other than watching television, playing video games and watching movies. Some fathers take their children fishing, some do arts and crafts with their children, others go the gym with their sons or daughters, others take some course with their children. Children left on their own to watch TV, movies, and surf the net, will not bond with a parent, and if that is all the family does together, there is a good chance that that family might not stay together. Develop mutual interests with your children and teens. Also, there is some truth in the expression, the family that prays together stays together. Parents need to provide both physically and spiritually for their children.
Violence in the Media - Music, Rebellion and Teenagers
Try to ensure that your home is a secure one for teens. That is, don't allow open access to the Internet without supervision. A child or teen can start to get into trouble online and this can lead or contribute to serious behavioral issues later. The same can be said for the cable or satellite television. Too much time with music video television, or indulgence in violence in the media on a regular basis, violent movies and video games regularly, can contribute to a teen believing that asserting himself or resorting to aggression and violence is a means of resolving problems. If your child or teen spends time at the homes of friends, educate your child or teen on the need to avoid violence in the media. Help him understand why violence in the media can be detrimental.
Some music encourages rebellion and a callous view of women, including much rap, "gangsta" rap, some of the rougher R & B, punk music, hard core, some alternative music, heavy metal and some hard rock. Music videos are powerful media forces in the lives of teenagers. Powerful lessons in the way of rebellious words, sexuality, some sexuality coming pretty close to porn, and the spirit of rebellion can be learned from some music and many music videos. You reap what you sow. Children and teens need guidance and direction, firmness and even restrictions from loving parents what they listen to and what they might watch in the home on cable and satellite television. Sexuality can also be a source of some teens' rebellion.
Parents and caregivers should take time to teach their children the whys and wherefores, the reasons why certain programming, including music, is detrimental. The teen then will learn to develop his own well-adjusted sense of right and wrong, beyond following rules, so that when he grows up he will be able to make wise decisions. Also, alternatives to whatever the parent might be restricting the teen on should be provided, so that the teen has healthy outlets for his time and energy.
If the parent doesn't want the teen "hanging out" with a certain crowd on the weeknights, make sure the teen has activities he can engage in, going to the gym, art lessons, something to occupy his time productively.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open with your Teen,
Don't ever give up
The lines of communication need to be kept open between teens and parents. Parents and caregivers have to be careful not to overreact when "something" happens with the child or teen, not to go wild on the teen, but to handle things rationally and calmly, hoping for the best. Remember the expression, "love hopes all things". So many teens have gone astray and returned for the better, so never give up or stop hoping and praying for your teen.
The Total Transformation Program can help some parents to get on top of things with teens who may be defiant, are categorized as Opposition Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder, and to and get back in control. The program is along the lines of assertiveness training for parents. This can help some parents. One of the pluses of the program is that it provides one month of free phone support with trained counselors. This support can be of help for many parents or caregivers, in addition to the program itself. It was created by a counselor who himself was oppositionally defiant as a youth. You can get more information on the website.