ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder Definition
Oppositional Defiant Disorder is defined as consistent disobedience, hostile or defiant behavior toward authority figures. For a diagnosis to be made, the pattern of behavior must persist for more than six consecutive months, and must be significantly more severe than that of children of the same age.
CD - Conduct Disorder Described
Conduct disorder is more serious in that it might involve, in addition to what is labeled as ODD, serious problems with the law, dangerous behavior, thievery, 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.
In his book, "Your Defiant Child, Second Edition: Eight Steps to Better Behavior" Russel Barkley stresses that there is often a need for adjustment with the parents' behavior, in addition to whatever therapy or counseling a teenager receives.
Many of the problems associated with these difficulties are social in nature, and Ruth Neven elaborates on some of the social causes of
book Rethinking ADHD
. These causes would often 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 diagnosed 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 ADHD
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 and neglect, that result in the outward manifestations of antisocial behavior, especially in the case of more serious CD cases.
What Children and Teens Need from Parents
Children and teens need your time and attention. You can't expect to have a constructive impact over anything, whether it is 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 adolescents need love - it is the greatest, most effective tool you have. They also need approval from important figures, which in turn helps them build self-respect. What this means is that an overly critical attitude can backfire.
When it comes to prevention, a loving, but firm approach is important with difficult children and young people. An easy way to do that, is to show your child that you can be a trusted confidant, because you are able to have a non-judgmental attitude. Although it may sometimes come naturally to want to forbid or ground your child, a much more effective strategy is to keep an open-minded 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. Thus, your primary task is to keep the communication lines open, whether you are a parent, a caregiver, or even a teacher. Numerous studies, including one published in 2008, in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
, indicate that the development of ODD and CD, in children and adolescents, corresponds with the parenting approaches and communication style in the child's home.
Develop Mutual Interests with Your Children and Teens
Create a Bond with Your Teenager
Parents need to develop common interests with their children, other than watching television, playing video games, and watching movies. Some families take their children camping or hiking, others do arts and crafts or DIY project together. You may also consider going the gym with your sons or daughters, or taking different classes.
Children left on their own to watch TV, movies, and surf the net, will not bond with a parent, and if that is all a family does together, then there is a good chance that the family might not stay together. In addition, keep in mind that there is some truth in the expression, "The family that prays together, stays together". Parents need to provide both physical and spiritual support to their children, although it might not always be connected to religion.
Violence in the Media Affects Youth
If we have children or teens, our homes should be media-secure. Both educate and supervise Internet and television use. Keep the Internet in a public location in the home rather than in the child's bedroom or other isolated location.
Given that you can't constantly supervise all of your child's actions, and micromanagement can be counterproductive, so the most effective approach is to build a relationship of trust within the family, take the time to talk to your child about what he or she may encounter online and through the media. Educate yourself so you can educate your teen. If your child or teen spends time at the homes of friends, have educational conversations with your teen on the detrimental effects of violence in media.
As indicated by a study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
, children and teens, who have developed or are prone to developing ODD, CD, and ADHD, are more likely to be attracted to aggressive stimulus. Therefore, when viewing websites, games, movies, or television programs, involving violence, those children are more likely to be negatively impacted.
If you, as a parent or caregiver, do not make sure that your child understands the dangers of violence, then what he or she sees in media can have a direct effect on behavior. That is why it is important for you to make sure that there is more positivity in your children's lives, so that they won't pick up the cues of violence as easily.
Parents and caregivers should take time to teach their children the reasons why certain content that they are exposed to, can have a very negative impact. However, this parenting approach has nothing to do with scolding or preaching. Rather, you need to help your children learn to develop their own well-adjusted sense of right and wrong, beyond following rules, so that when they grow up, they will be able to make wise, healthy decisions.
In addition, when you restrict one source of entertainment, you should always provide another, so that your child or adolescent has healthy outlets for his or her time and energy. For instance, if you wouldn’t like your children to spend weeknights with certain peers, make sure there are other activities to engage in, such as going to the gym, art lessons, or generally - something to occupy time productively, while still being fun.
A study, published in 2006, concluded that there is a relationship between reading achievements of antisocial behavior – children who had poor reading achievement were more likely to develop CD, and vice versa. What is more, the study found that these results were primarily influenced by the environment in which children had grown up. This is to say that parents and caregivers can influence children’s environment, and can stimulate an interest in productive hobbies, which will therefore likely forge a stronger bond between the family members and will reduce the chances of your child developing ODD or CD.
Music, Rebellion and Teenagers
Some music promotes or encourages the spirit of rebellion and much of today's rap is both defiant and reflects a callous view of women. "Gangsta" rap, some R&B, punk rock music, hard core, some alternative music, heavy metal, and some hard rock are among forms of music that may sow seeds of rebellion and defiance in the minds of youth and children. Not all teens respond the same to music, but for some youth, excesses in music may be a source of a defiant attitude.
Music videos are a powerful mode of communication in the lives of teenagers. Children and teens need guidance and direction, firmness and even restrictions from loving parents as to what they listen to and what they might watch on the home on cable and satellite television.
A large percentage of music videos approach soft-porn in their visual content, and it should be noted that misdirected sexuality can be an additional source of some teens' rebellion.
Parents, caregivers, and educators should take time to educate children and teens on how to direct their musical interests in a positive direction, and what to avoid and why. 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 can make wise decisions. Also, positive alternatives to whatever the parent might be restricting the teen 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, make sure the teen has positive, productive activities to fill his or her time: going to the gym, art lessons, after-school program, etc.
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. The most valuable method parents and caregivers can use, is to refrain from overreacting, shaming, and punishing. Engaging in this sort of behavior will only teach your child to withdrawal and will push him or her further down the road of ODD/CD. So, remember to remain calm and loving, even when you are angry or frustrated – this is how you will earn your child's trust and prevent antisocial behavior.
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.