Have you ever wondered why your kid does not obey your command or exactly do the opposite of whatever you tell them to do? Five years ago, when I embarked upon this fabulous career, I immediately interacted with such types of opposite temperament kids, and soon I started coining them ‘problem child’. I called their parents, complained about their kid’s behaviour, but all they could say was their kid always argued like this at home, too. Psychologists termed this rebellious behaviour as ODD – oppositional defiant disorder.
What is an oppositional defiant disorder?
According to APA, ‘ODD is a behavioural disorder in which children are, as the name suggests, audacious to the degree that it interferes with their daily lives. It is a pattern of angry, vindictive, argumentative, and defiant behaviour lasting at least six months.’ However, it simply doesn’t mean that all children under 10, who argue or defy, must have ODD.
Firstly, to understand ODD, it is essential to know that arguing and questioning are the appropriate behaviours of kids under 10 to 12 years because their minds develop by claiming and finding answers by asking questions. However, ODD is something where a student starts disrupting their own lives and the lives of everyone nearby to them by their uncontrollable arguing behaviour. In an article published in HT, Dr Nicola Davies states that ‘the goal of a student with the oppositional defiant disorder is to gain and maintain control by testing authority to the limit, breaking the rules, and provoking and prolonging arguments. In the classroom, this can be distracting for both the teacher and other students.’ Another article published in WebMD suggests that the ODD is detected more often in younger boys than girls; however, upon reaching their teenage both gender may be equally affected by ODD. Moreover, children with ADHD are more prone to ODD.
What are the symptoms of ODD?
Typically, children with ODD push their rebellious behaviour beyond the limit of reason. Anger, irritability, overreactions and revengefulness are some of the actions of the ODD affected child. Following is the detailed list of ODD symptoms prepared by CCS.
How can ODD be treated?
The most common form of ODD treatment is therapy and behaviour modification. Both parents and their children need to undergo a series of counselling sessions where they can learn to create a better home environment and break the cycles that lead to the same arguments and problems over and over again. On the other hand, teachers can help with these treatments by reinforcing what parents are doing at home. As with any behaviour problem, it’s essential to be consistent in how the adults in their lives interact with kids with ODD.
Avoid any power struggle with your child because it only does more damage to their self-esteem than any good to them. Let them figure out their own mistakes and help them in solving them. Start giving them choices so they don’t feel pitch black when it comes to making any decision. Lastly, if they behave more stubbornly, then provide them with space to calm and relax. Sometimes children with ODD knows when and in which situations they’ll going to overwhelm or defy. Therefore, give them space to sort out their anger, let them calm and let them make their own choices that can be beneficial to them.
Have you ever encountered any ODD student or child? Share your thoughts and stories in below comment box.