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Nancy, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience:  ABD for a PhD in Psychology, Psychotherapist for over 20 years
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Can you please tell me how i can help my 8yr old son to behave

Resolved Question:

Can you please tell me how i can help my 8yr old son to behave in an appropriate way as he has been diagnosed with ODD and all tecniques we've tried so far to mange his behaviour have so far only managed to make him worse! His doctor at ADHD clinic says that medication isn't suitable as it would make matters worse. We've been using quiet time/ time out for three minutes which eventually seems to help but he wreaks havoc by trashing house, shouting being rude before we manage to diffuse the situation by trying to ignore & remove various objects. When he eventually calms and spends three quiet mins on chair we start afresh saying that we'll put what happened behind us. It's incredibly hard and I don't feel we're making any progress!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Nancy replied 7 years ago.

I would consult another psychiatrist; I see many ODD children put on mood stabilizers and it works to control their outbursts.


ODD techniques that work well include reward systems. Punishment, as you have found out does not work and can make things worse... but rewards with charts for good behavior seem to be effective. It's what we use when a child is hospitalized.


Find someone who specialized strickly in "behavior therapy". They can teach you exactly what to do and how to do it. Years and years or trial and error will not work, cognitive-behavior therapy will not work, punishment won't work.... Behavior Therapy will work. It only addresses behavior-- all else follows. You will learn how to properly reward, when to reward (that's called schedules of reinforcement) and bring him back under control.


Let me know if you have further questions.


Best of luck!!!



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