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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  20 years of experience as a Psychologist and Parenting Coach. Parent of 2 grown children.
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what can I do to make my 8 and 5 yr old girl who are both ODD

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what can I do to make my 8 and 5 yr old girl who are both ODD really understand that their actions are not acceptable? they know what they are doing is wrong but they chose not to obey

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I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your girls. You may want to pick your battles and offer them choices on the things that you are willing to let them decide. Then on the others, rather than giving in, yelling or hitting them, you can either try to distract them, give time outs very matter of factly, refuse to debate with them and go about your without giving them attention. As difficult as it may be, try not to show emotion at these times. Keep in mind that any behavior that gets attention is likely to continue happening. It has been called the law of the soggy potato chip in that if a child thinks that he has a choice between a soggy potato chip or no chip at all, he will choose the soggy chip. If your daughters feel that they have the choice between negative attention or no attention at all, they will choose the negative attention and so they will act out until they gets it. The only way for this pattern to stop is to begin to catch the good behaviors and reward them with attention, and to calmly and matter of factly give consequences for the negative behaviors with as little attention as possible. Hitting and yelling will only increase the bad behavior. Consistent consequences (without attention) are the keys to changing the behavior. A very good book on this subject is Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A Family Peace Plan by Cynthia Whitham MSW. The more consistent you become with this positive parenting, the more secure your girls will begin to feel and the more their behavior should improve. Remember that you are modeling the behavior that you want to see in them. I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.


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