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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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what is the best way to deal with a preteen boy with ODD who

Customer Question

what is the best way to deal with a preteen boy with ODD who constantly argues with anything and everything? my husband and i have taken him to a therapist etc. and he always wants to throw a fit when anything does not go his way. we try to stay calm then it eventually gets to a point of total ridiculousness. i'm not sure how to regain a loving family again. our 6 yr old acts very normal and seems to listen much more than the 13yr old. he is still has not hit puberty so i'm unsure if part of it could be hormonal. any advice?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problem with your son. How long has your son been diagnosed with ODD? Does he see the therapist on an on going basis? How is his behavior at school? What are his friends like? Thanks!!!
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.

If you are concerned about your child, then you might want to take him or her to see your family doctor .But it seems like you have already taken this route in seeking assistance from a therapist. But if you are still concerned that your child is presenting significant symptoms of the ODD, then you should seek further assistance from a child psychiatrist who is familiar with dealing with children with such behavioral problems.


You should be aware that bringing up a child with ODD will be difficult. You will not be able to escape from that fact. However, do not throw in the towel and never give up on your child. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Futhtermore, it is important that you get support from other members of the family and make them completely aware of the problems that your son manifests.



As a parent you have to show that you are in control and remain in control at all times. Although children with ODD have a lack of respect for authority figures, you must try to retain control. You may want to try drawing up a "rules contract" to help you. This is a technique in which you write down what you expect to happen on paper.

Sometimes this works because it makes it a more formal system, which the child may respond to as it is similar to the way they are often managed in schools

This contract will also make your son realize that he is responsible for what he does; children need to learn that there are consequences for their actions.


Unfortunately, many parents do not have the necessary tools and skills to deal with ODD. You are not alone. Parents will normally react when their child starts showing defiance by giving in, threatening, screaming or sometimes negotiating. This isn't the ideal thing to do as, by doing so, you are showing your child that he can get what he wants by behaving in an unacceptable and inappropriate manner.


You know that children need structure. The problem is that it can be difficult to decide on the right type of structure. Regular parenting methods such as "time out" often don't work with ODD children, as they will simply use the time to plot some sort of revenge.


You should talk over problems when your misbehaving child has calmed down. Most importantly, don't give into temptation and join in with the shouting. Rewards are the best way of dealing with the condition, but never offer false rewards that are just intended to make your child feel better as this will have worse repercussions in the long run.


You should carefully pick your battles with your child butrealize that you cannot possibly win every one. Make sure that you pick ones you can win, and then make sure that you do win them.


Always deal with your child in a calm manner. Also, consider introducing rules, rewards and consequences to create wanted behaviors and reduce unwanted ones. A strongly defined structured environment will also go a long way to preventing this behavior, or managing it if it should appear.


While there is no definitive cure for this condition, the implementation of the techniques mentioned above will go at least part of the way to assist you in parenting your son successfully if they suffer from ODD.


Hope this helps!!!


Have a great weekend.