Everyone knows that parenting is hard but not everyone can prepare what parenting a teenager brings. Teenagerhood is a time where many kids are discovering themselves and this can lead to a chaotic household and rebellion.
But is this only a “teenage phase” or is this something more?
If you notice that your teenager is being more reckless and defiant than other people their age and it is an ongoing and constant issue, then it may be that they have ODD (Opposition/Defiant Disorder).
Hearing this may sound worrying, but there are ways to deal with the problem which we will be covering in this article.
What Is ODD?
ODD stands for Opposition/Defiant Disorder, a disorder diagnosed to both children and teenagers who exhibit radical behavior.
It is important not to assume that your teenager has ODD because they are acting out; it needs to be a constant pattern of defiance and hostility.
This disorder is more than a teen simply acting out but can take control of their lives due to them not being able to handle themselves.
They are not able to function to the point of disrupting their education as well as tearing the bond between themselves and their family.
There are many symptoms of ODD and it is worth looking out for them if you are worried about your teen. Some symptoms include:
- A need for revenge
- Hateful talk when upset
- Constant temper tantrums
- Deliberately upsetting others
- Blaming others for their own mistakes
- Frequent anger
Not too much is known about ODD such as why it is caused, but what we do know is that the disorder may be linked to others. For example, ODD links closely with ADHD and mood disorders such as depression.
Can You Discipline A Teenager With ODD?
Whilst it may be challenging, it is still possible to discipline a teenager with ODD. When it comes to discipline, however, it is down to the parents to stay strong and not give in no matter how hard it gets.
Teens with ODD typically thrive off of conflict meaning that it is hard to set boundaries. You may tell them off and say that they can’t do something but they will still do it just because of the thrill.
With this, you can already see the clear difference between a rebellious teen and a teen with ODD. With a rebellious teen, they know when they shouldn’t cross the line but with a teen with ODD, they have no respect for the limitations put on them.
Disciplining is very difficult and will cause parents and other authority figures plenty of stress, but this doesn’t mean that it cannot be done.
How Do You Deal With ODD Teenagers?
When it comes to dealing with ODD teenagers, you have to do so in a strategic way. It will be hard to get them to take you seriously, so you have to work hard to be that parental figure and take charge.
Set A Punishment That Will Not Fail
It may seem useless to set any punishments because teens with ODD usually find a way around them.
If they did something wrong and you ground them for a week, they will simply leave the house to hang out with friends anyway without a care in the world.
Because of this, it is essential that you have a punishment in place that they cannot sabotage.
A good choice is to take away their phone privileges, but do not do this by taking away their phone – if you take their phone away then they will simply find a way to get it back.
Instead, shut off their phone service. By doing this, your teenager will not be able to use their phone at all and you will be the one in charge.
Don’t Escalate A Confrontation
As we have explained prior, ODD teenagers thrive off of conflict and will most likely do things purposely to make another more agitated. Because of this, it is necessary to be straightforward when it comes to disciplining and make no room for escalation.
For example, if they have done something reckless with their friends, don’t make the situation worse by screaming at them to tell them off. They will most likely thrive from this, especially with having their friends as an audience.
What you instead want to do is talk to them calmly, stating to them what they have done wrong and then walking away. They may try to provoke you to get a reaction, but you should not allow this to happen.
Just ignore all of their demands and walk away. By doing this, you would have successfully disciplined you child and avoided confrontation.
Start Each Day Positive
For teenagers with ODD, their bad behavior is uncontrollable and frequent. They will be continuously getting into trouble which will only raise a parent’s stress levels, but despite this it is very important that you start each day fresh.
This won’t only help you as a parent but will show your teenager that you still care. If you weren’t to start everyday fresh then your whole life will be a constant battle.
Show them that you are willing to start fresh each day, even if they get up to no good again.
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