Sue Scheff: Kids Awareness - Understanding ADHD

Parent networking is a great way to expand resources, tips, advice, and more! Today I was introduced to a new website – Kids Awareness Series. Kara Tamanini has worked in the mental health field for 15 years and specializes in ADHD. Her first book – Understanding ADHD is available now through Amazon and visiting her website.

One of her recent articles is how parents deal with ODD – Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

How Parents can deal with an ODD child

Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder exhibit an ongoing pattern of resistant, hostile, and uncooperative behaviors. These behaviors are often a challenge for parents and make the child’s behavior very difficult to deal with. Parents need support and undersanding and there are a number of things parents can do to help themselves and their child with ODD. First of all, build on the positive behaviors that you see in your child.
No child is bad every single second of every day. Point out good behaviors and praise them and reinforce the behaviors that are appropriate. Pick your battles! I can not stress this enough. If you argue every single; solitary point, you as the parent will be absolutely exhausted. Yes, I know it is difficult to let some things go as a parent, but you can not address every single thing. Avoid getting into a power struggle. Remember, ODD kids love to argue!

Prioritize the things that you want your child to do. Set up limits/boundaries for your child and stick to them. Bad behavior is only reinforced by you as the parent when consequences for behavior are not consistent. Do not change the consequences or become lax on them, just because you are tired of fighting the fight. Stick to your guns here. You as the parent should manage your own stress level and try to relax. Have interests of your own and try to spend time away. Have a support system in place. Nobody should feel they are alone with no one to rely on.

Take a time out for yourself if you see that you are about to lose your cool. Walk away until you can calm down. Staying in the situation where you are arguing with your child will only exacerbate the situation. Children with ODD often respond to parenting techniques if used consistently and in a positive manner. A behavioral contract is often needed with ODD children, but more on this in my next post.

Learn more about Kara at and follow her at Twitter @KidTherapist

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