- Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a persistent pattern, lasting at least six months, of negative, hostile, disobedient, and defiant behaviors. The behaviors have a serious, negative effect on the child’s social and academic life.
- Oppositional and defiant behavior is a common coexisting problem for children with Attention Deficit Disorder. But not all children who have Oppositional Defiant Disorder are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder.
- Medication may be helpful to reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder, but medication does not help correct oppositional problems.
- Effective parenting is the primary means to correct defiant behavior.
- In order to be effective parents, select only three problem behaviors at a time to try to change. Start with the least challenging behavior first.
- Parents must work together and agree about what is the problem and what are the solutions. Parents must agree to stay calm, stop labeling the child, and stop physical punishments.
- Be clear about the rules to complete tasks. Be clear about the consequences for breaking the rules. Be clear about the rewards for successful completion of the tasks.
- Engage your child or teen in the discussion of the rules, the consequences, and the rewards.
- Be consistent. Do not make empty threats. Refuse to be bullied into an answer. Do not apologize for setting limits.
- Inconsistent behavior from the parent means that your child will test limits more because he knows you are likely to give in and change your mind.
- If your child asks for something, give yourself time to think before saying “NO”. If you argue with your child and say “NO” ten times, and then give in and say “YES”, you teach the child that if they harass, demand, or annoy long enough you will give in. Better to think about it first and choose your battles, rather than give in from exhaustion and defeat.
- Public tantrums need quick removal and firm verbal disapproval from you. Plan ahead next time and insist on appropriate behavior.
- Provide rewards for success. Stickers, affection, praise, and earning privileges usually motivate children and teens.
- Research has shown that teens are more motivated by rewards rather than consequences. Teens are risk-takers and pleasure-seekers. They are willing to risk your disapproval in order to achieve what they want. Give them a path to earn what they want through appropriate social and academic behaviors.
Feldman, Julie and Kazdin, Alan: Parent Management Training
Grosshans, Beth A.: Beyond Time Outs.