Explaining Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Dr. Scott explains the symptoms, challenges, and treatment of very challenging behaviors in children.  

More information on Oppositional Defiant Disorder, courtesy of The Mayo Clinic



Your child may be displaying signs of ODD instead of normal moodiness if the behaviors:


  • Are persistent
  • Have lasted at least six months
  • Are clearly disruptive to the family and home or school environment

The following are behaviors associated with ODD:

  • Negativity
  • Defiance
  • Disobedience
  • Hostility directed toward authority figures

These behaviors might cause your child to regularly and consistently:

  • Have temper tantrums
  • Be argumentative with adults
  • Refuse to comply with adult requests or rules
  • Annoy other people deliberately
  • Blames others for mistakes or misbehavior
  • Acts touchy and is easily annoyed
  • Feel anger and resentment
  • Be spiteful or vindictive
  • Act aggressively toward peers
  • Have difficulty maintaining friendships
  • Have academic problems
  • Feel a lack of self-esteem


In addition, your child isn't likely to see his or her behavior as defiant. Instead, your child will probably believe that unreasonable demands are being placed on him or her. 




  • Individual, Family, Social Skills, Parenting
  • Give effective timeouts
  • Avoid power struggles
  • Remain calm and unemotional in the face of opposition, or take your own timeout, if necessary
  • Recognize and praise your child's good behaviors and positive characteristics
  • Offer acceptable choices to your child, giving him or her a certain amount of control
  • Establish a schedule for the family that includes specific meals that will be eaten at home together, and specific activities one or both parents will do with the child
  • Limit consequences to those that can be consistently reinforced and if possible, last for a limited amount of time


Source: Mayo Clinic


Posted on February 21, 2014 .