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Managing Opppositional Defiant Disorder

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If your child has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or ODD, you know how difficult it can be difficult to manage their behavior at times. Whether it’s out in public at the grocery store or in your own home, ODD can cause major angry, emotional blow outs in children that can seem disabling for a parent. Children with ODD can behave in such a difficult way, it can leave parents feeling helpless. There are a few ways to manage ODD in your child.

1. Stay consistent - Children with ODD will wear down a parent to the point where the parent gives into whatever the child wants. Bending to the child’s will after specifically giving instructions to do something differently will only strengthen the child’s connection between throwing tantrums and getting what they want. Parents need to be consistent and stand their ground with the child. Staying calm while your child is throwing a tantrum is essential to maintaining consistency. It keeps you in a stable position as the parent and sets a good example for the child.

2. Praise good behavior - One way to help reduce major blow outs is to praise and reward good behavior. Using negative consequences has been proven to be ineffective in changing a child with ODD’s behavior. However, encouraging what you want to see with your child will make your child feel good about their behavior and more likely to repeat it. Utilizing a clear reward system to encourage positive behavior is highly recommended, as the child will know exactly what positive things are to come if they cooperate.

3. Take away privileges right away - If you have asked your child to do something, and they act out against you, tell them you will only tell them one more time before there are losses of privileges, such as using the TV or computer. If the child still continues the behavior, act on the loss of privilege quickly in order for it to be effective long term. The consistency of loss of privileges makes a huge difference in correcting your child’s behavior. As mentioned before, children with ODD try to wear down a parent to get what they want, so if you do not act on the bad behavior immediately, punishment will not be effective.

4. Neurofeedback - Neurofeedback has been proven to be an effective treatment for children with ODD. Because neurofeedback is completely natural, it is not only safe for children, but it helps the developing brain function at it’s best in many areas in addition to ODD, such as improving school performance. Neurofeedback teaches the brain to be calm, so your child will not be so quick to anger and bad behavior.

Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Ross to see how neurofeedback can benefit your child. Dr. Ross also offers parent coaching for parents struggling to manage their child’s ODD.

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