A previous blog lists some great parenting strategies for working with a child who has Opppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Here are more strategies to try.
5) Keep reminding yourself that this is NOT about you, the parent. This is about the child. Either his brain is not capable of making choices OR his past is keeping him in this spot in order to feel safe. Either way, this is about the child. Your job is to love him anyway. When put that way, sometimes it’s easier to handle the frustration involved in parenting an ODD child.
6) When possible, set up a scenario where you both win. Parent wins, but at the same time that the child thinks he ‘wins’. Most of the time, particularly in the beginning, the child is only going to choose something where he feels he ‘wins’, so yes, winning is the name of the game. (Two workable choices, listed in #3 of the previous blog, is a great place to start.)
7) Explore the possibility that your child might also have RAD (reactive attachment disorder). Oppositional behaviors are one of the symptoms of reactive attachment disorder.
8) Mean what you say and say what you mean. The first time! Children with ODD will cue in to any loopholes you offer. If he can get you to repeat yourself several times, then he has “won”. Unless your child has hearing issues or IQ concerns that might limit understanding, he does NOT need you to repeat yourself.
9) When meeting with resistance to compliance, try this response: “Thank you for letting me know you are tired and need a nap,” and send your child to his/her room. Then try again in about 30 minutes.” If he fusses on the way to his room, add an “Oh, my! You must be extra tired! I’ll give you 30 more minutes. (Hey, when *I’m* fussy, I’d LOVE a 30 minute rest! This is not a punishment, but a gift!)
10) Another great response when dealing with opposition: “Thank you for letting me know you are not strong enough to handle that right now. No problem, I will do it for you.” (From article: Techniques That Work.)