Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry


What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Imagine this: one day your kid is slowly growing up and is as sweet as a candied apple. But suddenly they start rejecting your authority in your home and start to do whatever they want, whenever they want. This might be the healthy rebellious stage that every child goes through. However, it can be something far more dangerous and that is Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder or ODD

Children growing up can easily go against their parents at any given time. This is quite normal for pre-teen kids or adolescents. Teenagers can also have this disorder and it can be a detriment to their relationship with their parents. This however, isn’t a bad thing for teenage development as it helps them get ready to become independent of their parents when they grow into young adults. 

ODD comes with many of the hallmark symbols of a rebellious kid. These symptoms include:

  • Temper tantrums
  • Refusal to listen to authority and to follow household rules
  • Constantly takes revenge on people who wronged them
  • Easy to anger

Whats’ the Difference Between Regular Rebellion and Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

The main difference between ODD and childhood rebellion is the fact that ODD lasts an excessively long time. While childhood rebellion lasts for a few weeks, ODD lasts for several months. This can have a big effect on children and parents alike as the parent has to adapt to their rebellious child. 

Parent and Child Relationship

The effect of this disorder can carry well into the child’s adulthood. This is especially true if their parent decides to use varying parenting styles to adapt to their children’s attitude. They either become authoritarian and force the child to follow orders, or they can become permissive and let the child have whatever they want. Neither style is ideal for the child’s development.

Authoritarian Parenting

This style of parenting can cause children to adapt to their parent’s authoritarian style and become authoritarian themselves. However, most of the time children raised in an authoritarian environment will struggle to make decisions for themselves and can become socially awkward around their peers. It’s also very common to see other disorders like anxiety and depression spring up from children raised this way.

Permissive Parenting

This is the polar opposite of authoritarian parenting. It involves letting your child do whatever they want. This can hurt their future as much as authoritarian parenting can. The hallmark of permissive parenting children is their inability to properly manage their own time. They don’t have limits and will reach for the skies whenever they have the opportunity to do so. This might sound great, but they’ll end up like Icarus who flew too close to the sun. They end up burning up their time and not having enough for other important tasks. Permissive parenting has even been linked to excessive alcohol abuse

What Can You Do?

The best way to handle ODD is to first get it diagnosed by a professional. After a professional has determined if it is ODD and not regular angst and rebelliousness, then the true challenge begins. It is up to you as the parent and the professional to find the perfect balance between authoritative parenting and permissive parenting styles. Finding this balance lets your child eventually grow out of their ODD and into a responsible adult. 



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