ODD or oppositional defiant disorder is no joke. It is not bad behavior. It is not a child or person who is uncontrollable and just plain difficult. It is so much more complex than the symptoms that present themselves outwardly in the form of disruptive behaviors. And it is absolutely not the result of bad parenting. I know, because I’m a damn good parent and despite my stubborn persistence to try and manage ODD in my child and in my home for almost 17 years, ODD beats me and my child to the punch each and every time. For more information about ODD and if your child or family member may be suffering from it, please go to:
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a bona fide disorder. It is !@$%?! REAL. Imagine a person – your child, the child that’s supposed to be “good” and supposed to comply with your (the parent’s) requests – being naturally irritable, difficult, volatile, argumentative and spiteful a majority of the time. Imagine him/her actively defying basic house rules, being so angry and resentful to the point of destruction or off-putting disrespect or maybe even harassment and emotional abuse. Imagine many simple family discussions having the potential to become an explosive argument at any time. Imagine being blamed for every single thing despite your obvious best efforts day in and day out. Then imagine all that compounded by moodiness.
With ODD, virtually anything and everything can turn into an argument, leaving everyone walking on eggshells in the home. This has been the majority of my parenting experience. So many times, including recently, it has taken its toll on me. It has been exhausting, exasperating, anxiety-ridden, unbearable, heart-breaking and sometimes scary. It is all-consuming.
It has been all the more difficult because I am a single mom and my son is the only child (at least on my side) so I bear the brunt of all his moods, thoughts and emotions. For now, I won’t go into details about specific episodes because there is just simply no way to tell 10+ years in one post. I do, however, want to introduce oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and start talking about it.
And equally important, if you are caring for a child or family member who is diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), I want you to start telling yourself that You’re Not A Bad Parent. That your child or family member is defiant does not make you inadequate, ineffective, unsuccessful or bad. Settle into that thought. Believe it; I do…for you.