As parents, it is our job to consider our child’s needs and their unique conditions, among other things. For children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder or ODD, it can be challenging to interact with other children and authority figures. They defy the rules, argue with adults, and are prone to emotional outbursts which can upset people around your child.
But by doing your research on ODD and some parent counseling sessions, it can be easy to strategize ways to promote cooperation within your home. Your child can also practice it on the outside.
Step 1: Create A Detailed Daily Schedule For The Week And Stick To It.
Children with behavioral problems tend to act up as a response to stress. Minimize this stress by imposing structure and routine. Be as detailed as you can, including the time and duration for each activity. If there will be any changes to the schedule, be sure that you inform the child in advance.
Step 2: Have A Designated Area In Your Home For Your Child To Vent Out His Frustrations.
Equip the area with throw pillows, stress balls, and other durable toys. That way, instead of taking out their anger on you or his siblings, the child can develop a habit of expressing himself healthily and positively. It is also a right way for them to build awareness of their triggers. You can even talk to your child’s teacher and explain what you have at home. The teacher can also provide the same need.
Step 3: Make A Checklist Of Your Child’s Problematic Behavior And Tackle Each One Systematically.
You can start with the most challenging behavior and work your way down the list. Trying to address all the issues at once can be overwhelming for you and your child. As you deal with each behavior, explain to the child why he needs to stop acting such and follow specific rules. (You can learn how to do this through parent counseling.)
Step 4: Develop A Reward System To Give Your Child Incentives.
Give the child rewards for good behavior. You can allow your child to play his computer or tablet game for a set time or schedule. He can also pick a treat or choose what snack to eat. It doesn’t have to be money or toys. Simple things will do.
Step 5: Another Way To Positively Reward Your Child Is To Praise Him.
One of the reasons children act up is due to low self-esteem, so build him up with encouragement and positive affirmations. Adults tend to criticize undesirable behaviors, thinking that it will make the child stop. Instead, it causes them additional stress. Never criticize.
Step 6: When Giving Your Child Instructions, Make It Easy To Follow, But It Must Be Specific.
It helps to break down more prominent instructions into smaller goals to avoid overwhelming and discouraging the child. For easy reference, write these instructions down for your child.
Step 7: Teach The Child Alternative Ways Of Self-Expression.
Another reason children hurt others is that they are unable to articulate what they want. If they pull another child’s hair, it may be just because they want to get the child’s attention. So instead, teach your child to express himself freely and create an environment wherein everyone can voice out healthily.
Step 8: Integrate Activities At Home That Can Help The Child Work Off Excess Energy.
Give them time to run around and play games with the other children – in the classroom or on play dates. Let your ODD child take an active role in the games. Such activities can also foster teamwork and teach them essential skills such as leadership, critical thinking, and sportsmanship.
ODD doesn’t have to hinder your child from growing into a well-rounded adult. You, as the parents, will have a significant impact on how your ODD child is going to grow up. With these tips, you are on the right parenting path.