This is an old blog that I feel I should re-publish following on from several conversations I have had recently with some parents. I initially wrote it after a chance conversation with two parents about their defiant children. One parent believed their child had a disorder called Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and the other parent thought that their childs defiance was part of who they were and would grow out of it. The latter child simply refused to do anything that his parents asked him to do unless they were coerced.
Thinking about both sets of parents and the parents recently I wonder if it is possible to tell if a child has a disorder such as this one at a young age (under 6). Especially since other disorders are recognised when children are slightly older. Most parents would see their strong willed child as the person they are and expect their child to be pushing the boundaries, so what makes other parents think differently.
Well when you look at the signs of ODD you will see why. Parents who recognise that their childs ‘defiant’ behaviour is not the norm is because:
- It is more persistent
- Has lasted more than six months; and
- Their child is disruptive to their family, home and school environment
Children with ODD also show signs of negativity, disobedience and can be hostile to towards authority figures and they may also show consistent signs of:
- Temper tantrums
- Be argumentative with adults
- Refuse to comply with adult requests or rules
- Deliberately annoy other people
- Blame others for mistakes or their misbehavior
- Act touchy and become easily annoyed
- Show anger and resentment
- Be spiteful
- Aggressive towards peers
- Find it difficult to maintain friendships
ODD seems to be much more recognised in the US and almost unheard of here. If you have a defiant child who shows these symptoms and you think there is more to it, it is worth getting them checked out as early invention can prevent greater problems.
Looking at your child do you think they are defiant or………?