Disruptive Behaviour Labelled ODD in Children Addressed in Recent Blog from Anglia Counselling

Share Article

Bob Brotchie of Anglia Counselling discusses the family and educational struggle when managing childhood and adolescent disruptive behaviour

Concerned mother and son image

Failure to understand meets failure to understand

It is worth remembering that when a child can do well, they usually will!

Many families around the world face a similar problem on a daily basis. Despite efforts to correct a child’s excessive disruptive behaviour, parents are still blaming themselves over a common disorder that may often be correctly or incorrectly labelled – Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

In a recent blog post, Brotchie explores the condition defined as ongoing pattern of anger guided disobedience, hostilely defiant behaviour toward authority figures that goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood developmental behaviour.

In the post, however, Brotchie looks at this behavioural problem from a different perspective. Is it really the child’s own laziness and poor motivation that is to blame for destructive and disruptive behaviour; or is the onus for the child’s lack of respect for adults and social structure routed back to how the parents and education system have responded to the child’s outbursts?

He poses the possibility that, due to lack of exposure and subsequent knowledge, parents and educators may often simply assume that the child has an inherent and uncontrollable tendency to defiant behaviour.

While unhelpful reactions and responses are outside of intention to cause further harm, there are many educational resources available to deliver pertinent methods of addressing this uncontrollable behaviour before the child incorporates it into a life-long pattern.
“We can be very quick to ‘assume’ that our child or adolescent is ‘bright’, but ‘lazy’, poorly motivated and shamefully failing to reach their potential that you know is available”, says Brotchie.

Common signs that a child is suffering from ODD include actively ignoring the requests of an adult authority figure, anger, and resentment, inability to accept responsibility for actions, quickly losing control of his or her temper, and are easily annoyed by trivial issues. Due to these less than desirable characteristics, these children also tend to have few friends, which can often further increase their insolent behaviour.

While a professional therapist should always be contacted for a thorough diagnosis, there are some techniques parents and other adult influencers should be aware of to avoid an altercation with a child with ODD and similar behaviours and help promote acceptable behaviour over time. These techniques are more like ready strategies that should be implemented as needed based on the situation at the time.

Some methods to avoiding an argument with an ODD child are as simple redirecting the intended action by proposing it as a question and not as a command, preferably, before the situation becomes heated.

It is worth remembering that when a child can do well, they usually will!

The disruptive behaviours, when reflected upon, will usually demonstrate predictability. Once these times have been established it is possible to present alternative ways of communicating before the disruption occurs. A common failing is attempting to ram home a point when the child simply and genuinely does not get it! This misunderstanding can lead to unnecessary battles and sadly, exclusion from the education and development they so richly and deservedly require.

Other methods parents can offer to help facilitate a sense of independence and responsibility in their child to help boost positive image and self-confidence.
According to the staff at the Mayo Clinic, these tips can help settle problems in the home before they get out of control:

  •     Recognize and praise a child’s behaviour
  •     Model the behaviour the child should have
  •     Pick the battles worth pursuing
  •     Set limits
  •     Establish a routine
  •     Build in some quality time together
  •     Assign a household chore to establish responsibility

For more information or help with a child with potential ODD and defiant behaviour in the Suffolk, Newmarket area, contact Anglia Counselling to schedule a session.

Anglia Counselling, based near Newmarket, Suffolk supports individuals, couples, the family, and organisations across East Anglia. Business owner and psychotherapist Bob Brotchie offers guidance in the challenge to reduce stigma whilst fighting the sometimes-devastating effects of depression, anxiety and cognitive behavioural challenges. All enquiries are welcome on this, and other subjects affecting the emotional and mental health and well-being

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Bob Brotchie
Follow us on
Visit website