Soup Label = ODD

ODD – Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Medical Definition, quoted from Wikipedia; “Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a childhood disorder described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM) as an ongoing pattern of anger-guided disobedience, hostility, and defiant behavior toward authority figures that goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behavior. Children suffering from this disorder may appear very stubborn and often angry. Some of the possible symptoms may include:

  • Performs actions deliberately to annoy others
  • Angry and resentful of others
  • Argues often
  • Blames others for his or her own mistakes
  • Often loses temper
  • Spitefulor seeks revenge
  • Touchy or easily annoyed

Generally, these patterns of behavior will lead to problems at school and other social venues”


Working Definition

As it says above, these behaviour patterns will lead to problems at school and other social venues, like church, shopping malls, parks and anywhere where your child may not get their way and all hell breaks loose.

When I have tried to describe ODD to people they often reply that their teenager is exactly the same. While many teen-agers and children may be defiant and uncooperative it is not ODD until it becomes a recurring and frequent pattern of behaviour. ODD kids are very deliberate in their ‘rebellion’. Everything is blamed on someone or something else. This is common for ODD kids. They don’t seem to know when to stop when it comes to annoying or teasing someone and it soon crosses the boundary between teasing and simply being mean.

ODD is another one of those labels that isn’t often on it’s own. It can develop over time or at any time.

It is difficult to not buy into the ODD kid, they are great at wearing you down and getting what they want.

On the bright side, this is one disorder that CAN go away. It takes a lot of work and consistency and grace, but it can be significantly reduced.

Some of the best ways around it:

* don’t buy in – stay calm and don’t take the bait, that may take all the willpower you have and then some, but it will help diffuse the situation much faster

* have a mental ‘response’ plan ready when things go south, know ahead of time what you are going to do; walk away, get other people out of the way, have a phrase ready (for ex: I don’t like what you’re doing, there is no excuse for this, I still love you, etc.)

* don’t take it personally, even when they are yelling, “I hate you” or winging things at your head – it isn’t actually about you, so don’t make it that way

* be consistent with your boundaries

I will be posting a resource list at the end of the series to direct you to specific things that will help and give you information.


**If you are new here you might want to know that this post is part of a series on hidden disabilities. I am going to be continuing this series for all of October as part of the 31 Days Challenge. You can see all of the amazing topics over at The Nester’s! To go back to the beginning of this series click on the Alphabet Soup tab and you can see the indexed list of chapters.



About Lani

With six kids, a farm, a ministry and dreams poking out in every direction I need plenty of grace to keep all the balls in the air. The sweet thing is that when I drop them, that crazy grace of God is there telling me I'm still okay...and you are, too...welcome to this place of grace.

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