Linda - posted on 03/01/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )
As a new member to this site, I would like to share with you my story.
My experiences are more than likely very similar to many of yours, however, over the years I have learnt to deal with my beautiful son. He still has ODD (diagnosed age 3) does not take meds, but is learning the art of self control. This has become easier as he is maturing, as we can have meaningful conversations now. We discuss his condition, and he is well aware of what it all is.
I also have eliminated many food items from his diet, which can have an additional effect on his behaviour and seen marked improvement.
My son tends to react (within 20mins) to certain food additives, colours preservatives etc. This hypersensitivy and absolutely ridiculous behavior will last for approx 4hrs. After that, he goes on a bit of a "downer" and falls asleep. I would strongly suggest reseraching the effects of additived in children, and try ommitting these things from the diet.
My son understands his additive issue, and reads the ingredient labels for the ones he needs to stay clear of. We shop together and look at labels to find the ones we can have. He takes an interest in this and it helps our relationship. It is at the stage now, where he will sometimes come up to me and say "mum...I think I've had "E's" (we called it this as a lot of the additives have an E suffix or Prefix) He can feel the change within himself. We then discuss what it was he has had (usually at someone elses house or party) and decide that quiet time is needed. We put on a DVD or something that he can sit and get absorbed into until it passes.
But, The additive thing isn't all of it...but it does make matters worse for an already horrible condition.
My son can be the most beautifull child, or the worst nightmare of a child. Of course he is super stubborn, MUST have what he wants, chucks tantrums, cries, shouts, hurts his younger brother..all of the things you all experience, but we find that the way WE react to those moments can either difuse, or fuel the fire.
The hardest part of dealing with a child with ODD is training ourselves not to react. The more attention you give it, the longer it will go on and the worse it will get. Time out, alone is the key. They need to cool off. Yes the bedroom will be a mess, but he also knows that he will be cleaning it all up too. Just shut the door if it annoys you (the mess).
Taking away privelages also works. Only for that instance though, they dont learn from it at all. But don't take EVERYTHING away...either this, or that. If you take it all, they will have nothing to occupy themselves with. For instance, He chucking tantrum, he goes to room to cool off. I give him a book and say read this to help calm you down. He throws book on floor, tells me he hates me, I shut door, listen to other things going bump ect. Then quiet...pop in about 20mins later with a drink and cookie, he is reading book.
He gets grounded...not allowed out to play with friends. (he hates that) but he can watch tv or do other things inside. There is no point saying "Right, No tv, No PC, no games AND your grounded! He will have nothing else to do, but fight with me. And I wont allow that.
After it all its like nothing happened. Life goes on as normal. Episode over.
Until the next time.....
In the meantime, I make a cuppa, sit outside and calm down myself.
We are both strong and stubborn people, but I am the parent. He is the child.
I provide a loving family environment for my children, there is love between my husband and I, he is cuddled and kissed and wouldn't be anywhere else.
But the minute I say No...he hates my guts and its on!
I refuse to medicate my son because I want him to be himself, and I can only hope that he continues to improve into his teens. I am also concerned about some of the side effects of meds.
Regardless...I will be there for him, no matter what, and I love him to pieces.
I use positive reinforcement when ever I can, catching those brief moments of "good" is important. I offer alternatives, I stick to my guns, I dont bite back (rather my look says it all) and I simply remove him to his room. It is consistant.
Talk with your ODD child. Have fun times together. Let them instigate the fun and you join in. But dont provoke them. They do not like to be poked at or made fun of.
Choose your battles wisely.
Fight for those that concern safety or the feelings of others only.
The room might be a mess for 3 days...but he will eventualy clean it.