Oppositional Defiance Disorder
Living in a world where almost anything is permissible, it becomes increasingly difficult for the parent of today’s teens to appropriately set boundaries for their own child. It appears that parents are having to battle the opposition on all sides, including those boundaries set by society, local churches, the public school system, and lastly, the juvenile justice department. Parents find themselves fighting a losing battle when it comes to setting appropriate boundaries, disciplining, and even motivating their teen struggling with Oppositional Defiance Disorder. They feel very much alone in this battle and wonder where to turn for help!
When a teenager decides not to follow the family rules, doesn’t come home before curfew, is cutting classes on a regular basis, or decides to stay away from home for periods of days, or even weeks, what is a parent to do? The legal system will say that the child hasn’t broken any laws and there is nothing they can do—-unless they are truant from school, and then, only in some cases, will the juvenile department get involved to help the parents. Parents find themselves with their backs against the wall and desperate for help to get their child back on the right track.
The teen years are tough, and even more so when you are dealing with a teen who is diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD). They are no longer a small child looking to their parent for permission or desiring to hang with the family, but would rather be doing their own thing, and in most cases, without the parent having any knowledge of where they are or who they are hanging with. When approaching the subject with their teen, it almost always becomes an argument, and one in which most parents find themselves losing. Where do parents turn, and how do they get their disengaged child back into the family once again? Is it even possible to do so?
Yes! It is possible! With the right environment and dynamics, the oppositional defiant teen can learn how to manage their Oppositional Defiance Disorder impulses as well as their temper. They can learn to identify their triggers while understanding how to diffuse their own emotions. It is very important for parents to understand that the out of control teen truly doesn’t like the way they feel either. They may feel trapped or caught in a spiral and don’t know how to stop the process. They may not be coming to you asking for help, but they are crying out for help in ways that are destructive to them and the entire family.
At Wolf Creek Academy, we help families struggling with teen oppositional defiance. Our counselors and staff are trained professionals who understand the process of bringing the child through a dark time in their life into a positive future with hope through Christ and the love and support of family and friends.
Dr. Patricia Jones, Phd.