Oppositional Defiant Disorder: 6 Rules To raising a teen with O.D.D.

by | Oct 21, 2019 | 2 comments

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Both of my sons have ADHD. There are days that I wonder what I did wrong in raising them for being plagued with this mental disorder. I am often reminded by our therapist “You did nothing wrong. You are parenting your child the best you know how to do!”

The past several years have been a horrible struggle. We found out (probably 6 years ago) that our youngest son has O.D.D. or Oppositional Defiant Disorder or sometimes confused or partnered with C.D. or Conduct Disorder. It is a mental disorder, unlike many others, though, a little like others.

Carmelo - surviving the teenage years

If you have never heard of ODD or CD. It is more than just having an unruly child. It has nothing to do with discipline or lack of discipline. You can be as consistent as you want, somethings just do not click or work for your child who has Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder, at least it does not with our child.

I remember hearing stories from his birth father, that his nephew used to be very similar to how my son is acting. Outside of the family, everyone thought this little boy was a perfect angel. He would be polite, considerate, kind, and helpful.

It is a common trait for children with ODD or CD to be “Nice to everyone else” except for the people who are around him so much that he can't hold back their anger and defiance from.

It can also be the complete opposite. Your child can be a “normal” child at home, but completely and utterly defiant outside of the home. Our son is a little of both. He really has a problem with male authority figures.

This is not fun!

It's not a walk in the park!

If you have a short fuse, it's even harder to deal with!

Spanking does NOTHING but adds fuel to the “fire”!

Grounding, does the same thing as spanking!

I love my son & his mental disorder!

He can be the most loving, caring, considerate young man in the world.

He will play with his younger cousin and she loves him and he loves her. They play with dolls, play with her kitchen set, reads her books, and pays attention to her and treats her perfectly. Other days, he will be the most vindictive, mean, spiteful, and physically hurtful child anyone has ever come across.

The right way to go about homeschooling your child the past several years have been a horrible struggle. We found out (probably 6 years ago) that our youngest son has o. D. D. Or oppositional defiant disorder or sometimes confused or partnered with c. D. Or conduct disorder. It is a mental disorder, unlike many others, though, a little like others.

He has cut whiskers off of our cats, broken things of his brother's or ours, he has flat-out cussed out “friends”, called females he goes to school with derogatory names.


It Is a struggle, even for him.

If you think it is a struggle dealing with a mental disorder just for parents, it is a bigger struggle for the kids. They are trying to find their way in life just as much as some adults still are. Help them out by lessening that struggle. Listen to their issues, feelings, and work with them in order to make everyone's life a bit less stressful.

Positive reinforcement works, sometimes

For the most part, positive reinforcement does work. Sometimes it does not. It is one of those things that if they are struggling with a concept, no amount of positive reinforcement will help them. There are just a few things that can get our son to understand the consequences of his actions; taking away electronics and removing his ability to hang out with his friends.

Consistency is the ultimate goal

Without being consistent, you have nothing. You will be constantly frustrated, angry, and will battle even more. I still struggle with this. Lots of parents struggle with being consistent, not just you. If you have to, put reminders in your phone for groundings. That has helped me a lot.

Set expectations and don't deviate from them

If you expect a 3.0 GPA, keep that expectation. Sure, if they are struggling in a class, it is understandable, but you can still hold that expectation. Get them the help that they need to not struggle anymore. Sometimes they just need a topic explained differently. As a parent, you know how their brain ticks a little more than teachers do, so learn the topic if you do not know or understand it yourself and help your child.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder isn't My Son

My son is an oppositional defiant child, but the oppositional defiant disorder is not my son. He defines his mental disorder, not the other way around. Just because he suffers from the disorder, does not mean the disorder needs to make him suffer. If that makes sense. Don't let your child dwell on the fact that he has a disorder.

Find something they are great at and encourage it like crazy

Seriously, my son is a fantastic cook & baker. My husband and I have encouraged it like crazy. He has shifted gears a little and now wants to become a math teacher. BOOM, let us do this! Encourage him. He would be a great teacher, especially with the fact he has ADHD & oppositional defiant disorder. He will be able to relate to other students on a more personal level and help them with their struggles.

Therapy is a must

You can't go without having a therapy session for too long. A couple weeks, fine, but longer than that, it's almost like completely starting over. This falls into the whole consistency realm also. Having consistent therapy sessions help anyone with a mental disorder, cope and find ways to redirect themselves when there is a trigger.

Mental disorder - oppositional defiant-disorder infographic


I love both of my children.

Learn how to address Oppositional Defiant Disorder at www.liahonaacademy.com.

Many people have asked me in the past year “How do you even deal with it?”


He's my child. I gave birth to him and I will NEVER EVER give up on him.

The moment I felt my boys move while in my uterus, I was connected to them for life. NOTHING was going to tear us apart.

ODD is not a family breaker. If your family falls apart because you let ODD tear your family apart, (completely my opinion), your family wasn't that strong to begin with.

My husband knew what he was in for with my boys. He knew my oldest was ADHD and hearing impaired. We suspected ADHD or some type of conduct disorder with my youngest. Sure, it stresses us the hell out. I think it has actually made us stronger. We talk more, hold hands more, kiss more, and all of that.

Knowing that I have a husband that supports all of us NO MATTER what, makes me stronger. I can lean on him to help me when I need him to and vice versa.

What i've learned from my son's mental disorder - living with oppositional defiant and conduct disorders

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  1. Mike

    This helped me today. I believe we have a son with O.D.D. and it’s been so long and so hard that it’s easy for us to get triggered into level 10 frustration when he exhibits a hallmark trait. It’s so frustrating to get through simple matters, and it happens ALL. THE. TIME.

    We’ve had him in counseling, but unfortunately, the counselor (who was great) had to switch gears professionally to help locally with COVID-19 related community youth mental health matters (he’s in high demand, I guess). So, time to get the sessions going with one of the new counselors he recommended.

    He’s not diagnosed yet, but he’s 14 1/2, and we’ve been dealing with this since he was a baby. I think my wife had too much coffee when this boy was developing in the womb. Good gracious he can be a hard-head!! But, he can be loveable and tender, too.

    • Anna C.

      It is very hard, especially when O.D.D. is so easily misdiagnosed several times over. I’m glad you found my article useful. I wouldn’t blame the coffee on your wife though, I don’t think that has any merit. It’s all about redirecting him to use his ODD as a superpower instead of a hinderance. Once you get him to be able to do that, I think it will be smooth sailing from there.


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