The Parenting Struggles of Raising a Child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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The past several years have been a horrible struggle. We recently found out (probably 4 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.

Our son is only 11. He’s been going through this for as long as I can remember.

I remember hearing stories from his birth father, that his nephew used to be very similar to how my son is acting. His nephew used to kill animals and laugh. He would take forks and stab family members just because they defied him. Outside of the family though, everyone thought this lil’ boy was a perfect angel. He would be polite, considerate, kind, and helpful.

It’s 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.

If you’ve never heard of ODD or CD. It’s more than 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 don’t click or work for your child who has Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder, at least it doesn’t with our child.

Child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder - Word Bubble

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.

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

He’ll play with his baby cousin and she loves him and he loves her. They play with dolls, he plays with her kitchen set, reads her books, and pays attention to her and treats her perfectly.

Other days, he’ll be the most vindictive, mean, spiteful, and physically hurtful child anyone has ever come across.

The Parenting Struggles of Raising a Child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder - Photo

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

All of which he KNOWS that he’s not supposed to do. He knows it’s wrong. If he doesn’t get his way, this is what he does. He destroys his friendships, relationships, and more. EVERY SINGLE year, he hones in on one person and will destroy their self-esteem just to “apologize” and try to make things right.


Today, I received a phone call from the principal saying that he was yelling at a fellow classmate and calling her a “bitch”, “slut”, “whore” and more.

While the principal was talking to him, he showed remorse. *Yay* Only that’s the problem with raising a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. They can show it, but they don’t “mean” it.

It’s almost as if they don’t have that characteristic. They know they are supposed to show it so that they don’t get into more trouble, but they truly don’t understand what it is. It doesn’t mean a thing to them. It doesn’t bring them any type of satisfaction.

So what do we do?

We try to live still.

Even though we still live our lives, we don’t go many places because there is always some type of explosion that happens before or during the event that embarrasses my husband and myself and puts a strain on the remainder of the day or event. Majority of our family knows and understands. We do have some that tell us “This wouldn’t happen if you take a belt to his ass!” (Yes, it’s been said many times.) We have tried spanking in the past. It doesn’t work. It just adds more fuel to the fire.

We also do LOTS & LOTS of Therapy.


Right now our insurance will only pay for 30 sessions a year. So we can only go every OTHER week and recently cut us from 1 hr sessions to 45-minute sessions. (Yeah like that’s freakin’ helpful!) Insurances recently feel that a therapist or psychologist should be able to diagnose within 45 minutes and be able to “cure” their patients or find “cures” or find something that works within 45 min sessions only 30 times a year.


I truly wish insurance companies would STOP putting such restraints on mental illnesses such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, ADHD, Bi-Polar Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, Autism, Schizophrenia, etc.

These disorders and illnesses need patience, time, structure…

They need HELP!

It’s a known fact (through studies) that children who have ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, and more… have it because a parent or grandparent has the disorder or one disorder that can develop into another. (There is still developing studies on autism. I’m not knowledgeable in that realm.)

I think the only website I’ve found, so far; that explains ODD (or at least the “strain” my son has) is Liahona Academy. You can see a descriptive info-graphic below that explains pretty much my son perfectly. I figured I would share it with my readers in hopes that it helps someone else in my shoes.

I have a couple of questions after the info-graphic so make sure you answer them in the comments!

The Parenting Struggles of Raising a Child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Again, let me remind you.


I love both of my children.

Both have ADHD, however my youngest also has Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. There are days that I wonder what I did wrong in raising him for him to act like this. I’m often reminded by our therapist “You did nothing wrong. You parented how you knew and know how!”

Learn how to address Oppositional Defiant Disorder at

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.

Do you have a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Conduct Disorder, etc?

What types of re-enforcement do you do in order to encourage positive behavior?

About Author

I am a wife, mother (to both human & furry), daughter, sister, and blogger. I grew up in a semi-suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. In October 2013 I married the love of my life and in July 2018 we bought our first home in a small little country town about 45 minutes away from our hometown.

My belief is that someone is always needing a little help in various aspects of their life and I'm that chick who will help. On my website, you will find a variety of topics that primarily center around parenting teen sons, finances, crafting, DIY, food & drink, a little beauty & fashion, and I talk a lot about mental health.

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