It’s such a hard challenge for parents who have children with ODD. They really need to work hard to figure out a variety of ways to deal with their children with ODD. As a parent of an ODD child, you may be frustrated when he often ignores orders and continuously behaves negatively.
Of course, if it lasts at least 6 months, your frustration will grow. What’s more? It can really harm the relationship between parents and children, or even reinforce hostile behavior patterns. One of the great ways to overcome ODD is by improving the parent-child relationship.
If you are struggling to deal with children with ODD, you can try to improve your relationship with them first. To improve the parent-child relationship, there will be several strategies you may have to take. Let’s check them out!
How Do Children with ODD Trigger Bad Parenting Styles?
Children with ODD tend to push their parents to two poles, i.e., permissive (permissible) or hyper-coercive (too pushy) in the hope that parents can easily control their children. However, neither of these are ideal parenting methods since no parent wants to encourage bad behavior in their children.
Like parents, children with ODD should not be blamed at all. However, children definitely learn through hundreds of trials that it is the way to get what they want. That actually explains why children with ODD act up more at home.
In fact, children with ODD tend to fight back against people they know, including their parents, since the patterns are familiar. When they are in public places, e.g., school, they commonly have less control over the environment, so the type of behavior related to ODD does not get a satisfactory reaction.
How Do You Improve Parent-Child Relationships to Overcome ODD?
There is no doubt that parents play a key role in dealing with ODD children. Even though it is your child who is diagnosed, the parent-child relationship should be repaired at all costs. It means that both parents and children have to work together to change the behavior.
It is known that the ODD treatment aims to help parents find a middle ground between permissive parenting and authoritarian parenting. We can get easier strategies to discipline our children thanks to some parenting websites that explain various ways to improve the parent-child relationship.
Here are some strategies that you can do at home to improve the relationship between you and your child with ODD and reduce ODD behavior in your child:
- Always praise your children when they behave positively to encourage the desired behavior. Make sure to be as specific as possible when praising them. e.g., “I was very happy when you cleaned up your messy toys earlier.” You also need to reward them for their positive behavior.
- Be a good role model for your children, so they will do what you do. You can try to show the right interactions and model socially appropriate behavior, so it can help them improve their social skills.
- Make sure to avoid arguing with your children.
- Set boundaries by providing clear instructions and expectations, along with reasonable consequences. If necessary, you can discuss these boundaries with your children when you are not at odds.
- Make a routine and consistent daily schedule to allow them to know and understand what they have to do every day. Try to invite them to plan the routine.
- Create a weekly schedule of quality time between you and your child.
- Collaborate with your husband and other family members at home to ensure disciplinary procedures are appropriate and consistent. If necessary, you can also get support from teachers, coaches, and others who spend a lot of time with your children.
- Invite them to get involved in household chores. Make sure to give them relatively easy-to-do tasks. Then, gradually delegate more important and challenging tasks. Never forget to provide clear and easy-to-follow instructions.
One of the reasons behavior management strategies do not always work is because parents try different and contradictory parenting methods on children with ODD. It also happens to parents who do not stick with one certain program for a long enough period of time to see the results. Thus, consistency in implementing these strategies that we have explained above is very important.
As a parent with ODD children, you also have to be prepared for difficulties that may occur later. When you consistently use one parenting style, your child may initially be uncooperative, and their behavior may temporarily worsen after new expectations are imposed.
With persistence and consistency, your hard work at the beginning will bear fruit with improved behavior and relationships between you and your children. So, make sure to always keep up the spirit of overcoming ODD that your children face. Good Luck!!!