Parenting the Argumentative, Irritable, Angry Child

Parenting a child that constantly argues, is often moody, and is generally disagreeable is difficult and often feels impossible. Some of these children will be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder and some will never be diagnosed. What causes children to be this way, and what parenting techniques work? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national adoption & infertility education and support organization interviewed Dr. Russell A. Barkley, a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He is the author of 21 books and manuals, including Your Defiant Child: Eight Steps to Better Behavior and Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents.

Hit the Highlights
  • What type of behavior qualifies for Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)?
  • How is conduct disorder related to ODD?
  • All kids can be oppositional at times; when does the degree of opposition exceed just general pigheadedness?
  • Are children with ADHD more likely to be diagnosed with ODD? Is it really ODD or just normal ADHD?
  • What causes have been identified for ODD?
  • Is there a genetic component to this disorder?
  • How does oppositional defiant disorder play out in the context of adoption?
  • Why are adopted children more likely to be diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
  • How common is ODD?
  • Do kids outgrow Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
  • How soon after adoption should a parent seek a diagnosis of ODD? How long should they wait?
  • Before seeking professional treatment, what should parents do?
  • When does ODD get bad enough to warrant treatment?
  • What parenting techniques work for children who are strong willed, defiant, or have been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder?
  • What are the 6 steps for a program to parent the strong willed or child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
  • What is the prognosis for success for treatment of Oppositional Defiant Disorder?
  • What parental characteristics correlate with successful treatment?
  • Are kids with ODD more likely to have relationship problems later in life, antisocial behavior, or addiction issues?

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Image Credit: greg westfall