Top 3 Strategies to use with Defiant Kids

Sometimes, ok, oftentimes, our children do not behave the way we want them to.  They jump on the furniture, throw balls in the house, touch all of the items on the shelf at the grocery store, and are constantly on detention at school for their misconduct.  Our children might even throw tantrums or resort to hitting when they don't get their way.  It can be difficult to distinguish typical misbehavior and the assertion of one's own independence from Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).  Here are some strategies to use with children who have ODD:

(1)  Encourage your child to use "I" statements.  With younger children, practice using "I" statements and role play with the use of puppets.  Puppets help children to feel less threatened and more willing to take ownership and to tell the truth in difficult circumstances.

 (2)  Try not to engage in arguments with your child.  Oftentimes, parents will continue to question their child when they catch them in a lie.  This can lead to an argument between parent and child.

(3)  Introduce positive coping skills of deep breathing, taking a walk, closing your eyes and counting to ten,etc, for your child to use when he/she is feeling frustrated and is about to lose his/her temper.

Most of all, it is important to keep the lines of communication open, and let your child know that you are there to listen, support and guide him/her into making positive choices.

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