Highlights from Dr. Riley's Book "The Defiant Child"

Discussion in 'General Parenting Archives' started by -, May 30, 2000.

  1. Guest

    I have heard so many positive things about Dr Rileys book"The Defiant Child" and I will definetly order it. However, until I get it, can someone tell me briefly what he advocates, is it to ignore the child? not to get emotional, etc. Any info will help as I am dealing with an out of control teen and I need some help fast. My difficult child is 13,add and no medication

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    hopefl
    47,married 27 yrs 1 adopted difficult child at birth, 13 add, poss.ODD ,no medications, Everything happens for a reason, and I am still searching for what my lesson is in this!
     
  2. Guest

    Hopefl,

    I cut and pasted some excerpts from his book here for you that I used for someone else. I think it may give you a small idea of what his book is like.

    €œChildren with ODD need firm, clear structure. It should be flexible, giving them plenty of room to roam when they are doing well, but it should contract around them when they are not doing well.

    €œDo not allow yourself to be pulled into a yelling match. Yelling matches are teenagers’ turf. They will win every one of these contests because they believe they have nothing to lose.

    €œThe healthiest kind of structure is a flexible one.€

    €œIf you are not brutal or violent but believe that you depend too much on yelling or spanking, you may wish to contact a therapist who can discuss parenting skills training with you. Like many therapists, I find that parents who rely on yelling and spanking often admit that they just don’t know what other techniques to employ.€

    €œShould she chose to escalate, you must then stay calm and indicate that as a parent you have already given your answer.

    €œWhen parents frequently yell, shout, threaten, or strike out physically while angry, they send a profound message: No one is in control.€

    €œOppositional children and teenagers expect you to approach them with hostility. Their entire set of defenses is tuned to seek and find indications of hostility in adults, something like a radio receiver tuned to pick up only one station. Once you are angry, they know how to respond because they are on familiar ground.

    €œYou have to make it perfectly clear to him what his negative behaviors will cost, and you have to find a way to prove to him that you will provide consequences over and over and over and over. Remember, he is oppositional and believes that he can outlast you.

    €œIt becomes important to see in a humane way the humor in the oppositional child’s attempt to control adults. He is doomed to fail because, after all is said and done, he can’t use your car without your keys and he can't slam his bedroom door if you take it off the hinges and put it in the basement for a few days. Oppositional children are geniuses at getting you mad. But in truth, they are just children floundering around in an attempt to become powerful. It is much better to enjoy their attempts and approach them with a sense of humor than to take it personally.

    The child or teenager is revealing his belief that power must be wrenched out of the hands of adults. The oppositional child never stops to consider that power can be negotiated or earned. Reward them with extra freedoms when they handle their lives well. Understanding that it'€™s not the oppositional child's drive for power that is problematic but the strategies he'€™s using to obtain it can help you maintain a positive attitude about an endlessly frustrating situation.

    €œYour role is not negotiable and you do not intend to abdicate your power. They make clear that you set the standards of behavior for members of your immediate family and that all behaviors have consequences. Positive behaviors on a child or teenager’s part result in increased freedom and respect, while negative behaviors lead inexorably to punishment.

    If we try to use reason, logic, and consensus building when our children and teenagers are responding to us in an oppositional manner, the interaction is likely to degenerate into an argument.€

    €œIn general, if your child acts oppositionally but can give you reasonable answers to your questions and has a tendency to moderate his or her behavior at school or at a friend’s house, half the battle is already won. This tells you he knows right from wrong but is having difficulty implementing it at home, which is a common problem.€

    I hope these have been at least a little helpful. I think you will find that his book is a lot more than just "The Full Riley" and he explains many different interventions that can be used including, warning systems, Monster Time Out, level systems, reinforcers and privileges.


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    Nancy

    [*]8 yo difficult child daughter/ODD/Adopted

    [*]13 yo easy child daughter

    "Bad things happen when good people stand by and do nothing"
     
  3. Guest

    A few more:

    €œI typically refer to the age of fourteen as the "€˜dead zone"€™ because at that stage there is absolutely nothing parents can do to control oppositional teenagers as long as they depend on reason and logic. Using reason and logic on an oppositional fourteen-year-old is like pouring water on a duck. Because their own ability to use logic has increased so much, they come to believe that adults who do not see issues the same way they do must be stupid.

    I think perhaps this next paragraph is one of the most important ones:

    It may seem that gaining control of the situation is itself the desired goal, the end point. But the only purpose of interventions such as time outs, warnings, and level systems is to stabilize the situation. They are not curative, and they should not be the centerpiece of your long-term strategy of training your child to act in a competent, successful manner. The actual desired goal is for your child or teenager to move to a level of thinking and behavior in which minimal exercise of control over him is necessary.

    I may come up with a few more that I think are worthy of mentioning also. LOL you asked for it [​IMG]




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    Nancy

    [*]8 yo difficult child daughter/ODD/Adopted

    [*]13 yo easy child daughter

    "Bad things happen when good people stand by and do nothing"
     
  4. Guest

    OK this is the last ones....for now at least [​IMG] :

    €œAs we have said of oppositional and defiant children and teenagers, they fail to learn by experience. This is the reason you have to punish them over and over for the same things. Learning to anticipate what might happen is a skill you have to teach your oppositional child or teenager because they probably will not come by it otherwise.€

    €œNo is the worst word in the English language for oppositionals, unless it is coming from their own lips. They tend to take it personally and see it as proof that you are purposefully setting out to frustrate them or make them mad. Learning to accept it with equanimity is essential.

    €œI do not suggest that parents get their hopes up any time soon for a medication used specifically to treat oppositional behavior. It is unlikely that drug companies will put any real effort into developing such medications because oppositional behavior is not thought of as a disease, and many insurance companies do not view it as a real medical disorder. Given this, parents are primarily limited to the behavioral methods we have discussed so far.€

    €œWe should not be discouraged that we cannot wipe out oppositional behavior with a pill. The persistence and strength of will seen in many children and teenagers with ODD are to be admired in a curious way. They are often bright, creative, and inventive. Medications might destroy their positive characteristics along with their negative ones.€

    €œIf I may suggest a final intervention, it is to return to the ideas of admiring your oppositional child or teen'€™s strength. Be sure to let him know that you like his drive. Although you may not agree with many of the things he does, let him know you find much about him that you would not change even if you could. Be sure to look hard for the good, though. After everything is sad and done, it is likely that oppositional children and teenagers fight the world so vigorously because they truly believe that if they don't, the adult world will crush them. Rather than roll over and succumb, they fight out of an attempt to dignify themselves. Although this is admirable, they can only flounder without your guidance, support, and involvement. They do not need you as an enemy.

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    Nancy

    [*]8 yo difficult child daughter/ODD/Adopted

    [*]13 yo easy child daughter

    "Bad things happen when good people stand by and do nothing"
     
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