I think my 10yr old has ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Firecracker98, May 15, 2008.

  1. Firecracker98

    Firecracker98 New Member

    Can anyone tell me if this is hereditary? Her cousin has been diagnosed and I am just not sure. I have downloaded/printed info off the internet and everything fits. She is going to Psychiatrist for first time soon and am not sure if I should bring it up at the first appointment.

    Her dad and I divorced, and it wasn't ugly but wasn't pretty either. He was emotionally/verbally abusing all of us for years. He still has a HOLD on the girls, but the 10yr old seems to take things more personally.

    She hasn't hurt anyone but she gets very angry at the drop of a hat. Temper tantrams and rages. (She hit me in the chest last night at Kmart cuz she couldn't have a new lip gloss) She dumped apple juice all over my bed last night cuz she was angry. She does things when she wants and never does what I ask. Her grades are on a downward spiral and she HATES her teacher. She has always been very temperamental, but I always chalked it up to the red hair. I am beginning to have second thoughts that it is more than that.

    I am just at my wits end with her. I think that somehow my divorcing her dad has made her this way. But maybe it was staying in the marriage and subjecting the kids to the abuse did this. Either way I think its my fault.

    Any thoughts, comments, suggestions?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    I have a few questions.
    How was her early development: speech, eye contact, peer interaction, fine and gross motor skills. Does she play with toys appropriately? Have any odd behaviors?

    Are there any mood disorders or substance abuse on either side of the family tree? ODD very rarely stands alone--it is usually more of a behavior caused by another, bigger disorder. I would have her evaluated and my personal professional of choice is a neuropsychologist. They do hours of intensive evaluation and tend to be more accurate.

    Although divorce is hard, it's also common. Divorce alone doesn't cause mental illness or neurological differences. Please don't blame yourself.

    Others will come along.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Your daiughter could have ODD and yes heredity plays a huge roll. I would rather think that the verbal/emotional abuse you all endured with your ex is a big part of why your daughter is acting out. Her anger seems to be a symptom and while divorce alone doesn't cause mental illness, living in an environment of emotional and verbal abuse causes scars in children. It is not your fault and you did exactly the right thing to get yourselves out of that situation.

    It's good that she is going to be evaluated by a psyciatrist. He will be able to guide you further. Whatever is it, I believe your daughter is much better off because you divorced her dad than if you had left her in that environment.

  4. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Welcome. I just wanted t let you kow that you have found a group of really good people with great advice.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Amazing! Nobody's yet mentioned "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene! I really amazed because it is a very useful book especially where you are dealing with ODD-type behaviours.

    Something else to consider - ODD-type behaviour can often be the result of a family applying conventional (and generally considered appropriate and successful) discipline techniques to a kid who needs a different approach. For some kids, the usual methods not only don't work, they can make them worse. If a kid is exceptionally bright, for example (with an overdeveloped sense of injustice); or a kid with ADHD or some other learning problem; a kid with impulse control issues or some other problem - these kids will not be as in control of the extremes in their behaviour as we like to think. And to discipline a kid for what they can't really control - not good.

    Read the book. Read summaries on the book. Read discussions on the book (See Early Childhood forum for some really great stuff). It should help a lot. It's not a cure, just a better way of managing. You still need to follow through with assessments and appointments to try to identify any underlying contributory condition.

  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, those behaviors can be hereditary.
    Yes, the divorce has made her angry.
    However, The Explosive Child is a good place to start. ANY kind of redirection at this point sounds good. For ex., with-the lipgloss, my kids would beg and beg and beg, and I'd say no repeatedly, and one day, this lightbulb went off in my head and I said, "Wow, that is really cool. What do you like most about it?" And after difficult child showed it to me, he moved onto the next toy, and the next, and because he was allowed to express himself and sort of play with-it in the box, he didn't need to buy it so badly. In short, he forgot!
    What would happen if you told her the lipgloss was very pretty and you started looking at other colors? Just to show her you're interested instead of immediately blowing her off and saying, "NO!." And then distracted her with-magazines? And things closer to the door? I mean, kids aren't stupid, but it has worked for me.
    I believe in a multi-pronged approach. Therapy, medications and common sense. No, one, single thing will work.
    Take care.
  7. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Welcome to the board! You have found a great place for advice on parenting difficult children and a great place when you just need to vent to others who understand.

    It's my understanding that ODD rarely stands alone but is usually present with other conditions. It's possible that the divorce and the verbally abusive years leading up to it could have caused a great deal of stress and the ODD is sign of that. Some of the behaviors may have been learned from what she has experienced with her dad. A psychiatric evaluation to is a must and counseling could also be helpful, the Explosive Child book offers great solutions for dealing with the day to day situations as well.

    Good luck to you. Glad you're here.