A couple questions


New Member
I posted a few times yesterday and have been reading some about behavior modification for kids with ODD. My daughter has ODD/depression. One thing I read was to have a clear consequence for each behavior and also to try to work on one or two behaviors at a time. husband and I were talking last night about this and we came up with some questions. I'm hoping you guys can help with some ideas.

The main problems with my daughter are that she yells, whines, swears, and backtalks constantly. Especially in the car when she has a captive audience. Unfortunately, her younger siblings are subjected to listening to her rant during almost every car ride.

Let's say the consequence for mouthing off would be that she lose her tv priveleges for the day and her reward would be getting to stay up 30 minutes later at the end of the day.

So, it's 10am and we are driving to church. She starts mouthing off. Swearing, yelling, interrupting, etc. I turn around and say "Ok, since you are being rude and mouthing off, you have now lost all tv for the rest of the day."

Now, since she's lost all tv for the day, her thinking is that there is no use trying to behave, so she spends the entire day mouthing off and telling me what she thinks of me, swearing, whining, etc.

Eventually she'll desperately want to turn the tv on and she'll say "Please give me one more chance. If you let me turn on the tv, I promise I'll be good and if I talk back again you can turn it off. I promise I'll be good."

I'll say "no, you already lost that privelege, try again tomorrow."

Her response is "Fine, you #$%^&, I'll be so bad you will regret taking away my priveleges. If you don't let me watch tv I'll act worse and you'll regret this."

Any suggestions?


Mom? What's a difficult child?
She is 12 right? Is she on any medications?
My children are a lot younger, but I would think starting slow would be more of a benefit for all of you, rewards are good also.
Like if she is able to keep quiet for the first few minutes in the car say something right away, let her know how much you appreciate it. Let her know if she can keep it up she will get something special. Like a book, a treat, extra tv or whatever she will find rewarding.
Really try to point out the good things before the bad happens, even if it is only 2 minutes of good...
Sometimes this encouragement leads to more good behaviour. I have to do this with my difficult child 1, she can not self direct or do anything by herself, so even if it is 3minutes of coloring I tell her how proud I am that she did it by herself, and if she does something on her own!!! I am all over her with praise!!!
I have to remind myself sometimes to do these things I get caught up in the drama of the day to day and the stress... I just let her know how happy I was that she had kept her hands to herself for awhile today!!!
I exagerate how happy I am and how good she is doing, but it makes her feel really good.
I also wouldn't make the punishment so extreme, it seems like it isn't working and maybe try the positive for a bit and give her a couple of chances, before a smaller punishment.
Just a thought


New Member
How about if she EARNS her TV time, rather than LOSES it? So, say she gets 15 minutes of TV time for each pleasant one-way car trip. If she can make two one-way car trips, that's an entire 1/2 Tv show. If she has a particular favorite TV show each day, then you can perhaps hang that over her head as an incentive.

Sometimes the pressure to be good is too much, especially for my difficult child. But, if you can make the whole day not a waste just from one incident then you can save yourself a lot of pain for the rest of the day. Break your day down into increments that work for you, your family, and your schedule.


Is her underlying depression being addressed with medications and/or therapy? That's what I would work on now. Once her mood is more stable, she will feel better and her ODD-type behaviors will likely improve.


Well-Known Member
Boy, does THAT sound familiar! That's exactly what my difficult child does.
We have to up the ante to take away things that really, really matter. The more he mouths off, the more things I say I'm taking away. He will have meltdowns and yell until he runs out of steam and then eventually he realizes we are not going to back down.
THEN when he has hit a wall, we can let him earn back TV privileges (as Alisonig suggested). It takes several days or weeks. Now that he's older it sometimes happens in a couple of days.

If anyone else here has found anything that works faster, let me know!