Grandson Age 3+ ODD?


New Member
Hello to all. My first post so I hope I do ok. My 3 year old grandson has what I have only discovered tonight - the symptoms of ODD. I spent the day with him and am so sad and exhausted. We actually fought all day. The only good moments were when we he was not given any rules to obey. Then the NO!, tears, temper, folded arms and angry looks. He told his Dad, my son, that he doesn't want to come back to my house because I am mean. The whole issue is that he is a terror at his house too and seems to place blame on anyone but himself. His brother 6, has been the whipping post for all the trouble at home. His first year in nursery school was spent hitting, biting and sitting in time out. I do not think this is a phase as his parent do and I am always concerned about his future. His other Grandmother seems to believe he needs discipline but no amount seems to change him. I taught preschool and can be very objective and not personnaly hurt by these attacks, but I need to be able to reach his parents and at least begin to investigate some reason for his sad little life. Thanks for listening!


Well-Known Member
Hi Nona3 and welcome. I'm sorry your grandson has brought you here. Unfortunately, if his parent's don't want to pursue diagnosis & treatment, your hands will be tied.
I can suggest a great book for dealing with his outbursts: The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. We also have a thread posted at the top of this forum which discusses applying the book's ideas to young children.
Just so you know, ODD is often co-morbid with another diagnosis. Is there any history of mental illness or developmental disability in the family tree?


New Member
My 5 year old son was diagnosed with ODD. After 10 month, of trying everything I finally asked for medication for him. They put him on Risperadol and I now have a wonderful little boy again. He used to be a holy terror. He hit people, threw toys at people, climbed walls, cupboards and had fits of rage. We would send him to his room and he would throw the matress off his bed, pull the drawers out and just destry everything he saw. We tried grounding, spanking, taking toys away, and nothing helped. He said he hated me, he hated himself, called himself stupid. It was so frightening to think the a child this young had feelings like that. It was so emotionally challenging for me as well as im sure for him. I started checking out Odd on the internet and doing alot of research on it. It was then that I started thinking about medication for him. I was just getting physically and emotionally wore down. The first day he took his medications I noticed a difference and it has only gotten better. Ive increased it a bit where he is now stable. He is still a rough and tumble boy, but gone is the anger and the rage that he had. When I think back to 6 weeks ago to where he is now, I often wonder how emotional it was for him at that time. He is a sweet boy. When I hear him say "no thank you mommy", or I love you mommy, it brings tears to my eyes because he was never like that before. He was always angry or so hyper that he didnt stop to think about anything. I loved my boy before but I love him even more now. good luck to you


New Member
Welcome to the board. I'm sorry your little difficult child grandson is having such a struggle. He is a lucky little guy to have some care for him such as you.

TM suggested the book "The Explosive Child" and I agree. It is a must read.

Take care and hang in there,



Well-Known Member
Has he been evaluated? Any developmental lags? Speech problems? Social problems? Poor eye contact? Any mood disorders or substance abuse on either side of his family tree? I would suggest to the parents to take him to a university hospital for a multi-disciplinary evaluation. ODD rarely travels alone. There is usually another disorder causing the ODD behavior and it takes some digging to find out what it is. If the parents think he'll outgrow it, though, you can't do much about it. It's their call. Maybe you can encourage them to come here and read about other kids.


New Member
Thanks for the advice. I will get the book and read it so I can begin to reap the benefits for myself. Then maybe by example his parents will join me.

No drug abuse, however his mom and her brother has ADD they say and maybe this is the beginning of healing for her too.

Another question: Does urinating on himself and night bed wetting play a part in this disorder? He is by the book, potty trained, but only when he wants to go. I just don't understand it. My other grandson 3 years old, stops playing or even gets out of bed to go potty, but not this child.

His ability to function on a level that is developmentally accurate is fine, he doesn't seem to have any autistic traits. Ironically, he sleeps a lot and will tell you he needs to go to sleep. His gross motor skills are good. He has no allergies and eats, when he is not melting down, well. However, I have seen his mom make two and three breakfasts for him and still he crys.

I am so confused as to why he has these mood swings and then can be so loving. I can't blame his parents for not disciplining him. They think that love will conquer all. But I think he needs some help. Thank again for being here.


Active Member
Ditto on Ross Greene's book. If he's wired up like this and he's constantly meeting up with rules and enforcements at your house, it's going to be a nonstop, never ending battle, contrary to what common sense says.

Late potty training is fairly common in boys whose parents visit here. We encourage parents not to make a big deal of it because that tends to make the stubborn little fellas dig their heels in even harder. Some also have sensory issues which make potty training even more challenging.


New Member

Bedwetting is not abnormal for a 3 y/o, even older kids, even when they are fully PT! Some kids just sleep that soundly. My difficult child is almost 4 and has been fully PT since he was a little over 3 (started PT at 2), but he still wears a Pull Up at night, because he doesn't wake up to go.

I bought the book, Your Defiant Child, I think the author's last name is Barkley? I'm not through the whole thing yet, but it goes through a lot of the stuff our child pychologist taught us.

Hang in there and good luck!


Well-Known Member
Are there any psychiatric or neurological problems on either side of the family tree? The best way to know what's going on is to have him evaluated.