Just need to vent!


New Member
Hi, I've been "lurking" under the radar for a few weeks... ever since my 4yo difficult child was diag with-ODD & possible depression/anxiety issues. But, unfortunately, today is the day to post because I'm at the end of my rope. We just got kicked out of McDonald's and I'm beyond embarrassed, frustrated, angry, discouraged... you name it! Long story short, I was attempting to deal with a temper tantrum with my 3yo son (who is my easy child, ironically) and it just kept escalating until I was having to bear hug him to keep him under control. Apparently some of the other patrons weren't very accepting of my methods. In retrospect, I should've just left as soon as the tantrum started. But, I was anticipating a meltdown from my difficult child daughter & I can't exactly handle 2 out-of-control preschoolers on my own. So, I thought I'd nip my son's tantrum quickly so that I could give my full strength & attn to what I expected to be a less than easy departure scene with-my difficult child. Usually, my son responds to discipline fairly quickly... but, not today.

Anyway, thanks for giving me a place to post this. I'm a member on another message board for parents, but apparently nobody there has "problem" children. I posted to see if anyone else had a child with-ODD & it's been 2 weeks with no response. Must be nice to have such perfect children...


Well-Known Member
My name is tiredmommy, and I have (well, had, really...) and ODD child.

Welcome to our world, Flutterby. You'll get a lot of support and guidance here. Vent away! We truly understand what you live through everyday.

A few questions:
Who diagnosis'd your daughter?
Are there any interventions in place or medications being trialed?
Is she in school yet? If so, how did she do?
Does she have any friends and does she play appropriately?
How does she get along with her brother?
Is there any significant medical history that may be impacting her behavior?


New Member
Wow... that was fast! Thanks so much for your reply. It gets VERY lonely sometimes, feeling like I'm the only one dealing with this stuff. Onto your questions...

1. Who diagnosis'd your daughter?
A LPC who we just started seeing 2 weeks ago. We are in the process of dealing with-my depression as well as working on my parenting.

2. Are there any interventions in place or medications being trialed?

The counselor referred us to a behavioral pediatrician (not sure if that's the right term), and we're just waiting to get an appointment. No medications right now, but we're starting "1-2-3 Magic" with her (and her brother) and talking a lot about parenting in the counseling sessions.

3. Is she in school yet? If so, how did she do?

She will be starting her 2nd year of preschool next week. Last year was really strange... she started out GREAT, then we moved right before Christmas and she started having problems. After Christmas break, she got a new teacher & things went downhill from there. By the end of the year, I was dreading what I'd hear at pickup time. Constantly hitting other kids, the teachers, not obeying, wanting to be alone, throwing MAJOR tantrums over trivial things. She'll be at the same school this year (private Lutheran school), but with a new teacher. She says she doesn't want to go & she doesn't want to be with this new teacher. I'm praying she takes well to it this year.

4. Does she have any friends and does she play appropriately?

Yes, she has friends. Mostly friends from church & the neighborhood. I think she plays pretty appropriately. She's pretty bossy, but I haven't heard any major complaints from other kids' parents.

5. How does she get along with her brother?

For the most part, pretty well. They're only 14 months apart, so they're pretty much best friends. But, he also gets the brunt of her anger when she lashes out because he's usually the closest thing and/or involved in the melee.

6. Is there any significant medical history that may be impacting her behavior?

No, I don't think so... she was always a "difficult" child, from birth. Reflux, but she outgrew that once she was off the bottle.

Again, thanks so much for your support! It means a lot to know I'm not alone.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Hi Flutterby!
Welcome, you will find that all of us here have difficult children!!! Some days better than others!!!
I do know exactly what you are talking about with 2 kids giving you the business when you are out.
I have to time every outing with my kids, make sure they have been fed, are not too tired, anxious, irritated, moody etc and that still does not guarantee a good time!

The "Explosive Child" By Ross Greene is a great book. We tried 1,2,3, Magic and it helped a bit, it wont hurt to give it a try. But you really do have to be consitant and give it time, weeks. With all behaviour modifications and parenting modification.

Unfortunately we don't go to a lot of places!!! I have also learned to ignore what others think and the stares!!! It is hard, but it gets easier when you know you are fighting for your kids and your sanity!!!
Good luck


Well-Known Member
I'll take these in order, lol!

1. While counseling can be valuable, the majority of us have found that effectively treating an underlying condition is necessary before an improvement is seen in behavior. Counseling can be especially helpful for parents who want to ensure the problem is not something that will respond to traditional parenting or behavior modification. One thing to keep in mind is that maternal depression has been linked to attachment problems in children, and also that psychiatric disorders like depression or bipolar are highly linked genetically.

2. She is probably referring you to a developmental pediatrician. Don't be surprised if you have a long wait for an appointment as they are in short supply. Again, most of our kids didn't respond well to strategies such as 1-2-3 Magic until an underlying condition was addressed.

3. Is there any way you can contact this new teacher to introduce them? It sounds like she dug a hole for herself last year and wants to avoid the difficulties she had. This could have something to do with a poor transition after the move, and holidays are traditionally very difficult for most of our kids. I'd suggest setting up a few meetings with the new teacher and see if there is some special task your daughter could take on to give her a sense of competency in the class. You may want to explain to the teacher that you are attempting to foster a strong relationship between the two of them so that this school year will be easier than the last. My Duckie found herself in a semi-adversarial role with her lead pre-k teacher. The only thing that got her through the school year was that the the other teacher in the classroom worked hard at building her up.

4. The fact that she's bossy will wear thin pretty quick. You'll want to address that before kindergarten or she may start to struggle socially. The only thing that helped my Duckie in this area was a little playground justice where she was left behind because she wasn't being "nice". Not pleasant, but it worked.

5. I'm glad there's no major problems with her brother, that can get very dicey when you have a difficult child & easy child.

6. My Duckie also suffered from reflux. She wasn't diagnosis'd with allergies until age four. Does your daughter have any sensory issues? A sensitive gag reflex? Problems with crowds, bright lights, noise, textures, or tastes? Most infant reflux is caused by an under-developed sphincter, there may have been other related delays or issues.


Well-Known Member
Hi there.
I'm wondering if you're planning on taking her for an intensive evaluation. Many of us find a multidisciplinary evaluation very useful. This is a group of professionals who test your child on every level. Although your child is too young to get a 100% accurate diagnosis, unless you are VERY lucky, this sort of evaluation can pinpoint trouble spots that may be contributing to the behavior. Behavioral therapy doesn't work well if the underlying disorder isn't being treated at the same time. I strongly recommend getting an MDE. In the meantime, you may want to purchase the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. That is a lifesaver for many of us as we wait for some sort of diagnosis or treatment that helps our kids. The books in my opinion is very effective at helping keep peace in the home.


New Member
OMG... thank you all so much for your replies. I'm almost overwhelmed! Okay, lemme see if I can sum up.

The counselor is referring us to the Arizona Child Study Center for a Pediatric BioPsychoSocial Assessment. Wow, that's a mouthful! We have to fill out a packet, then send it in, then they contact us for an appointment. But, they're booking about 11 months out. The counselor is referring us here for a few reasons. First of all, they're not a private practice facility, they're on a research grant from St. Joseph's Hospital. So, according to the counselor, they're much better at actually working with you & your child and not so much concerned about maximizing their profits by carrying a high patient load. Secondly, the counselor has a teenaged son with-Bipolar disorder & this is where they go and they've had great results. Would this be the same as the MDE that you're suggesting, MidWest Mom?

As far as treating the underlying condition... I'm assuming you're talking about the ODD? By "treatment" do you mean medication? The counselor is not able to prescribe medications, and I'm assuming that's what the evaluation is for. But, a year seems a long time to wait to see if there's an organic issue. Do you suggest taking her elsewhere in the meantime? The counselor thinks I should try "123 Magic" and see how we do, and wait for the developmental peds appointment, unless she doesn't respond well to the new parenting strategy. So far, I'm not exactly sold on the "123 Magic" concept, but I'm still waiting for the book to come in the mail so I can get a better understanding of what I'm supposed to do. I've just been going off the tidbits I get in our counseling sessions.

We actually have a "Meet the Teacher" night next week, so I'm very excited about that. I'll take your suggestions & see how the teacher responds. The reason I'm keeping her at this school is because they do know her history & have been great about wanting to work with me to help her succeed. I didn't feel like they were labelling her as a problem child, or anything like that. For the most part, she really enjoyed the activities of school... she just really struggled socially. For a long while, I felt like I was over-reacting because the teachers kept stressing that it's normal for 3yo kids to hit & have social issues. But, when it became almost everyday, and began intensifying I got really concerned. I'm almost glad she has a new teacher this year... clean slate! Also, I'm putting her in afternoon pre-k instead of AMs because we are NOT morning people here in our house. It was always stress & chaos trying to get out the door, so I'm hoping doing the PM session will work out better.

As far as other medical issues... I'd never really thought about it. I haven't noticed any one thing in particular, but she's extremely sensitive. Ex: driving the speed limit on the rural road near our house is "too fast," she'll barely even sit on a swing at the playground much less swing on it, everything she eats has to be plain... burgers, sandwiches, PB&J with-o the J.

Again, thank you all so much for all your help. Being a Christian stay at home mom, I get the distinct feeling that I'm not supposed to have these issues and, if I do, then it's because of my poor parenting. As awful as it sounds, I was a bit relieved to get an actual diagnosis from the counselor. I was shocked, but in a way I felt a bit vindicated on the "Worst Mother of the Decade" charge. I mean, nobody ever says anything directly, but it's implied enough... "your child is a brat & it's your fault." Thank you all for truly being a "soft place to crash."


Well-Known Member
ODD can be diagnosis'd on it's own with no other underlying problem, but most of us have found there to be another condition that was fueling the ODD behaviors. That's why we suggest a very thorough evaluation.
FWIW, I'm a Christian stay at home mom too that has done everything right... except find a way to eradicate the mental & neurological conditions in Duckie's family tree. It is most likely not poor parenting on your part, though most of us can always do better (we are human after all). Most of our friends and family are clueless as to the everyday struggles we face as parents of difficult children. First thing you need to do is drop the guilt and shame, you really won't have the time or energy for all that if you want to help your child. :smile:


Well-Known Member
I think the place you've been referred to sounds GREAT!!!!!!!!! Yes, it's what I meant! ODD rarely stands alone as a diagnosis., as stated by Dr. Chandler in "The Chandler Papers." In fact, I'd say most of our kids have ODD behavior. "1,2,3 Magic" is worth a try--it did nothing for my son; he threw his time out chair...lol. Later we found out (after many attempts at figuring him out) was on the autism spectrum, albeit high functioning. He also had Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), which is often part of the Spectrum--sensitivity to fabric, sound, light, change, etc. He's had a lot of interventions and is better now. Those early interventions can REALLY help, far more than a regular pre-school, in my opinion. My son went a half day to "Child-At-Risk" preschool and a half a day at Headstart. The benefits were unbelievable. He also, before that had had speech therapy, Occupational Therapist (OT), PT and social skills. He's had accomodations in school all along. And we've had many evaluations before, until he turned 11, nothing they said seemed "right." Still, we never stopped the interventions.
Most really good evaluators have LONG waiting lists. I think the wait is worth it. In the meantime, see the counselor, try the ideas, read "The Explosive Child" and do what you can. We had to wait a long time too. That probably means it's a good place to go.


New Member
Well, I'm sending the packet in tomorrow so, hopefully they'll contact us next week about sked an appointment. I ordered "The Explosive Child" from Amazon & I just got "1-2-3 Magic" in today's mail so, I'm hopeful that I'll get a better understanding of how to help her from these resources.

A quick question... are ODD children always difficult? I'm having a hard time accepting this diagnosis mostly because she can be so thoughtful, compliant & easy-going at times. It's only when she's told "no" or being disciplined for something that the ODD behaviors emerge. Is this consistent with-ODD... or, do I just have a stong-willed child?


Well-Known Member
I can only speak from my experience. Duckie was very cyclical in her behaviors. She was either extremely good for a few days or absolutely horrid for days on end. Our family doctor (and our allergist, too) believes that in her case, her allergies made her feel rotten plus they interfered with her sleep. That's why her behavior was so hard to figure out at first.
Now, I think most of the kids here have different types of triggers: some are situational such as anxiety about school fueling their ODD behaviors, transition problems, communication issues or even sensory related. Some kids have mood disorders and the irritability associated with the disorders fuels the ODD behaviors. Then there's a much smaller group that doesn't appear to have an underlying disorder in need of treatment, these kids usually get mislabeled as merely strong-willed or disobedient when they actually have a disorder.


New Member
That makes a lot of sense. Since we are considering the possiblity that she may have a mood disorder as well, it'd make sense that the ODD behaviors would be more pronounced if she's struggling with depression or anxiety. I've been starting to wonder if maybe I just blew everything out of proportion because she's been fairly cooperative the past few days. But, maybe it is cyclical. I guess only time will tell on that.

I'm so glad to hear that your daughter is doing well! Thanks again for all your wisdom & encouragement!


Active Member
Sorry I'm getting in on this late. Just wanted to welcome you to the board. Tiredmommy is right about kids behavior being great and then something triggers them and its like they are a diff. kid. difficult child 1 does that.


Well-Known Member
Welcome to the board! Glad you found us.

Sounds like you have a good start on evaluations and supports at school.

A couple things ran through my brain while reading:
1.) try all parenting methods at least once - usually they all worked for a week or so before all heck broke loose. Most likely you will find that the non-tradtional parenting works best. Like - not worrying about alot of the little things.

2.) My difficult child could be very sweet, charming, caring and funny at times. Some people never saw her difficult child side. She mostly reserved it for me. But, others eventually saw it, too. Everyday I wondered who was waking up in her bed - I used to call her Cybil - no offense meant of course.