New here, need ideas and totally wiped out!


New Member
I have a 12 year old daughter who has a severe case of ODD. We were going to counseling, but I kept hearing from her that the counselor would say that she's disgusted with me and would refuse to speak to me or tell my daughter that I was wrong for various things. So, we quit therapy because honestly it wasn't helping anyway and I'll be damned if someone is going to fuel more disrespect in our home.

We have so many issues, my daugher will not go to bed at night, get up in the morning, eat dinner, do her chores, do her homework, get in/out of the car, get off the computer, turn off the tv, etc without a battle.

Her drama is so ridiculous at times I almost want to laugh. For instance today, she wanted to go to the library. I agreed to take her after she cleans her room. She cleaned her room and I made a big deal of it, telling her she did a great job! I said, okay before we go, please take these books upstairs to your room and then after that we can leave. Well, apparently 3 textbooks are too heavy for her at 12 years old cause she acted like I just asked her to carry a 2 ton boulder upstairs. Three school books. That's all. She sat on the steps, whining and moaning "Ooh, these are so heavy, I can't do it, ooooh, so heavy...." I told her "Take them upstairs without another word or else we won't go to the library" She continues "Oh, I can't carry these books, I can't do it, ooooh, ooooh" So I said "Okay, I gave you one more chance and you didn't do what I asked so we are not going to the library. This causes a major meltdown, including swearing at me, threatening suicide. My 4 year old and 2 year old are witnessing this outburst, so I told her to go to her room. She didn't.

I have taken away all of her priveleges for the day, but I cannot understand what makes her behave this way? Why not just take the :censored2: books upstairs and then go to the library? I didn't ask her to do anything difficult and most girls her age would just do it without much more than a groan or a "whatever" but she makes an issue out of everything. EVERYTHING.

I can't take much more. I just can't. To make it worse everyone thinks it's all my fault and I swear it's not.


Well-Known Member
Ahhhhhhhhhh, that sounds SO familiar!

Strange, that I can see it in others but not myself. LOL!

My difficult child does the exact same thing. Everyone here would say, forget the books. Just take her to the library, because, in fact, she DID clean her room.
Start with-a task, finish a task, create a reward.

It's a major pain in the *** but that's the way it works. I have to remind myself daily... no, hourly. No, every single minute!... that my son takes everything literally and will explode if I "draw outside the lines."

I know what you mean about everyone thinking it's your fault. Me too. You know why? Because you're the mom and you spend the most time together. That means that not only are you around more, period, you stand more of a chance of losing your temper or "making a false move." (Never mind that it's impossible NOT to make a false move with-a kid like that.)

Armchair quarterbacking is always easier.

Our child psychiatric said exactly the same thing as the Juv. Det. guy who gave us a tour last Friday: "NO MORE DRAMA."

These kids thrive on it, for whatever reason. Maybe just because it wears us down.
Here's an icon/smiley you will learn to use a lot and identify with, because we all have to learn to be "Happy Warriors," no matter how much we hate it.
Good luck.




New Member
Thanks Terry. You are right. I probably never should have asked her to run upstairs with those books. Silly me thought it wouldn't be an issue. I had asked her 3 times yesterday to take them upstairs and each time she said "I'll do it in a minute" Today I realized she never got around to it and since she was going back upstairs anyway to put on a gallon of makeup, lol, I figured it wouldn't be too much to carry the books. Silly me for treating her like a normal kid. Strangely, she asks daily to be treated like a normal kid.

I notice that your husband is a chiro. Does he have anything to say about chiro care for ODD kids? Also, I want to ask about your diet. How on earth do you get a kid with ODD to comply with a strict diet. I'm convinced that if I could just get her to sleep well and eat well we'd be on the road to success, but just getting her to do those basic things is impossible!!!


New Member
It's NOT your fault, no matter what anyone says. Parenting a difficult child is one of the hardest things to do. Those that have never parented a difficult child have absolutely NO idea how hard it can be, and automatically think it's got to be your parenting. I think that most of the others on this site have probably heard the same thing. I know I have. Try to be strong and ignore those that think they can judge you based on your difficult child's behavior. Easier said than done sometimes, but that's what I try to do.


Well-Known Member
Hi. Who diagnosed her? Did she see a Psychiatrist? Has she been on any medications? Any history of psychiatric or neurological disorders in the family? ODD is a diagnosis that rarely stands by itself. It is usually part of a bigger disorder, often a mood disorder.


New Member
You're not alone...I don't have many words of wisdom as I am going through my own drama with my daughter. I hope you find the site helpful. These moms are wonderful and so so supportive!


Active Member
Also, I want to ask about your diet. How on earth do you get a kid with ODD to comply with a strict diet. I'm convinced that if I could just get her to sleep well and eat well we'd be on the road to success, but just getting her to do those basic things is impossible!!!

My daughter is also on the girlfriend/CF diet. It completely turned her around. I used to have that exact scene you described in my house. Honestly, the only time that happens now is when she has made a mistake in her diet. It is much easier to cope with when I know what is causing it and that she will revert back to her new, pleasant personality once she gets her diet together again.

For a former ODD kid, my daughter is amazingly compliant. She does cheat sometimes because it is very hard, even for adults. I got her to try it by allowing any junk food she wanted in the beginning as long as it didn't have gluten. We did gluten first and saw results and then added the casein. My daughter can see a difference so she is pretty compliant. I can see a difference in her behaviour when she cheats and I have threatened to restrict her activities and/or follow her around if I even suspect she has been cheating. The old difficult child would have screamed at me that she didn't care, she didn't want to go anywhere anyway. The new "easy child" complies!

I saw your other post and will say I still struggle with her eating way too much junk food.


Well-Known Member
Welcome. :smile: Has your difficult child always been difficult or is this relatively new behavior? I think it's important to note that changes in sleep or eating habits could signal the onset of a mood disorder. Plus, she's probably in puberty which will make everything doubly difficult. Has she been formally diagnosis'd with ODD? And if so, does she have a co-morbid condition as well? Another possibility if the change is sudden (and I know you don't want to consider this) is drug use. Scary, but I thought I'd throw out there. This would be more likely if there are sudden changes in other areas of her life: school, friends, hobbies/activities.


New Member
Yes, I think I would work in steps. She cleaned the room, so you get to go to the library. The books are a separate issue. How important is it that the books be moved? Is it important enough to go through a meltdown over? This is what I have had to do over and over again!

No, it is not your fault! These kids have difficulties and different needs than other kids. It is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Sometimes the right medications can help, and hopefully the right supports in school.


Active Member
For future reference (isn't 20:20 hindsight wonderful?) keep the new task separate from the old one. Throw in a new reward - "We're going to the library anyway - if you can take these books back up to your room, since you're going there anyway, you will save me enough time so we can stop in at the shop for an ice cream after the library."

Once a task has been completed and the promised reward earned, NOTHING should prevent it. No "next task", nothing. Even if the child is bad-mouthing, back-chatting, being horrible - the reward has been earned. Chances are any backchatting is being aggravated by the fear that you're about to go back on your word.
If you feel that handing over the reward during a misbehaviour episode will be interpreted as a reward, then hand it over with, "I WAS going to also include x, but not while you're being rude to me like this." That is, if you want to go there at all. If the child is being rude, it helps to have some understanding of WHY (from the child's point of view). Then it's easier to get under their skin and turn it around - not by being parental-oppositional (which a lot of parents seem to use, thinking it's appropriate discipline) but by being a bit sneakier.

Example: Mother is cooking dinner. It's almost at the point where she can put the lid on the saucepan, turn it down low and leave it to simmer for half an hour. Daughter wants her mother's attention.

Mum: I'll come and read to you when I've finished stirring this pot. If I don't do this now, dinner will be late.

Daughter: Mu-u-u-m! I want you to read NOW! My favourite TV show is on in half an hour, I don't want to miss it.

Mother: In half an hour's time, I will be back here at the stove, finishing dinner off.

Daughter: But mum, you said you were going to read to me! You said you would read when you've finished stirring the pot - now you say I have to wait even longer - that's not fair! (tantrum begins to escalate - daughter has misunderstood in her impatience).

Mum: I'm almost ready to take a break - there! (Lid on the pot, flame turned down low).

Daughter is still throwing a tantrum.

So what happens here? If the mother now reads to her daughter, is she rewarding the tantrum? It will feel like it. But remember - the tantrum has actually resulted because the daughter thought the mother was about to break her promise. So failure to read the book will prove the daughter right (in her own mind) which is NOT good - it will be teaching the daughter t hat promises get broken. Further down the track, daughter will use this to justify lying and breaking HER promises.
Answer: Ignore the tantrum. Ignore the bad behaviour IN THIS CASE. Sit down beside daughter and begin to read. She should calm down fast. if she does not, keep reading unless her behaviour is escalating. If she calms down fast, then ask if she wants to go back to where you started. A fresh start. Don't ask for an apology. Just ignore the bad behaviour. Just keep YOUR promise. Do this often enough, the apology will come by itself. This is the best apology of all - unprompted, given freely. Anything else has no value, frankly.

If you want to make something more of this, wait until a later time (say, after her favourite TV show has finished - she got that, PLUS the reading, she's not been hard done by after all) and try to talk about it quietly and gently. Don't labour the point and stop the discussion as soon as (preferably before) she gets upset. Because if she's upset, you're not going to be able to make a point with her, she's not listening.

This is a long drawn out, ongoing process. But if you can stick with it progress does happen. You need the patience of Job and the wisdom of Solomon sometimes, but that's part of being a parent.

And you will make mistakes. Recognise that. Apologise for them and move on. In doing so, you are setting an example for her to follow, should your way of living ever sink in.



New Member
<span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #990000"> welcome!

first thing i would do is get her to a child/adolescent psychiatrist & a neuropsychologist for an evaluation. ODD rarely, if ever, stands alone. take a look at your family history for any signs of mood disorders ~~~ this includes depression, adhd, or anything else. it gives you a place to start researching.

i strongly recommend you get a copy of THE EXPLOSIVE CHILD by ross greene. he has oodles of great advice on how to impact behavior.

for advice on diet you might want to pay a visit to The Natural Treatments forum. the folks there no tons about that stuff.

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