ODD help please!!!


New Member
I think I psoted this to the wrong forum before (watercooler)... see how new I am? I am very new to these forums.

My name is Debra and I am 35 years old, married with a one child. Our family also has 3 spoiled cats. I work in accounting. The folks I work with are very good to me and have been very supportive over the years. My husband tries to help at home but I think he just gets scared or something. I feel like I am doing all the work. I talk to him but sometimes feel like I am talking to a brick wall

I would love to hear from some parents on how they cope with their ODD kids (and possibley some spousal support ideas!)

My daughter is 6 1/2 with ADHD, ODD and anxiety. She is on 3 medications. I am on medication for depression and anxiety. If my daughter had a personalized t-shirt it would read, "It's my way or the highway!"

Any support or stories would help.

Today was pretty bad and I spent most of my day crying after my daughter destroyed me emotionally again (on the long drive to daycare). I think of when she used to be so sweet ("before") and it always makes me sad. Yes I pray and I see a psychiatric and talk to some friends, but I could use more firends if you know what I mean. Some days I feel so lost. I really don't mean to sound pathetic ... maybe I am.

Thanks in advance for any caring people out there!
My daughter has ADHD, ODD and anxiety. She's currently 6 1/2. I could use any support!

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

Welcome :flower: (I welcomed you in another reply but don't know if you saw it)

It's really tough when you feel like your the only one doing all the work. been there done that My husband has a gift for making situations with the difficult children worse. :hammer:

I have friends in the "real" world. Problem is they can't understand the nitty gritty of my life because they don't have difficult children. So, yes. We can certainly all use more friends, especially ones who understand what we go thru everyday. Your not pathetic. You're raising a difficult child.

I'm glad to hear you have sought help for yourself, too. It's important that we as parents remember to take care of ourselves in the midst of difficult child chaos. Good for you.

My daughter Nichole often tried the "My way or the highway" route. Unfortunately for her, I'm a grown difficult child and much more stubborn than all 3 of my kids combined. (but it did make for some awfully volitile times)

We have many parents of ODD kids here. I'm sure you'll hear from them, too. I just wanted to extend a warm welcome to you.

Welcome! You found a great group of folks here. When my son was busy getting himself kicked out of pre-schools, it was wonderful to visit here and "talk" to folks that live my life. Most people are know think it's a disaster if their cub comes home with a note; we got calls on a regular basis to come pick him up.

I read a lot of stuff, but "The Explosive Child" was the best resource. There are some great posts on here about applying the principles to younger children, too, and I'd check those out if I were you. [The Early Childhood Zone has them, I believe.] That book helped my husband deal with our son better.

My son is lot like me, so I understand why he does what he does, but it's still infuriating. I can get him to do what I want better than most people (still not saying a lot) because I know what's going to set him off. The Lamictal helped him so much, I can hardly describe it. Before it (and we tried a number of other drugs first), I wouldn't have had a chance. All of my experience and knowledge couldn't compete with the firestorm in his brain.

Not sure what your cub is doing to "destroy you emotionally" such as on your way to daycare, but I'm sure you'll be able to get a lot of good tips here. I have lots of little "mantras" I say to myself so I don't engage in whatever emotional whirlpool is going on at the time. Mostly, I tell myself repeatedly, He didn't choose to be like this, when he's really infuriating. I mean, who'd pick such rotten brain chemistry if they had a choice? My son used to lose his temper and go into a I-hate-you-I'm-going-to-kill-you speech, so I'd tell myself that it was just him relieving internal pressure and it didn't really have anything to do with me, no matter how it sounded. I have no idea if this is the sort of thing you're dealing with; I haven't been on the site as much as I'd like these days.

Anyway. hang in there. You found a good place. Take care and much love...


Welcome to the board!

My daughter is another that just digs in her heels and there is no getting around it. I've tried. Not to say she gets her way, but it always results in a meltdown and/or rage. There have been many, many times that I've actually been surprised when the neighbors didn't call the police because she is loud. With all the windows and doors shut I can hear her at the mailbox at the street. I swear she can be so headstrong in her own self defeat....sigh.

My friends just say that they don't know how I do it; that I have a lot more patience than they do. But, we aren't really given a choice. I remember one night when it first started getting bad (when difficult child was 4), I was on the phone with a girlfriend and difficult child was upstairs in her room about 45 minutes into full blown rage. Then difficult child started kicking the door. Hard. My girlfriend could hear this over the phone and couldn't believe how calm I seemed and was astonished that I didn't march right up there and put a stop to it. I had to explain that I couldn't go upstairs because if I did I was going to hurt her. The door could be replaced. My kid can't. I felt like such a horrible mother for saying that out loud. And trying to talk to difficult child or even making an appearance when she was in that state only resulted in escalating the situation without fail.

Of course that was before the professionals and a diagnosis (diagnosis) and I had NO idea what I was dealing with. By now I can identify triggers that set off the behavior and realize that the behavior is a symptom not the cause so I can either divert the behavior or at least understand where it's coming from. I almost never get that angry anymore. The lexapro I take helps, too. :wink: Tired, exasperated, frustrated, annoyed, worn down...yeah. But not so angry.

Probably the best advice I can offer is to make sure to take time for yourself.

I'm glad you found us.


New Member
Can't help with the spousal stuff, sorry. :frown:

I have an 8yo boy with-ODD. He's a tough one, that's for sure. He's always been difficult, but would behave better for me until this past year. I think his growth spurt sparked some kind of emotional roller coaster in him. Anyhow, he does a lot better with strong willed adults than with passive, soft-spoken people. Maybe it's because I'm a bit tough, but he walks all over adults who let him.

I always take time for myself. Sometimes it's getting rid of all the kids and having the house to myself (I mean, that is why I'm at work all the time -- to have a decent home.) Or I'll have dinner with a friend and talk about everything OTHER than my kids. Or swap play dates with his friend who has ADHD -- the other boy's parents need a break once in awhile, too.

And I tell myself when I'm in the heat of battle "This too shall pass". Because it will. I calmly breathe and as long as he's not hurting anyone, I let him get it out, then we talk about how he could have done it better. He's actually been calming down a lot faster and started to talk his way through his anger. One thing for sure, butting heads is just going to be that.

And I don't feel sorry for him or the rest of the family. He's this way for whatever reason -- fair or not. I take this as an opportunity for my family to learn something. Raising a child with a disorder obviously takes compassion and understanding.

And I really, really want my kids to grow up to be compassionate and understanding men. (Not to mention feminists.)


Debra, welcome! I'm glad you found us.

I have a few questions:
What kind of doctor diagnosed her and is treating her?
What medications/doses is she taking?
Are things better, worse or about the same since she started taking the medications?

Again, welcome. You will find a lot of support here.


Active Member
Hi! Welcome to the board. I'm fairly new here as well and have enjoyed the wonderful people on here.

Make sure that you take the advise of the others and read Ross Greene's "The Explosive Child". It is really a comfortable read (not a lot of 10 dollar words that make you feel stupid!). When I found it, it felt that he was sitting in my living room writing the book! The best part is that he gives you a little insight as to how these kids see things and the "lack of thought process" that goes on with them.

The spousal stuff seems pretty par for the course. It seems that one parent seems to click and the other seems to rely on the other to "handle" things. If you do read the book, try and get your husband to read it too. It really makes a difference if you both "buy into" the way to handle your difficult child.

Good luck, God Bless and check in often. It's amazing what insights you gain on this site!



Well-Known Member
Hi Debra and welcome,

A few suggestions I have are to make sure you and your husband are completely on the same page and very consistent when dealing with your daughter. Develop appropriate consequences for the behavior and stick to them. Don't ever let your daughter think she can divide you and your husband. Find ways to help your daughter be more flexible. Give her plenty of advance notice when you are switching activities. Give her two choices...we can do this or this, let her think she has a say in the process.

Be aware of any changes or increase in her negative behavior and keep her therapist/doctor informed. It is not uncommon to have to try many different medications before you find the one that works the best for your situation. Also as your daughter matures her behaviors will be different so be flexible. What may look like one thing today could look quite different in two years.


Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi Debra!
Welcome-You have found a wonderfully supportive place. I know exactly how you feel when you say your daughter destroyed you emotionally. They certainly save their "best" for moms. Some days it is easier than others to let it roll off our shoulders. Some days no matter how much I fight it the tears come. You are not alone. It helps to remember its part of their illness and to try to really hold on to the days (or in my case part of days) when do something really special or are just plain nice.

It is very important to find some "me" time. Without my exercising I know I would have a much harder time coping. Other times I just hide away with a good book.

I'm glad you found us-this place has been a lifesaver for me!

Sara PA

New Member
Be aware that the drugs most often used to treat ADHD and anxiety (stimulants, antidepressants and the antidepressant Strattera used to treat ADHD) can cause or worsen behavior --including behavior that is identified as ODD -- and does so for many children. And telling the doctor that the behavior has worsened with the addition of the medication doesn't guarentee that the doctor will acknowledge that the problem might be the adverse reactions to the drugs.


New Member
Wow, your daughter is just like mine!!!! I have felt so alone. My daughter often kicks the door so hard the walls rattle and things fall of the wall. The special behavior school she is currently in, is helping ... she has been there 6 weeks - 3 more to go. I guess I am just impatient and expect things to happen over night...

It was so nice that you replied to me!



New Member
Thanks for taking time to talk to me!

Christina has been diagnosed by a psychiatrist thru a "Children's Hospital" branch.

She is on the following: - all medications for 6 months now
Focalin XR 10mg (for ADHD)
Zoloft 50 mg (for the anxiety)

She gets so angry sometimes - it's scary ... like a rage!

Hi there Debra

Glad to see you on the board. Hope we can all be of help to you! My daughter is so very much like yours.

Sending gentle hugs and prayers your way. Did you find an icon yet?

Sara PA

New Member
You said she was on three medications but only posted the Focalin and the Zoloft. Is there a third? Is she raging worse since starting the medications? Yes, we call it raging and it can be caused or made worse by either of those medications. Zoloft at any time and Focalin when it wears off. It is considered a psychiatric adverse reaction. And it can and likely will get worse the longer the child takes the medication that is causing that reaction.


Hi Debra. ODD is a struggle. I struggled for years. My difficult child is 12 and I was told ODD 9 years ago. I was in denial for a long time. Thought it was me, something I did..anything I could think of. I remember when he was 4, he would have me in tears within hours of waking up.
I have no spousel support. husband will try to justify everything difficult child says or does. husband will believe difficult child over me. husband thinks I make these things up. Finally I told school to no longer call me, call husband. That lasted about a month. husband cannot get phone calls at work, could only return messages on break. On the otherhand, difficult child would never speak to husband the way he speaks to me.
I use to think husband did this because difficult child is his first child and he was older when difficult child was born. I truely believe now that husband is a difficult child. Has some really bizarre beliefs regarding medication, doctors and such. (Like, he doesn't need them, he is a big tough guy, and he doesn't need help..he's a man)
So, I struggle through each day and take it one day at a time. I tell difficult child I love him, hug him. It amazes me how after a meltdown difficult child is like nothing ever happened. I cannot forget so quickly, though I try. In calmer moments we talk. He says he understands, but the behavior eventually repeats itself. Seems to be the same issues all the time, and it is always because of someone else. So frustrating.
Many amazing people on this board. So much advice.
Hope you find some advice that will help.


New Member
I want to say something meaningful to you.

I have nothing - other than you're not alone, you're not a bad mom, and I cried when I read your post.