Respect for the Parent of ODD


New Member
I just want to say that I have the uttmost respect for those of you who parent an ODD child. I had two encounters with ODD boys today that gave me a whole new surge of respect for those of you who are contending with this day in and day out.

I watched a mother with great admiration at the pediatric dentist's office this morning. The nurse called her ~6 year old difficult child. He screamed, thrashed, threw magazines, cursed, raged. The mom had an interesting technique. She started to walk towards the nurse and said very calmly: "Okay, Max, you wait for your turn". The nurse started to say: "Come on Max" and the mother stopped her. "Please", she said firmly to the nurse, "He has ODD and if you call him he will react very strongly". The mother kept walking towards the exam room saying: "Just wait for your turn then Max" over his screaming protests. Finally he started to shout: "I want my turn!" and followed his very patient mother. I was impressed.

The second encounter happened this evening at the playground at our swim club. I was with Miles-- there was another little boy ~4 who was on his own playing near him. I often see this boy playing on his own while his nanny / parents is (are) by the pool. The little boy was trying to do the monkey bars-- he slipped and fell. Hurt and on the ground, he instantly started to cry. I went to him (as any nurturing mom would) and said: "Come sweetie, let me help you up and let's find your grown up". As I got next to him, he stood up and punched me in the face. Hard. The boy ran off.

Seb is very challenging and concerning but I do not have to contend with these challenges. His brand of oppositional behavior is in the constant verbal sparring, the rhetoric-- it is never physical and that is such a dramatic distinction. I really feel so much for those of you who are dealing with the ODD on top of the already demanding comorbid conditions.

That's all I wanted to say. I saw these two boys today and my heart went out to all of you.

Stella Johnson

Active Member
Hmm... the first mother did have a pretty good idea. :warrior:
Thanks for sharing that.

Thank goodness my difficult child has gotten out of most of her extreme ODD behaviors. I think she grew out of it. Still has some tendencies but nothing like when she was younger.



Well-Known Member
Stella, you give me hope by saying you think she outgrew it. My difficult child is going on twelve and hasn't outgrown it. He's no longer physical, though he swings at me and acts like he wants to hit me soooo badly. The verbal abuse is non-stop...and nothing seems to work.


New Member
It's so nice to be respected...because often times it's the total opposite. To be in the Dr's office waiting room and to get the GLARES from the other parents...the people judging you and assuming what a bad parent you are for allowing your child to be so out of control. To not be able to eat out at a restuarant.

Thank you.

Andrea Danielle

New Member
What a great perspective! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My difficult child is Bipolar and has Tourette's - I could easily throw the label ODD in there, but that would be an understatement for what we go through. I think we all deserve medals.
It is so embarrassing being in public, trying to stay calm because that is the right thing to do and knowing that one wrong word (ie. no) or one wrong step can cause a huge reaction. I am always walking on egg shells and so are the rest of the family. I am always so excited to find a way out of a corner - especially when I am in public - without causing him to explode.
We try humour, distractions, and lots of pre-planning.

I wish everyone would recognize the efforts!



Ahhhh, the doctors office. I swear I had to peel his hands off of every chair once his name was called. Then screaming and kicking. And the glares. As if I MAKE him do this. When he first saw a psychologist he use to climb on the couch, kick me, run out of the room down the hall. Very verbal towards me. doctor said very calmly, "does this bother you?" I was ready to scream. I took of difficult child shoes because he was kicking and doctor told me it shouldn't bother me, I should ignore it. We had many rough times. Sometimes I just wanted to smack him. But I didn't. I would leave the house. Go to neighbors for a few minutes. Then when I would return it was like nothing happened.
He has gotten so much better. Still at times, I don't want to claim him. (like baseball yesterday.) He fumbled the ball for a second and all you could hear was him whining about how he's not going to play anymore, if they lose it is all his fault, he's a bad player, etc. (also, throwing his glove and hat on the ground) We just ignored him and cheered for everyone else.

So many people have never heard of ODD. And even if they have heard of it, unless they have personal experience they have no idea. difficult child is a easy child when at neighbors house. Always. But she has seen him in action at our house.

It is nice to have someone acknowledge that there IS such a thing. People take one day at a time. With ODD you take one hour at a time. You never know when that instant will happen. Enjoy when you can.


Active Member
Parenting a difficult child isn't for the faint hearted and I've been amazed at what knowledge and skill is accumulated in the process. One day I was coming out of the grocery store and saw a mom carrying a big party cookie in one arm and dealing with a near tantruming preschooler in the other and I figured I could lick that kid with one arm tied behind my back. ;-)

I think the physical stuff was by far the hardest for me. I was able to keep my cool through most any verbal stuff but staying calm and making good parent decisions in the midst of a physical situation is tough...and doubly so in public.

My difficult child had made so much progress since those days that I've often thought to put "ex" in front of difficult child but I've decided not to be hasty with that since hormones are still in his future.