Monday, May 30, 2011

The Hip Housewife is worried about one of her offspring

I've spent some time looking at information about Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  The symptoms include: 
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Excessive arguing with adults
  • Often questioning rules
  • Active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
  • Deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
  • Blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
  • Often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
  • Frequent anger and resentment
  • Mean and hateful talking when upset
  • Spiteful attitude and revenge seeking
Will doesn't seek out revenge.  He only deliberately annoys his sister. 

But he will refuse to do a task when he's asked.  He'll look in your eyes and do exactly the opposite of what you tell him to do.  He does say he hates you when he's sent to time out.  He's a big time tantrum thrower. 

I think some of the issue is related to how much he eats.  When he gets cranky I try to get him to take a spoonful of peanut butter, hoping the protein will help his mood.  I've got this opinion because these things generally happen in the morning, before he's eaten or in the late afternoon. 

I haven't heard anything from his preschool regarding any of the above behaviors.  And he's different with other moms.  And then he can be the sweetest kid.  He makes friends everywhere he goes.  When he got up and saw that I'd hurt my knee, he got me a wet cloth to try and make it better.  I was taking them upstairs to put them to bed last night and he held my hand because he said I could walk better if he was holding my hand.

On bad days, Scott and I look at each other and wonder what it is he needs.  We've tried time outs.  We've tried taking things away.  We've tried spanking him. 

Now it's time to consult with a pro.  I'm going to call the child psychologist who worked with Zoe when she was first diagnosed with ADHD to set up an appointment.  Scott and I will both attend to speak our concerns and get a little advice. 

This is scaring both of us to death because of what we might find out.  But it's better than ignoring the problem and continuing to yell at the poor kid. 

Are you sure there's no instruction manual?

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  When selecting glasses frames, go with the opposite of your face shape.  If your face is angular, go with a rounder frame.  A round face will look best with angular frames. 

Okay.  he has friends.  He isn't in trouble at school.  He doesn't seek revenge


Cyndee said...

Easy does it Hip Housewife....
deep breath right here. Take him and feel better.

sarah said...

Alice is certainly an ODD kid, as I just finish punishing her for being a fucking ass to everyone in the house once AGAIN today.

She is super sweet and great with everyone else in the world, she gets here, with me, she is the devil.

Annie said...

Jared was ODD. I've seen other kids with it too. The worst thing about it is that (even more than ADD or ADHD) other mothers perceive it as "naughtiness", but the kids really tear their hearts out over the fact that they just can't behave. It's heartbreaking.

The good news? They *so* grow out of it. It is not a lifelong condition, and the coping strategies that you put in place now will (if he's anything like Jared) ensure that he's an unusually pleasant teenager.

I've explained it to other people by saying this, "If I drew a line in the sand and said 'you can do or have anything in the whole world as long as you don't step over this line', then the *very first* thing he'd do would be to step over it."

ODD parents often need to parent in ways that make other parents blink in astonishment. When ODD kids flake out, give them more responsibility. Don't challenge their acting-out, don't even reference it. Criticise hard when they aren't good enough, and praise lightly. It's all counter-intuitive, but it really does work.

But there is light. I wish you could see Jared these days - he's easily one of the nicest teenagers I've ever met. Even-tempered, polite, helpful and hard-working. Will is sure to get there too.

Love and more love to all of you.