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How do I cope with my daughter's ODD when all her aggression is focused on me?

I am at the end of my rope in dealing with my 5 year old's temper and moods. I was asking her pediatrician about her moods and he thinks it's odd. I just don't know what to do anymore she can reduce me to tears in no time it seems like I am the only one she targets. Anyone else dealing with this issue?

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Asked by Summer8 at 5:31 PM on Feb. 9, 2012 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • she does it because it reduces you to tears and she knows it.

    I would suggest to try counselling to learn how to deal with her aggression toward you. She might not target you as much if she knew it didn't bother you like it obviously does.

    Answer by layh41407 at 5:35 PM on Feb. 9, 2012

  • Has she been formerly diagnosed? If so, is she in any type of behavior therapy? I would start there and ask the therapist on techniques you can use at home.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 5:42 PM on Feb. 9, 2012

  • And it is called "manipulation" - if a child can get away with it, she will.

    Answer by tasches at 5:53 PM on Feb. 9, 2012

  • True that support from a behavioral therapist could help a lot. But also, just gaining information to inform & support new strategies could be valuable. A shift in parental attitudes/thinking & strategies/responses can improve coping (on your part) & improve the interactions in general. Some responses are likely to cement or entrench the oppositional cycle, & simply tweaking those so that you are meeting some of the child's needs for acknowledgment/recognition instead of triggering more defiance (because HER response was triggering/upsetting), can help you avoid those pitfalls.
    Two books that address this issue of how to relate, things to avoid, & ways to respond to objectionable retorts/outbursts without entering a power struggle that leaves everybody involved feeling disconnected, disrespected & resentful are "Hold On To Your Kids" (Gordon Neufeld) and Scattered: How ADD originates & what you can do about it (Gabor Mate, MD)

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:21 PM on Feb. 9, 2012

  • By the way, I do realize that Mate's book is about ADD (not ODD) (And Neufeld's book is a general parenting/relational book addressing relationship issues with hard-to-parent kids or situations in which the "power to parent" has been undermined by feelings & behaviors that have eroded the attachment relationship, and parental responses that continue to damage it.)
    The reason I mention both these titles is that they address "counterwill," or oppositionality & automatic defiance, in GREAT detail, discussing what sets it up & what exacerbates it, as well as what kinds of responses tend to defuse it. So there is a lot of information to support improved relating and better functioning.
    They offer an alternative to a heavily behavioral focus, & point out why that focus tends to backfire.

    Finding ways to acknowledge her feelings instead of argue/reason with her may help with the moods.

    Can you describe some typical interactions?

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:34 PM on Feb. 9, 2012

  • ODD..what is that again.

    Answer by meooma at 7:08 PM on Feb. 9, 2012

  • I wouldn't feed into her cycles. The true ODD personality thrives off of reactions from their target. Try setting up a sensory cart with objects that stimulate the senses (squish balls, headphones with soothing music, puzzles, hand warmers, etc). When she begins undesirable behavior, ask her to choose something from the cart to use in an area free from outside stimulation. After she appears calm, talk openly about her behavior, ask her how she was feeling and how she is feeling now. Open dialogue when she is calm will show her that she needs to find ways to calm herself, and it may also hit home that she will only have the attention she craves from you when she has desired behavior. GL!

    Answer by kenzie07 at 8:00 PM on Feb. 9, 2012

  • Try counseling.

    Answer by robinkane at 10:48 PM on Feb. 9, 2012

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