Reply To: 9 year old ODD is getting the best of me

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i dont know if this is any help to you but my son went through a stage of utter defiance and i was really really worried it was ODD. what helped was talking to him about it, why we need to follow instruction and cooperate and then when he didnt and it ended it badly i spoke about how awful the outcome was, how bad it made us both feel. then i told him he needed to starve the defiance, it was greedy and loved to be fed and that each time he was defiant it got biger and stronger and would end up creating a lot of trouble for him. so after a week or two of chatting like this i told him we were now going to act – tpo do something about it, i wanted him first to notice how often he was defiant so we began counting each time, then after a few days i told him each time he was defiant there would be a consequence, say for example going to bed five minutes earlier or doing a chore, the chores worked better because bedtime can seem a long way off and therefore has less impact. then after another few days i gave him a plastic bracelet and ‘sold’ the idea of a new regime to change things, by this point we were both pretty miserable and he could see how often he was doing it (he could only see this when he was calm!). the bracelet was divided into two with a pen or marker and i put paperclips on it, if he was defiant he would get a warning, then if he did it again i moved the paperclip from one side of the bracelet to the other – i thought the visual of seeing the paperclip crossing the marked line worked well and it helped him to see that he too was ‘crossing the line’ with his behaviors. he hated this system, and so did i, but it did help a lot. he got the warning so it wasnt too punitive at the start and each paperclip moved was a pre agreed copnsequence, he complained a lot, he voiced his opinion on my crappy idea and the stupid bracelet, but it did help. i praised over time as less paperclips moved and things changed but slowly!it took a while to set it up, explain it, get him to notice his defiance and how crap it made us feel and i kept reminding him to stay clam when he felt like doing the opposite to what i asked him to do etc but we got there
i have to say though that what also helped was the school dealt with him in a fairer manner and am sure some of the defiance was just fustration and wanting to rebel against things that were happening in school, and i understand how he felt because there were some unfair things going on and so when finally i got some things changed in school that too helped as he was so defiant in school also