Disruptive behavior disorder can seriously affect a child’s daily life. Children with disruptive behavior disorder exhibit an ongoing pattern of defiant and uncooperative behavior. Their reactions to authority figures range from indifference to hostility. Their actions often influence those around them, including teachers, peers, and family members.
Cierra Fisher, Licensed Therapist and Program Specialist, says, “The most common child disruptive behavior disorder I work with is oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). It is commonly a dual diagnosis with attention deficit disorder (ADHD). Signs of ODD are defiant behavior towards authority whether it is parents, teachers, or other adults in the child’s life as well as threatening or argumentative interactions with peers. This defiant behavior can look differently for each child but typically includes manipulation, name calling, and can even turn physical.”
She continued, “If there are any signs that your child may have ODD, or any disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorder, I highly recommend having your child evaluated as well as seeking additional support for both your child as well as your family. A good indicator of whether or not you truly need this support is to ask yourself, ‘Is this behavior impacting our family? Impacting my child’s education? My child’s ability to be happy? My ability to be happy?’
If the answer to any of these questions are yes, it is a good indicator that your child and family could benefit from support outside of the home. Moreover, the sooner, and the younger the child is when they do receive additional interventions and support to address ODD, or any disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorder, the more successful intervention can be.”
Cathy Domoney, a world-renowned Parenting Expert, Author, Mentor, and CEO of Parenting Evolution, enumerated the following possible signs of Child Disruptive Behavior Disorder;
- Often lose their temper
- Argue a lot
- Don’t follow the rules
- Deliberately annoy others
- Blame others for their mistakes
- Being abusive towards others
- Substance abuse
- Easily annoyed by others
How to Help Your Child?
If you think your child may be suffering from disruptive behavior disorder, there are many steps you can take to help. The first steps are:
1. Act now to address your concerns.
School-age children develop important academic and social skills. Anything that interferes with your child’s ability to learn, follow directions, or make friends can have a significant impact on his or her personal development and academic performance.
2. Search for other possibly related conditions.
Studies show that many children diagnosed with ADHD may also be diagnosed with ODD. Get the correct diagnosis so you can find the right course of action to help your child.
3. Don’t underestimate the seriousness of behavioral disorders.
If your child is behaving aggressively or violently, take immediate action to protect yourself and your child.
4. Know that you are not alone and that there is a solution.
Many parents are struggling with their child’s behavioral issues right now. Know that there are many qualified professionals who can help you find solutions that are right for your family, including a therapist who will help you establish and strengthen the parent-child bond and reduce destructive behaviors.
5. Make them feel appreciated.
Cathy, says, “It is very important to establish loving and firm boundaries because boundaries are a sign of safety for a child. By keeping them within these boundaries they feel heard and safe. Start by complimenting them even over the smallest of their achievements because when we feel disconnected, even these small things matter.”
6. Take care of yourself.
Dealing with an aggressive, impulsive and rebellious child can be very stressful. Find ways to manage your own stress by walking, chatting with friends, meditating, doing yoga, and more.
Please consult your child’s pediatrician. There are many resources and professionals who can diagnose your child and provide relevant information and help.