Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Guide To Honest Parenting

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Thursday, March 25, 2010


We had a good visit to the Therapist. Cayle talked a lot more than usual and was a lot nicer than usual. She is going to start a new medicine. We will see how this one does. We are getting ready for a field trip for tomorrow, so I will be back later.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More Ramblings

The evenings after school have been up and down. We have been trying to keep Cayle busy with doing things and sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. If she is not busy doing something, she is either on the phone or on the computer, both of which we have been trying to eliminate for the most part. trouble seems to find Cayle,so to speak, and we have to be on our toes as not to let things happen that she would let happen. It is not easy and it is mentally as well as physically tiring when you have to be on alert and on guard at the same time for a 13 year old who honestly thinks that she is able to do what she wants to do. She goes back to her therapist on Thursday. There will be some discussion as to her behavior recently and to find out what else is wrong as I know that there is something else there and I spend most of my free time, while she is at school, trying to pin point it. I struggle from day to day, cry everyday and wonder everyday if she will ever get better. I have all the hope in the world, but there is still that thought process as to when things will be better. It is hard for me and I know how hard it is for her. It is so heart breaking for my own child to be so distant from me. I have learned to accept the symptoms and the outcome, but I don't think that I will ever truly get used to it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Support Group

I am going to start a Support Group for Parents of Children with Behavioral Problems. It is going to be a local group. I have also started an online Support Group @ http://hardroad.ning.com/ Please feel free to join the group. For anyone local who wants to join my Support Group, I will be posting more details soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: the War in your Home

By: James Lehman

When Hunter was a baby, Pat never imagined parenting him would mean becoming stuck in an argument with him lasting 15 years. From the time he was old enough to express himself, it seemed that he was looking to start a fight with her.

"He's a very strong-willed person," says Pat, her polite demeanor belying an obvious understatement. "He's manipulative, and he learned at a very young age how to make that work for him to get what he wanted."

The simplest things always seem to turn into huge problems because Hunter simply refuses to do what he is asked to do, whether it was brushing his teeth at age five, or raking the yard at age 15. The word "no" lights his fuse, especially when in response to something he wants to do. "He's always doing these irritating things," Pat explains, "as if he enjoys bothering you."

Getting out of bed in the morning is the issue around which Hunter and his parents argue the most. "We've had the worst time in the world getting him up in the morning and into the shower. I know this is unbelievable, but he gets in the shower, stretches out in the bottom of the tub with the water beating on him, and goes back to sleep. From that moment on, we have to micromanage his morning to get him to the bus stop."

Recently, Hunter was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Pat finally has a name for the behavior that's been exhausting her all these years. Now, she needs a solution. How does a parent stop the arguments with a child whose primary way of communicating is arguing?

James Lehman: A day with a child who has Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a series of battles in an undeclared war. It starts when they wake up, continues at breakfast, intensifies when they have to get dressed, and doesn't end until they fight with you over bedtime.

Kids with ODD lose their temper quickly and often. They're easily annoyed and frustrated by other people, resentful and hostile with adults, bossy and pushy with other kids. They blame everyone else for their difficulties and make excuses for their inability to cope. They gravitate toward negative peers and tend to be sulking, angry adolescents.

Unrestricted free time is a breeding ground for aggressive behavior for these children. In an unstructured environment, they become annoying, threatening or destructive to kids around them and to adult authority figures. They will use this time to deliberately antagonize anyone they see as "in charge."

As a parent, you can't satisfy a child with ODD, since their thinking is irrational. They beg for your attention and then want to be left alone. The sad truth is, kids with ODD aren't very likeable. Parents often feel guilty about the fact that they love their kids, but don't like being around them.

Parents get blamed for their child's oppositional behavior and tend to heap even more blame on themselves. The parent of a child with ODD often feels incompetent and isolated. They live with the self-imposed shame that other people think they're bad parents, and that humiliation grows larger as their world gets smaller. Left untreated, Oppositional Defiant Disorder can lead to Conduct Disorder, a more serious pathology that is a precursor for anti-social behavior and criminality.

Of course, for many parents, ODD is not the primary issue. Rather, they are dealing with continuous, low-level defiance that is not incendiary and aggressive, but is aggravating, annoying and disruptive to the family. Whether the defiance has turned into a diagnosis of ODD or has not, the parent's approach should be the same.

How to Stop the War and Restore Peace at Home

Most parents lack the tools to deal with oppositional defiance. So they generally respond to this behavior with a range of responses that includes negotiating, bargaining, giving in, threatening and screaming. The problem is when you scream, argue or negotiate, you are giving your child's defiance even more power.

Everyone from the school psychologist to your mother-in-law will tell you what this child needs is "structure." But no one really shows you what kind of structure and how to put it in place. It's not as easy as giving the child a time out. A child with ODD won't use the time out to change his thinking. He'll use it to plot revenge. Parents have to change their style of parenting and mode of operation with the child.

Children with ODD need structure with an aggressive training component that is built around learning how solve the problems that trigger their defiant behaviors. Your child becomes oppositional when he is confronted with a problem and he can't figure out how to fix it. The problem can be anything from not wanting to get up in the morning (as in Hunter's case) to not wanting to do homework. Screaming at the child to get out of bed won't work. You need to show the child that he has a problem that has to be solved and address it as such. Example: "Lying in bed after your alarm goes off won't solve your problem. It makes you late and you miss the bus. What can you do to solve your problem?"

The focus of treatment should be on developing compliance and coping skills, not primarily on self-esteem or personality. ODD is not a self-esteem issue; it's a problem solving issue. There's no evidence that self-esteem leads to compliance, and emotions are not, in and of themselves, a way to kids to cope with their problems. Kids get self-esteem by doing things that are hard for them.

Children with ODD need a lot of strong praise and support as well as realistic rewards. They don't benefit from a pat on the back for doing something that's easy for them to do. They should be praised for doing things that are challenging to them. Don't create false situations for which to praise them to make them "feel better." Parents need to learn several different parenting styles that meet the needs of this child. You need to be less of a "cheerleader" and more of a trainer and coach.

Avoid senseless power struggles. Pick your battles with your child carefully and win the ones you pick. Many times you can win fights with this child by not arguing back. When you argue with him, his resistance strengthens. Instead of arguing, set limits in a businesslike way and expect compliance.

Have a plan for managing your child's behavior. When you're going to the mall, know what you'll do when he acts out in the car. It's important to lay out the rules ahead of time, when things are calm. For instance, before you go to the mall, tell the child, "When you lose it in the car, it becomes dangerous for me and for everyone because it's distracting. So if you lose it in the car, I'm going to pull over for five minutes, and I'm not going to talk to you. You'll have five minutes to get your act together. If, after five minutes, you have not regained control of yourself, then we're not going to the mall. We're going to turn around and go home. Have a plan you'll use if he throws a tantrum in the store or if he acts out at a family gathering. And be willing to follow through on the plan until the child learns defiance doesn't get him what he wants.

Parents dealing with ODD need a powerful mix of determination and strength. You can have a child with ODD and a peaceful home. The key is to decide: Are you going to change the world for your child or teach him to cope with it? It's not practical or effective to try to change the world for your kid. But by setting limits consistently, concisely and clearly, you will teach your child to cope with the world and succeed in it.

Copyright 2007. EmpoweringParents.com

About the Author

For three decades, behavioral therapist James Lehman has worked with troubled teens and children with behavior problems. His practical, real-life approach to managing children has been taught to parents in private practice and now through The Total Transformation Program, a step-by-step program that teaches James' techniques and helps parents change their children's behavior. www.TheTotalTransformation.com

(ArticlesBase SC #218527)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/ - Oppositional Defiant Disorder: the War in your Home

Talking To Toddlers - Toddler Behavior Problems

By: Chris Jensen

Toddlerhood is a difficult, exciting, and interesting period of life. Fundamental learning processes develop as the child begins to seek autonomy, explores the world, learns how things work, begins to tolerate limitations, express desires, and develops relationships. It is also the magical time of childhood encompassing the tumultuous twos and the terrific threes. The toddler’s excitement and frustration make this a period of incredible challenge for caregivers, especially as toddler behavior problems begin to arise.

Click Here For Talking To Toddlers Best Deal Now!

Negativism is an expression of the toddler’s constant search for autonomy. The toddler resents being given directions or not being allowed to explore. The toddler delights in doing the opposite of what is asked and responding with a “no” to all requests. As disrupting as negativism can be, another characteristic developing simultaneously is ritualism, or the need to maintain sameness. Rituals or routines provide repetition where the child may gain comfort and security. Disrupting these rituals will make the child experience stress, respond by exerting autonomy, and frequently regress to dependence and negativism to cope with the situation. Regression is a return to an earlier, safer, and more familiar behavior.

Sibling rivalry which is defined as intense feelings of jealousy between siblings is also often seen when an infant is born into a family with a toddler. The toddler perceives that the arrival of the new baby as a competition for the caregiver’s attention. The toddler also begins to fear loss of love or abandonment. Temper tantrums are also common among toddlers. These are outward explosive reactions to inward stressful or frustrating situations.

Dealing with toddler behavior problems may indeed be difficult. One important part of toddler discipline is limit setting or letting the child know what they are able to do and not do in a particular situation. These limits may be established by the child, adult caregivers, or the external environment.

But regardless of the methods used, it is essential that the caregivers teach the toddler the reasons for the discipline.

Click Here For Talking To Toddlers Best Deal Now!

About the Author

This author writes about Talking To Toddlers and Dealing With Child Behavior.

(ArticlesBase SC #1371656)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/ - Talking To Toddlers - Toddler Behavior Problems

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Monday, March 8, 2010

Conduct Disorder

Conduct disorder is a psychiatric category marked by a pattern of repetitive behavior wherein the rights of others or social norms are violated.
Symptoms include verbal and physical aggression, cruel behavior toward people and pets, destructive behavior, lying, truancy, vandalism, and stealing.[1]
Conduct disorder is a major public health problem because youth with conduct disorder not only inflict serious physical and psychological harm on others, but they are at greatly increased risk for incarceration, injury, depression, substance abuse, and death by homicide and suicide. After the age of 18, a conduct disorder may develop into antisocial personality disorder, which is related to psychopathy.[2]
The diagnostic criteria for Conduct Disorder (codes 312.xx, with xx representing digits which vary depending upon the severity, onset, etc. of the disorder) as listed in the DSM-IV-TR are as follows:
A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at least one criterion present in the past 6 months:
Aggression to people and animals
often bullies people, threatens, or intimidates others
often initiates physical fights
has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (e.g., a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, gun) (except for activities such as archery and hunting)
has been physically cruel to people
has been physically cruel to animals
has stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging, purse snatching, extortion, armed robbery)
has forced someone into sexual activity
Destruction of property
has deliberately engaged in fire setting with the intention of causing serious damage.
has deliberately destroyed others' property (other than by fire).
Deceitfulness or theft
has broken into someone else's house, building, or car
often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid obligations (i.e., "cons" others)
has stolen items of nontrivial value without confronting a victim (e.g., shoplifting, but without breaking and entering; forgery)
Serious violations of rules
often stays out at night despite parental prohibitions, beginning before age 13 years
has run away from home overnight at least twice while living in parental or parental surrogate home (or once without returning for a lengthy period)
is often truant from school, beginning before age 13 years
The disturbance in behavior causes clinically significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational functioning.
If the individual is 18 years or older, criteria are not met for Antisocial personality disorder.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Conduct Disorder


Conduct disorder (CD) is a behavioral and emotional disorder of childhood and adolescence. Children with conduct disorder act inappropriately, infringe on the rights of others, and violate the behavioral expectations of others.


Children and adolescents with conduct disorder act out aggressively and express anger inappropriately. They engage in a variety of antisocial and destructive acts, including violence towards people and animals, destruction of property, lying, stealing, truancy, and running away from home. They often begin using and abusing drugs and alcohol and having sex at an early age. Irritability, temper tantrums, and low self-esteem are common personality traits of children with CD.


Conduct disorder is present in approximately 6–16 percent of boys and 2–9 percent of girls under the age of 18. The incidence of CD increases with age. Girls tend to develop CD later in life (age 12 or older) than boys. Up to 40 percent of children with conduct disorder grow into adults with antisocial personality disorder.

Causes and Symptoms

There are two subtypes of CD, one beginning in childhood (childhood onset) and the other in adolescence (adolescent onset). Research suggests that this disease may be caused by one or more of the following factors:

poor parent-child relationships
dysfunctional families
inconsistent or inappropriate parenting habits
substance abuse
physical and/or emotional abuse
poor relationships with other children
cognitive problems leading to school failures
brain damage
biological defects
Difficulty in school is an early sign of potential conduct disorder problems. While the child's IQ may be in the normal range, he or she can have trouble with verbal and abstract reasoning skills and may lag behind classmates, and consequently feel as if he/she does not "fit in." The frustration and loss of self-esteem resulting from this academic and social inadequacy can trigger the development of CD.

A dysfunctional home environment can be another major contributor to CD. An emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive household member; a family history of antisocial personality disorder; or parental alcoholism or substance abuse can damage a child's self-perception and put him or her on a path toward negative or aggressive behavior. Other less obvious environmental factors can also play a part in the development of conduct disorder; several long-term studies have found an association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and the development of CD in offspring.

Other conditions that may cause or co-exist with conduct disorder include head injury, substance abuse disorder, major depressive disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Fifty to seventy-five percent of children diagnosed with CD also have ADHD, a disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity.

CD is defined as a repetitive behavioral pattern of violating the rights of others or societal norms. Three of the following criteria or symptoms are required over the previous 12 months for a diagnosis of CD (one of the three must have occurred in the past six months):

bullies, threatens, or intimidates others
picks fights
has used a dangerous weapon
has been physically cruel to people
has been physically cruel to animals
has stolen while confronting a victim (for example, mugging or extortion)
has forced someone into sexual activity
has deliberately set a fire with the intention of causing damage
has deliberately destroyed property of others
has broken into someone else's house or car
frequently lies to get something or to avoid obligations
has stolen without confronting a victim or breaking and entering (e.g., shoplifting or forgery)
stays out at night; breaks curfew (beginning before 13 years of age)
has run away from home overnight at least twice (or once for a lengthy period)
is often truant from school (beginning before 13 years of age)
When to Call the Doctor

When symptoms of conduct disorder are present, a child should be taken to his or her health care provider as soon as possible for evaluation and possible referral to a mental health care professional. If a child or teen diagnosed with conduct disorder reveals at any time that he/she has had recent thoughts of self-injury or suicide, or if he/she demonstrates behavior that compromises personal safety or the safety of others, professional assistance from a mental health care provider or care facility should be sought immediately.


Conduct disorder may be diagnosed by a family physician or pediatrician, social worker, school counselor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. Diagnosis may require psychiatric expertise to rule out such conditions as oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar disorder, or ADHD. A comprehensive evaluation of the child should ideally include interviews with the child and parents, a full social and medical history, review of educational records, a cognitive evaluation, and a psychiatric exam.

One or more clinical inventories or scales may be used to assess the child for conduct disorder, including the Youth Self-Report, the Overt Aggression Scale (OAS), Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC), Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), the Nisonger Child Behavior Rating Form (N-CBRF), Clinical Global Impressions scale (CGI), and Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC). The tests are verbal and/or written and are administered in both hospital and outpatient settings.


Treating conduct disorder requires an approach that addresses both the child and his/her environment. Behavioral therapy and psychotherapy can help a child with CD to control his/her anger and develop new coping techniques. Social skills training can help a child improve his/her relationship with peers.

Family group therapy may also be effective in some cases. Parents should be counseled on how to set appropriate limits with their child and be consistent and realistic when disciplining. A parental skills training program may be recommended. If an abusive home life is at the root of the conduct problem, every effort should be made to move the child into a more supportive environment.

For children with coexisting ADHD, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, or learning disorders, treating these conditions first is preferred, and may result in a significant improvement in behavior. In all cases of CD, treatment should begin when symptoms first appear. Several studies have shown methylphenidate (Ritalin) to be a useful drug for both ADHD and CD in some children.

When aggressive behavior is severe, mood stabilizing medication, including lithium (Cibalith-S, Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate, Lithotabs), and carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol, Epitol) may be an appropriate option for treating the aggressive symptoms. However, placing the child into a structured setting or treatment program such as a psychiatric hospital may be just as beneficial for easing aggression as medication.


Follow-up studies of conduct-disordered children have shown a high incidence of antisocial personality disorder, affective illnesses, and chronic criminal behavior in adulthood. However, proper treatment of coexisting disorders, early identification and intervention, and long-term support may improve the outlook significantly.

Conduct disorder that first occurs in adolescence is thought to have a statistically better prognosis than childhood-onset conduct disorder. Adolescents with CD tend to have better relationships with their peers and are less likely to develop antisocial personality disorder in adulthood than those with childhood-onset CD. There is also less of a gender gap in adolescent-onset conduct disorder, as girls approach boys in CD incidence. Childhood-onset CD is much more common among boys.


A supportive, nurturing, and structured home environment is believed to be the best defense against conduct disorder. Children with learning disabilities and/or difficulties in school should get immediate and appropriate academic assistance. Addressing these problems when they first appear helps to prevent the frustration and low self-esteem that may lead to CD later on.

Parental Concerns

A child with conduct disorder can have a tremendous impact on the home environment and on the physical and emotional welfare of siblings and others sharing the household. While seeking help for their child with CD, parents must remain sensitive to the needs of their other children and adjust household routines accordingly. This may mean avoiding leaving siblings alone together, getting assistance with childcare, or even seeking residential or hospital treatment for the conduct disordered child if the safety and well-being of other family members is in jeopardy.

See also Aggression; Oppositional defiant disorder.



Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, Inc., 2000.

Eddy, J. Mark. Conduct Disorders: The Latest Assessment and Treatment Strategies. Kansas City, MO: Compact Clinicals, 2003.


Black, Susan. "New Remedies for High School Violence." Education Digest. 69, no.3 (November 2003): 43.

"Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Trends and Treatment." The Brown University Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology Update. 6, no.8 (August 2004): 1+.


The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 3615 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016. (202) 966–7300. Web site: www.aacap.org.

Web Sites

Goodman, Robin and Anita Gurian. "About Conduct Disorder." NYU Child Study Center. Available online at: www.aboutourkids.org/aboutour/articles/about_conduct.html (accessed September 12, 2004).

[Article by: Paula Ford-Martin]
From www.answers.com