Oppositional Defiant Disorder in a 7 Year Old boy...anyone Know About This?

Updated on April 29, 2008
K.R. asks from Houston, TX
6 answers

I have a 7 year old nephew that is just giving my sister fits these past few months. He is very bright academically, but has become very aggressive in his behavior toward his mother, father and two older siblings. He throws tantrums when things don't go his way and says very ugly things to his family when he's mad and just wants to be "in charge". He just demands attention all the time. Crazy as it sounds, when he's at my house, he's a different child. I see none of that behavior, so it has something to do within their family unit. I'm trying to help my sister figure out how to help him and/or discipline him. I have noticed that my sister and her husband are NOT on the same page when it comes to making him mind, so until that happens, he will keep acting out. But has anyone heard of oppositional defiant disorder and if these characteristics fall into this category possibly? He expresses his anger toward them and doesn't seem to care what he says. He also still wets the bed at home. Again, when he stays at my house on occasion, he does not. My sister is really struggling trying to figure it out and is currently looking for a psychologist for him to see. If anyone has or is dealing with this, please give me some tip, suggestions, advice so I can pass them on to my sister. Thanks in advance.

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answers from Houston on

i know i'm a little late in responding to this but wanted to add...it's possible that he is a strong willed child that is not being diciplined properly. i'm not brushing off the ODD possibility but ODD is not as common as strong willed children. they should definitely have him seen by a psychologist to make sure. but your sister could also check out some books like "Raising Your Spirited Child", "Setting Limits for your Spirited Child", or "The Strong Willed Child". but if he is strong willed and not ODD i still suggest family therapy to learn how to deal with him so that he will learn to control & deal with his emotions and his actions. Just a suggestion. Good luck!



answers from Houston on

I used with do therapy with children under 18, and I am very familiar with this diagnosis. I would strongly recommend that your sister's whole family (that live with the boy) attend therapy. Family therapy provides the fastest, effective, and long lasting effects. However, it also appears that your sister and brother in law can gain benefits from parenting classes as well. wetting the bed may be something that is physically caused or emotional, so it might be helpful for your sister to talk with his pediatrician. Nearly 100% of the time, ODD, or oppositional defiance disorder can be helped with parenting education and family therapy. Hope this helps.



answers from Killeen on

I can't diagnose or pass judgment on him or the family structure. But I can say with a lot of personal experience as my Daughter has ODD and ADD, that they can not deal with this on their own, they really should see a professional. We attend family therapy, and she sees a counselor and a psychologist, It has helped and we are on our way but still have a long way to go.
The entire family has to be on board for this to work out. I am very lucky that my husband and I are on the same page with care and discipline that helps a lot.
Good luck .



answers from Houston on

It doesn't sound like ODD, it sounds like poor parenting. If he can maintain good manners at your home but not in his home it is clear that the problem is at home. Something in the home is giving him permission to act this way. When you said that the parents aren't on the same page when discipline is concerned, that sent a big red flag for me. Family therapy and parenting classes sound like the right idea to.



answers from Portland on

My daughter (now 10 yo) is ODD. ODD is normally a component of ADD or ADHD. HOwever, some children can have the ODD without the others or the ODD is so bad that their minor ADD charecteristics are not noticible (my child).

Some of the characteristic you described are very much ODD. However it is best to have a competent psychologist/pshychiatrist diagnose him.

As for his behavior having "something to do within their family unit". You are wrong. If he is ODD the fact that his behavior is fine when he is with others is also part of it. And he will be. He understands these are places to visit and while he may have been there before, ha hasn't become comfortable enough with the surroundings or the people to begin acting out there.

I had a hard time convincing family members and friends that my daughter's acting out was more violent and out of the ordinary for a normal child as they never saw it for themselves. It made me feel isolated, alone and as though I were doing something wrong. The fact that my child has often been highly praised for her manners at other homes is proof that this is not the case.

ODD is caused by a hormonal imbalance in the brain. It can be controled with medications. I sought thereapy for my daughter in Kindergarted as that is when she began acting out to where it was noticed outside the home, and put off medication until she had progressed to other charecteristics that made me concerned for my much younger twins safety (violent, explosive tantrums) and shoplifting (3 years later).

The best thing you can do is offer as much emotional support to your nephew's family and convince his mother to seek a therapist/counselor/phsycologist whatever for her family and her son to help them cope with this very difficult disorder.

I recommend putting off meds as long as possible, to see if his ODD responds enough to simple counseling.

Good Luck!!! ;-)



answers from Houston on

My brother has ADHD and ODD. They need to get a handle on this as soon as possible. My brothers became so bad that my parents had to turn him over to state custody to get him the proper treatment. The first step they need to take is to get a proper diagnosis and start counseling. The school can help with all of this and by state law has to work with him to help comtrol the situtation. The more stucture that you can help provide with help your nephew. His parents are not bad parents, just parents that want the best for there son and don't know what to do next. Please continue to allow your nephew to come to your house to stay he needs to know that everyone loves and cares for him. He is not acting out at your house due to the fact that he is not home and it is an unfarmiliar enviroment. You can contact the United Way and Deplin center for help, they both work on a floating pay schedule for consouling. I wish your family positive prayers and thoughts and am hoping for the best for your nephew.

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