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Oppositional Definant Disorder??? Big WTF need help with this one

JuneS1972's picture

Anyone heard of this or better have experience with it? BOTH stepkids have been professionally diagnosed with this and ADHD. SD is 17 and SS is 14 now. They were both diagnosed around the same age 11 or 13. I thought SD 17 was God awful with her stealing, horrible rudeness, poor grades and trouble in school well SS14 is EVEN worse! At least SD when she was SS's age she had friends and would LEAVE the house or hang out in her room watching tv so I would get a break from her and her wretched rudeness. NOT SS! This little bastard has no friends, needs to be the center of attention 24/7 and has the maturity level of a MAYBE ten year old and ALWAYS around. Plus he also has his sisters wonderful( sarcastic) traits like stealing, lying, REALLY BAD DISRESPECTFUL behavior, poor school grade and rudeness to school staff. At least our pets liked SD unlike SS who the animals hate. Both kids are in bi weekly therapy and according the the therapist this behavior is "classic" for Oppositional Definant Disorder. So my question is good god is this something they will out grow?? Guess Oppositional Definant Disorder is common with kids with ADHD? Anyone?

tog redux's picture

Completely wrong.

ODD is not uncommon.  Kids like this are argumentative, vindictive and very hard to tolerate. They need clear rules and structure with consequences for misbehavior, and rewards for positive behavior.

Good luck. Hope your DH is a strong parent. 

JuneS1972's picture

Unfortunately DH is a classic "Disney dad" with little to NO structure. Both kids daily talk back and refuse to do things asked of them at home  BUT I can't remember the last time DH gave out any kind of consequences. The school will give detentions or make Step kids stay after to finish work and DH will support that but then again HE is not directly giving the punishment. I seriously have to wonder if DH is making it worse by turning a blind eye to their  crappy behavior at home.

hereiam's picture

He is absolutely making it worse by turning a blind eye. He is also hindering their chances of being able to deal with the real world and becoming productive adults. They are going to have a very hard life. Shame on him, he is doing them a great disservice by not dealing with this appropriately.

If they were professionally diagnosed, are they (all of them, DH included) in any kind of counseling/therapy so they can learn how to get a handle on this?

tog redux's picture

Yes, this. He's creating it and making it worse with his refusal to parent. Agreed, he needs to be involved in therapy with them to learn how to parent more effectively. 

JuneS1972's picture

Both kids go to a Psychiatrist for medicine management once every 6 to 8 weeks. DH and BM always go and the Psychiatrist talks to the kids alone then talks to both parents without the kids. Its only a 30 min appointment each kid and the parents get about 15 mins tops each kid. Its more to talk about how the medicine is or is not working for both kids. Both kids also go to a social worker for "talk therapy" about once every two or three weeks. BM only brings them to this, DH does not go. As far as "family therapy" no DH does not do anything like this

hereiam's picture

The kids need behavioral therapy to learn how to deal with, well, their behavior, and your DH needs professional help so he can learn how to best help them deal with their behavior. The issues they have may not be their fault, but they can learn how to manage it, with the proper tools, guidance, and support.

Meds, alone, are not the answer.

tog redux's picture

Most ODD kids just sit and glare at the therapist, refuse to take any ownership for anything, argue and blame everyone else. If this social worker is not meeting with the parents to help them with better structure and parenting, she's not treating it appropriately. 

Heyjude's picture

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is thought to be caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. ODD tends to occur in families with a history of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), substance use disorders, or mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder.


I have had kids with ODD in the classroom. Dont discount environmental factors (permissiveness) as a contributor

crazycatlady1's picture

If you have a disney dad, you have to make the decision for yourself how much you are willing to go thru. I had locks with keys on our master bedroom, my home office and my daughters rooms. I put away all precious items, because they "accidently" on purpose got broke. My DH was not a disney dad and it almost broke both of us. Thank goodness she moved out. I would plan an exit if I were you. Do you have kids with your DH? 

JuneS1972's picture

I've put away AKA 'hidden' my money/valuables that I think step brats would think worthily of stealing. Unfortunately I can't remember all the time and step brats are quick to notice my error. Of course I've told DH and he gets all defensive and accuses me of always blaming "the children" when I lose something as he calls it. I want to strangle him! The younger one even came over with a gold pin. When asked where he got it he said in our house "hidden" in a corner. The pin had a date on the back of 2018. We moved into our house in 2016 so there is NO way it was found in our house. SS must have stole it from someone at school. When things get "mysteriously broken' the poor cat gets blamed. DH will ask step kids did you break this or did you see this missing item and of course they say no. Then it just gets dropped. Not really sure if DH is really that blind(dumb) or just plays blind(dumb) so he does not have to deal with it.

We don't have any children together but I have two older children from my first marriage

JuneS1972's picture

Both kids go to a Psychiatrist for medicine management once every 6 to 8 weeks. DH and BM always go and the Psychiatrist talks to the kids alone then talks to both parents without the kids. Its only a 30 min appointment each kid and the parents get about 15 mins tops each kid. Its more to talk about how the medicine is or is not working for both kids. Both kids also go to a social worker for "talk therapy" about once every two or three weeks. BM only brings them to this, DH does not go. As far as "family therapy" no DH does not do anything like this.  

Winterglow's picture

He needs to make an appointment for himself where he asks what he can do to help his children have "normal" lives. By doing nothing he is handicapping them for life. Do you think you can get that through his thick skull?

Harry's picture

Every 6 to 8 weeks is not enough. It’s should be like every week. Every two months can not do anything except requlate meds 

If SO is a bad parent as a Disney Daf nothing is going to get better


Evil3's picture

Start with marital counselling. That's a way into therapy for at least two people in your family. Your DH needs therapy to figure out why he's so afraid to parent his brats. If you can get into couples counselling to spell out the impact of his brats' ODD on you and your marriage, then a good therapist will know how to get at the root of the problem: your DH's unwillingness to parent.

The kids are not receiving adequate help. Too many parents think a pill with fix everything. Those kids need to be in some form of therpay in addition to their psychiatrist. They are getting scripts for meds, but no direct work towards their behaviour.

Dealing with unparented SKs is hard enough and often breaks down marriages, let alone SKs who are ODD and unparented. I'm actually in therpy for C-PTSD and my SS isn't even ODD. My SD is full blown something. NPD or BPD. But my point is the addition of the ODD ingredient would have done it for me. I would cut and run.

Oh, and don't make the mistake of counting down until the SKs are 18. They won't launch. They're not going anywhere and trust me. Your DH wants it that way. You have some thinking to do.


Thumper's picture

Your poor woman.


Time for you decide if you want to live under such conditions for the rest of your ife.


JuneS1972's picture

My own children are 19 and 20 and off to college. By no means were they perfect or perfect now BUT they NEVER stole from me or  talked down to me as DH's children do. The youngest SS14 has even hit me and his father a few times WITH NO consequences.  DH and I have gone to couples therapy over the kids( my doing) on and off for the last few years. Nothing ever got worked out as DH would down play everything the kids did. Also if the therapist pushed to hard on DH to try/do things different with the kids especially if DH knew the kids would not like it he would just shut down. After trying a few different therapists I just gave up as it caused more tension in our relationship which was already strained as it was.

The older SD17 has a BF and out with friends alot as she always was. She has no job and repeating her last year of school but at least shes not around much. I'm sure she will be living with mommy till her deadbeat BF can afford his own place then she'll  moves in with him. The younger SS14 has been and is much more of a issue. Prone to violent outbursts and temper tantrums over small things like who is going to control the tv remote. When he was 12 I wanted to get a new kitchen table. SS over heard me talking to DH about it a flipped a nut. Crying, redface and swearing/screaming at me. Yes I was as confused as I'm sure you are.   Nothing great about the old table SS just does not do well with change. Not sure if its a control thing with him also and he wants to dominate me in the chain of command in the household or what.

readingandlearning's picture

ODD, is this what we call it now when kids turn out to be poorly behaved spoiled brats due to a general lack of parenting and consequences? 

sandye21's picture

I adopted two older children with it.  They had been abandoned by their birth mother and been thrown from foster home to foster home.  It was a nightmare,  Later on, I worked in special ed, much of the time in the 'behavioral room' with children who had experienced the same as my kids had and found THEY were trying to deal with a nightmare.  The whole thing is just sad.  There are people who should never have kids.

As far as skids having it, I don't know, but it doesn't make sense if they had parents who loved them and set boundaries for them  In my opinion, it looks like someone is stretching - possibly to encourage the use psychotherapy or drugs.


JuneS1972's picture

Both SKs have a string of other mental health disorders. Both have ADHD which they both get meds for. Both have depression/anxiety which the older one takes meds for. The younger one has a "mood disorder" he gets meds for. Guess they can't call label him Bi-polar till hes 18 but thats the way its looking. They both have a few other "disorders" with complicated names I can't recall but has to do with behavioral issues. Yes they are really hard to be around and the younger SS can be...explosive is the word I would use. When He has a "meltdown" it is a combination of anger and sadness like I've never seen. He can be crying hysterically at the same time screaming/swearing at me for changing sometime in the house like new doors.

sandye21's picture

I found the best way to deal with this is have consistent boundaries.  For instance, a 'calming' time out when they get too hysterical with a promise that you will be there for them when they are ready.  Too bad they are waiting to diagnose SS with bi-polar issues as he could be treated for it now and it might make a difference.  They did this with one of my adopted daughters too - said she was too young to be diagnosed as a sociopath.  Would have made life a whole lot easier for both of us.