If your child has ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) or bipolar, you’re familiar with child behavior problems. If your child has signs of autism, ADHD or ADD (attention deficit disorder), Aspergers, or PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified), you may be seeing challenging behaviors.
Five Warning Signs of Challenging Child Behavior:
If you suspect that your child’s difficult behavior is something more than just being a kid, these are the warning signs of a full-fledged challenging child.
1. Refuses to look up into your eyes. This is one of the early signs that your parent-child relationship is in trouble. He refuses to look up into your eyes because that gives you power. He doesn’t trust you enough to give you that control. To test this, ask your child to sit beside you while you show him something, for example, a book or picture. Ask a friend or older child to observe how your child looks at you.
The solution is to mend your relationship. It is rare to find anyone who offers step-by-step advice on how to do this. The first step is to learn and respect your child’s special needs without getting emotionally overwhelmed and without catering to his demands. When you learn how to mend your parent-child relationship, your child will look up into your eyes with respect.
2. Refuses to learn from you. Even your simple efforts to teach him how to hold a fork or comb his hair are refused. He has decided that you are not to be trusted, and therefore he cannot learn from you. You can test this by asking your child to sit with you as you teach him something, for example, how to draw a tree. If the battles begin, that’s your warning. When you mend your parent-child relationship, your child will allow you to teach him.
3. Whines and complains. No matter how hard you try to please him, he always finds something to complain about, for example, the food you prepare. This is an effort to control you, plain and simple. Catering parents answer food complaints by making something the child prefers. The ungrateful child wins again. Next time he’ll complain more so that he can win more. Your child’s whining and complaining will end when you learn how to provide his special needs.
4. Argues. Everything is a battle, from when to wake up, to what to wear, and when to go to bed. This day-long string of quarrels and disputes is exhausting and quickly erodes your relationship. Your child’s arguing proves that he challenges your authority. When he is confident in your authority, he will give up some of his need to set his own rules.
5. Is oppositional. You say now; your child says never. Oppositional children challenge everything, your requests, your rules, and your schedule. It’s exhausting, and heart breaking, and can cause you to want to escape your child’s tyranny. Who can blame you?
If Your Child is Challenging, Listen Up.
If you’re like 99.99% of parents of challenging children, you may be making innocent errors all day long that actually make your child’s behavior worse. Please don’t blame yourself. You couldn’t possibly have guessed. So you can forgive yourself right now.
The five warning signs listed above reveal how ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) develops (65% of children with ADHD develop it). If your child has ODD, or is developing it, his difficult behavior will get worse unless you take action.
Your child needs your specific help to stop these problem behaviors. He cannot do it on his own.
You Can Solve This.
The good news is that ODD can be easily prevented or minimized. The solution is easier than you think. If you are seeing the warning signs that your child is challenging and not just being a typical kid, I invite you to use these parenting tips to improve his behavior and improve your family life.
Copyright (c) 2008 Debra Sale Wendler