Getting angry with your child or teen is a common parenting mistake, and one which is very, very detrimental to parenting/education, particularly if your child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder. It is considered a grave mistake.

When you get angry you are exploding. You are losing control of yourself, and this has very severe ramifications for a number of reasons.

1- When you lose control, you are showing your child that he can do something that gets to you. This is a golden opportunity for an ODD child to be able to have some type of control over you. They love to have control. And I can guarantee you that if you get angry about something, you are going to see that behavior over again and again from your ODD child or ODD teen.

2- When you get angry, the anger itself becomes the central issue in your child’s mind. This means that whatever you’re trying to accomplish, whatever behavior you’re trying to get rid of, has lost its importance. The only thing in your child’s mind that’s important is that you’re angry. And that’s a serious problem, because even if your child does obey you, he will not learn anything from the lesson you teach him.

3- When you get angry you are role modeling that anger is okay under certain circumstances. Your child learns from what he sees happening around him. Since you are your child’s most important role model, how you behave is how you can expect your child to behave.
Simply put, when you get angry you’re teaching your child that there are certain problems and certain circumstances when it’s okay to be angry and temperamental.

One of the best examples of poor modeling behavior that I’ve ever seen is actually something not in real life. It’s something I saw in a commercial in a foreign country. I was watching a movie in a foreign country. I did not understand the language so I don’t know what was said. But, here is what I saw.

The commercial was for a certain snack food that the company was trying to make look desirable. The first scene shows the mother with that snack food in her hand. The teenage daughter walks in the room and tries to reach for the bag. The mother smacks her hand and says something which seemed to imply, “Get your own!”

The following scene shows the teenage girl with the snack food in her hand. Her 12-year-old brother comes in the room and reaches for the bag. She smacks his hand and the same thing repeats itself. Now the 12-year-old brother has the snack food in his hand and the 5-year-old sister comes in the room and reaches for the food. He smacks her hand and says, “Get your own!”.

The final scene shows the 5-year-old girl holding her dolly and the snack food in her hand. And in this scene she is pounding and beating up her dolly repeating what they said –“Get your own” – again, pounding her dolly.

That’s what role modeling is. When you get angry, you’re teaching your child that anger is acceptable and that it is a good thing. Whereas we know that anger is not a good thing. It’s not a good characteristic not for you, nor is it healthy it’s not for your child. It is something that you must avoid at all costs.


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  • If you are worried that your aggressive and angry child is going to grow up and become a problematic teenager
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  • If your child’s anger is straining your marriage
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If your child is stealing, then you are probably extremely worried about it. You also may be wondering what exactly is the best way to handle the problem. In this article we will discuss the reasons why children steal and what you should do to help your child with this problem.

Preschool children do not steal. Until a child reaches the age of four or five he does not have a well-developed concept of ownership. As a result, he cannot understand taking things that don’t belong to him is wrong. A preschooler is too young to understand the concept of stealing.

Elementary school children do understand the concept of possession. A child in elementary school steals because he sees something that he wants and he lacks the self- control to hold himself back. A child this age knows that stealing is wrong. Since the child knows what he did was inappropriate this is the age where you can begin to give discipline for stealing.

Preteens or teens steal for the thrill of it. They are also highly influenced by peer pressure and they fall into a crowd that steals for fun, they will steal too. Preteens or teens may steal to fill an emotional void, or to gain a sense of control.

Whatever the age of your child and whatever the reason your child is stealing, you as the parent must act with wisdom to respond to this issue. If you just respond according to your natural inclination, you will almost certainly do the wrong thing and your response might even exacerbate the problem and be destructive for your child.

Five Reasons Why a Child Steals

We are now going to discuss the five most common reasons children steal and how you should respond.

1- Your Child Lacks Self-Control

This is primarily a problem for younger children as we have stated previously. An elementary school child knows that stealing is wrong, but sometimes he sees something that he wants, sees the opportunity to get it without being caught, and can’t control his impulse to take it. He knows that stealing is wrong, but he can’t help himself.

Get ADHD and ODD
Teen Behavior Help

for children 12 and older

The most important way to handle a child who steals for this reason is to give him an honest way to get what he wants. To do this you figure out what types of things are tempting him and then use them as rewards for good behavior. However, make it easy for your child to get these things. If your standards are too tough for him, he will feel unable to meet your expectations and he’ll think that stealing is the only option.

In addition, you must try to limit temptation. If your child likes to steal money or candy, then don’t leave these things lying around in plain view.

2- Your Child’s Basic Needs are not Being Met

Your child is completely dependent on you. If a child feels that his parents are not giving him those things that he needs, he will eventually try to get these things on his own. The easiest way for a child to get something is to steal it.

If this is your child’s situation it is not a criticism of you, nor does it mean you area bad parent or are depriving your child. What a person feels he needs is mostly subjective. What happens frequently is that what a parent views as a luxury a child feels is a necessity. That means having an extra treat frequently or carrying a bit of pocket money, may be something that you feel is not something your child requires. However your child may feel a real lack without those things to the point where he is driven to fill that need.

3- Your Child Needs More Attention

This is probably the most common reason a child steals. He has an emotional void and he is tying to fill that void y taking things to make himself feel better. Your child may feel lonely and distant from you, or he may be having a lot of trouble in school or with friends. He steals to feel better.

Many children feel that they do not get the love that they need. This is not because their parents don’t love them or give them love. It is just that the love being given comes in a way that the child does not perceive it as love.

When a child does not feel he is getting love, he may act out in a number of ways. He talks back, argues, disobeys, and can be disrespectful and abusive. Some children steal.

If this is the reason your child is stealing, then punishment is very counterproductive. The solution is to show your child love in a way that he perceives it as love. This will improve your child’s behavior in every way, including getting him to stop stealing.

4- Your Child Needs More Control

Children have very little control over their lives. Some children have a great deal of trouble handling this sense of helplessness. This type of child might steal to gain a sense of power and control or just to rebel.

Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder tend to have a big problem with authority and control issues. The best way to handle this type of child is to get help from someone who knows how to handle these types of children. Normal parenting techniques do not work well with these children so you need an expert in ODD child behavior or ODD teen behavior.

5- Peer Pressure

This is more of a problem with older children, where friendships play a greater role in their lives. If your child has fallen into a group where stealing is one of their pastimes, then there are some very specific things you must do. For more information, see the article, What to Do When Your Teen Chooses Bad Friends.

In the next two articles in this series we will discuss in more detail ideas how to handle your child if he is stealing.

Please share this article.

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    Anthony Kane, MD
      P S Please leave a comment because I would really like to get your reaction to this.

        If you would like to have a quick step-by-step plan on how to end your child's difficult behavior forever and your child is between the ages of 2 and 11:

          Please go to:

          How to Improve Your Child's Behavior

          Today we are going to discuss the difference between giving effective consequences and punishments, and why effective child discipline can change your child’s behavior while punishments do not.

          First we must be clear that punishments do not improve child behavior. We see this clearly from our prison system. You cannot punish someone into changing his behavior for the good. That is true for child, it is true for teens and it is true for adults.

          However, child discipline through consequences can improve your child’s behavior. The reason is simple.

          When a parent disciplines a child using consequences, included in the discipline is a teaching experience that instructs your child how to behave better in the future.

          One of the main reasons a child misbehaves is that it is the best option he knows at the time. A child misbehaves for one of three reasons.

          1-He doesn’t know any better
          2-He is in a situation that he doesn’t know how to handle and he falls apart
          3-He has learned that this behavior gets him the best result

          When you attach a teaching experience with your discipline you are addressing all there reasons. You are teaching a child who doesn’t understand his behavior is wrong or doesn’t know how to handle a certain situation the proper way to behave. And through the negative aspects of the consequence you are showing a child who has learned that bad behavior gets him what he wants that this option is no longer an effective.

          You are taking a child who responds to a certain challenge in an inappropriate way and showing him the proper way to respond. You are using child discipline to encourage your child to improve his behavior in the future.

          For example, if your child is angry, he may hit another child, or throw a tantrum, or use inappropriate language. The reason he does this is that this is the best response he can come up with when he is upset.

          Now if you were to just punish your child for his misdeeds, you would show him that his choice of behavior is not satisfactory, but you would not have suggested to him a new way to behave. An effective consequence includes the lesson of how to behave in the future as part of the consequence. Your child is learning a new way to respond.

          What does this look like?

          Let’s say your teen has a problem with cursing and he speaks to you with bad language.

          An appropriate consequence would be to ground him to his room until he writes you a letter of apology. Included in that apology should be what he can next time instead of cursing.

          For example, when he is feeling angry or upset, instead of cursing he can remove himself from the situation and go to his room. You may have to coach him on the appropriate response, but once you he learns it and you have his commitment in his own handwriting, it is far more likely that he will remember to go to his room the next time he is angry or upset.

          When the situation comes up again, he can either reflexively curse or he can go to his room and cool off. And if he chooses to curse you can just show him his letter with his commitment to go to his room, and then you will have much less resistance to giving another consequence. He will know that he deserves it.

          In short, effective child or teen discipline requires your consequence to include with it a teaching experience in order to show your child how to behave better. This is the major difference between ineffective punishments and effective child discipline.

          This is just one of the secrets of effective child discipline that most parents do not know.

          We have a free CD on the 7 biggest mistakes parents make when giving discipline to their child or teen.

          We are going to stop giving away this CD in another week or so. If you have not yet grabbed your copy, you better go right away to:

          Claim Your Free CD

          So this is what happened last night…

          If you did not call in to the teleseminar on

          How to Save Money on Your Child’s College Education

          last night, then you do not know why I am writing to you.

          However, if you were on the call or tried to get on the call you know exactly why I am writing to you.

          A few minutes after the call began, I lost my internet connection. Since the service that I use requires that I be logged in to manage the dashboard, when I got shut down, the call got shut down.

          It took about 40 minutes to get the connection back and by then it was too late.

          When I got the call log information and I saw how many people went to the call and found nothing…
          I feel really bad about wasting everyone’s time.

          The normal thing to do would be to apologize and reschedule the call. However, one of the things I was going to announced on the call last night is something that is extremely time sensitive.

          I worked this out for you after Wednesday’s call, so if you were on that call you do not know about this yet

          And if I wait until next week to reschedule the opportunity will have passed.

          Here is the Deal:

          First of all, to make up for what happened, I am going to give you the recording of the call from last night.

          You can listen to it at your leisure any time you want.

          This is What is Time Sensitive:

          I worked out a deal for you where you can get a free consultation on what you can do financially to prepare for your child’s college education.

          That means you can speak with Ron Caruther’s counselors and they will go over your situation. They will give you some strategies that you can use right away plus they will give you an idea of how much you can expect to save each year.

          This consultation is easily worth $100 and it should save you well over $1000/year.

          It’s like getting $4000 in your pocket and it’s free.


This consultation requires no commitment on your part and they understand this. It is purely to give you a clear idea of your options. 

          Their office opens at 10 am PST so here is what you need to do now: 

          First you’ll need to call Maria: 

          The number is:

          (760) 239-6619

          Be sure you only speak with Maria and tell her you are with DR. Kane’s group

She will answer any questions you have and schedule your one-on-one free consultation.

          This is a really good deal, because :

          • it costs you nothing
          • it can save you so much.


          Anthony Kane, MD

          P S Make sure you call first thing, because they set aside only a certain number of spots for this free consultation and Ron didn’t tell me how many.

          It could be open to 5 families, it could be for 15, I don’t know.

          So what I would suggest you do is this:

            1- call and schedule your free consultation
            2- after you schedule your time, listen to the call at your leisure
            3- if after you listen to the call you like what you hear, then you already have your slot.

          If you don’t think this will help you, just call and cancel.

          This will give you the best chance at taking advantage of everything I have set up for you

          Now here is where to get the recording of last nights:

          teleconference call

          To listen to the call, click on the link.
          To download the call just click on the link with your Right Mouse Button.

          So at 1 pm EST or 10 am PST call:

          (760) 239-6619

          Speak only with Maria and be sure to tell her you are in Dr Kane’s group

          Please post your comments and impressions below.

          “Everyone from Barack Obama to Bill Gates keeps pushing a college 
education as the way to secure one’s economic future.”

          But is this idea true or false?

          Well, the answer is that it depends.

          It is true that statistically on the average college graduates earns more than high school graduates. However, your child is not a statistic. So what is true for most other students may be entirely irrelevant to your child’s situation.

          Recently, featured an article about Kelli Space. Kelli is 23 years old and graduated from Northeastern University in 2009 with a BA in sociology. She also graduated with $200,000 of student loan debt.

          Given that the average starting salary for someone who holds a BA in Sociology is about $35,000/year, if she applies $10,000 of her annual salary just to pay her loan, Kelli will spend almost 40 years working full time just to pay off the principal and accrued interest on her college loan.

          That means that for most of Kelli’s life she will be carrying around this debt with her. She will bring it with her to her marriage. It will be with her when she gives birth to her children. And when her children grow up and they go off to college, Kelli will still be paying off her student loans.

          Of course, all this is assuming her lenders would let her pay only $10,000 a year. What is actually happening that Kelli is expected to pay $1600/month or $19200/year. That means after Kelli pays her loan debt she will have $15,800/year left over to do things like buy food and pay income tax.

          How did this happen? How did Kelli get herself into such a financial mess?

          The truth is that it is not really Kelli’s fault. True, she is the one who ultimately made the choices that got her to where she is today and she is the one who is going to suffer for those choices. But how old was she when she started on this path? Seventeen? Maybe eighteen?

          Kelli’s story is really unfortunate. She entered college full of optimism thinking that this was going to open the future for her. But at seventeen she lacked the experience and foresight to think about the debt she was accruing and what that would mean to her future.

          So where were the adults that were supposed to be watching out for her? Well, like most of us, Kelli’s parents believe what Barack Obama and Bill Gates believe. They thought education is the key to success and they wanted their daughter to have the best education possible.

          What about Kelli’s school advisers and guidance counselors? Shouldn’t they have had the experience to steer Kelli on the correct path? It seems that looking out for Kelli’s financial future was outside their realm of expertise. It’s not in their job description.

          But do you know what is really tragic about Kelli’s story? Two things:

          1-Her situation is not unique. In fact, it is quite common. Children are graduating college every year with a debt burden that is going to hamper their lives for decades.

          2- What happened to Kelli was entirely preventable.

          Had Kelli received the proper advice from someone who really understood the system and all the options available, she would have been instructed on what steps to take to avoid the obvious financial disaster of her current plan.

          Kelli had a whole host of options and opportunities that would have protected her without requiring her to pick a cheaper school or a higher paying career. But unfortunately, the adults in her life were not aware of these options. Her parents didn’t know about them. Her teachers had not heard of them. And her guidance counselors were completely unaware of them.

          So now Kelli and many college graduates just like her will spend most of their adult lives burdened by the price of a degree that was supposed to give them financial security. Or else they will be forced to default on their loans and ruin their credit for the next decade.

          And again, all of this was preventable. That’s what is so sad.

          You definitely don’t want this to happen to your child.

          If you have a child in high school that you plan to send to college, then I am going to give you the opportunity to protect your child.

          Recently, we held a free teleseminar for our community where the nation’s leading college planner. Ron Caruthers, revealed numerous strategies to save money on your child’s college education. The interview lasted 86 minutes.

          Ron has agreed to let me broadcast this teleseminar again.

          The repeat of the teleseminar will be held two times this week.

            Wednesday at 3 PM EST
            Thursday at 9 PM EST

          The teleseminar is 86 minutes and I will be on the line afterward to answer any questions you might have.

          Therefore, if you are interested in learning how you can save thousands of dollars on your child’s education, please sign up below and I will send you the information to get on the call.

          Enter your name and email address below:

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