How to Get Your ODD Child or Teen to Cooperate

The most important thing that you can do to get your child to comply with your wishes is to build up your relationship.
Defiant Child Disrespectful Child
Children have a natural desire to please their parents. This is true when they are young and it is also true when they become teenagers. Even adults have a need and desire to gain approval from their parents.

You can use what nature has given you as a way to help your child to do what you ask.

Get ADHD and ODD
Teen Behavior Help

for children 12 and older

Now, if your child or teen wants so much to have your approval, why is it that he just won’t listen?

The reason is that other factors get in the way. For an ODD child or difficult defiant teen probably the biggest reason they defy adults is that they resent the subordination they feel toward the adult. They just don’t want to be dominated by anyone and they won’t take orders no matter how much sense it makes and even if it is for their own benefit.

For an ODD child or teen, the issue is who is in control, and almost everything else is secondary.

With such a child, getting them to obey is a major task. You can’t make them do anything. The more you try, the more they will fight you.

So how do you get such a child to listen to you?

You can’t force your ODD child to obey you. But you can get your ODD child to want to obey you.

You do this proactively, by developing and using your relationship.

Developing and strengthening a positive relationship with your child has numerous benefits:

  • You will be happier
  • Your child will be happier
  • You will enjoy your time together much more
  • You will reduce the amount of fighting and arguing
  • Your child will be much less likely to get into serious trouble.

The key to handling a defiant child or teenager is not discipline or control. It is using your natural relationship created through the parent child bond to get your child or teen to want to comply willingly.


    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

          Why Ignoring Bad Behavior Doesn’t Work

          How often have you been told, overlook the bad behavior and focus on the good?

          Get ADHD and ODD
          Teen Behavior Help

          for children 12 and older

          This is great parenting advice. Ignoring your child’s bad behavior makes a lot of sense.

          In fact, in many instances it is the best parenting approach.

          For example, let’s take the case of Andy.

          Andy is a three year old who has just thrown himself on the floor and is kicking and shrieking and having a full-blown tantrum. There may be a number of reasons Andy is having a tantrum right now.

          Perhaps he is over tired. Perhaps he wants something and just doesn’t know how to express what he wants in a more eloquent fashion.

          So if, you as Andy’s mother, are an astute parent you will ignore the tantrum. At a later time when Andy is calm you can make the effort to understand what was bothering him and teach him to express himself verbally.

          Do this consistently and eventually Andy will outgrow the tantrums.

          But what would happen if you responded to the tantrum? What if you showed Andy that the tantrum upset your or got you to pay attention to him in a way that just talking doesn’t seem to do?

          Do this often enough and Andy will realize that throwing a tantrum equals instant attention. For a child, that’s like stumbling upon a pot of gold.

          Andy’s original reason for throwing the tantrum may have had nothing to do with getting your attention. But if you show Andy that tantrums are your hot button it won’t be long before he starts using this new found gold anytime he feels he is being ignored or wants more attention or just wants to get back at you.

          Therefore, ignoring bad behavior is an excellent first line parenting technique and one you should always consider trying.

          The problem, if you have a difficult or an Oppositional Defiant Disorder child he will just not be ignored.

          He will just keep on escalating the bad behavior until it gets to the point where you can’t ignore it. He might start bopping his younger sister. He might stir up his classmates. But eventually he will find a way to make you get involved.

          Ignoring the bad and focusing on the good….It’s a great parenting technique that just about everybody writes about.

          The problem is…

          It just doesn’t work. Not if you have an ODD or difficult child.

          So, if you have an ODD or difficult child, then one thing you must definitely not do is ignore the bad behavior.

          This is important for you to know. If you have an Oppositional Defiant Disorder Child or Defiant Teen and the things you are doing as a parent are not working, it is not your fault. It’s not because you are a bad parent or just don’t know what you are doing, as many people you know are quick to tell you.

          The reason you are struggling with your child or teen is that they are tough to raise. Your child is much harder than most other children.

          Difficult children require more expertise on your part. Just doing what works for other parents with their kids will not work for you. You need to get the information and the parenting skills that will help you with your child.

          Parenting a difficult defiant child or teen doesn’t have to be hard. You just need to know what to do.

          For more information on how to handle your ODD child or teen:

          If your child is 2-11 go to:

          The ODD Child Program

          If your child is 12 and older go to:

          The ODD Teen Program

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            7 Powerful Ways to Show Love to Children

            By Steve Brunkhorst

            Our children are our most important legacy to the world. However, our love is our most important legacy to our children. Here are seven ways to show love that will help children build sturdy foundations for the future.

            1. Spend Time with Your Children.

            Time is the most loving gift we can give to our children. It allows for the mutual exchange of ideas, emotions, actions, and words that help our children develop and learn to communicate.

            Enjoy a toddler’s tea parties as well as a teen’s ball games. Help your children build things and create art. Begin new family traditions that you can enjoy together each year. Ample time spent in mutually enjoyable activities will create memories you will always treasure.

            2. Be the Primary Role Model for Your Children.

            Children need examples to follow. Teach practical values to your children by modeling those values. Admit when you have made a mistake and apologize. Model being committed to the ideals you embrace. Demonstrate the advantage of integrity over peer pressure.

            We teach and influence children more through actions than words. We are our children’s first heroes; the ideals that we live today are the ideals that will influence our children throughout life.

            3. Listen to Your Children.

            A child’s message is one of his or her most essential gifts. We build self-esteem in children when we show interest in what they have to say. Children need to communicate their pride of accomplishment as well as their needs.

            Get down at eye level with very young children and listen with your eyes, ears, and heart. Listen most of all to the feelings conveyed through a child’s eyes and expressions. If you listen to your children deeply, they will grow up listening deeply to you.

            4. Provide Your Children with Loving Discipline.

            Children need guidelines and safe boundaries without being constrained unnecessarily. They need to learn the value of being accountable for their choices and actions.

            Let your children know that you disapprove of hurtful actions but will always love them as sons and daughters. Loving discipline enables them to recognize the best in other people. It allows children the freedom to explore the world safely and reach their highest potential.

            5. Give Your Children Encouragement.

            Encouraging words are powerful emotional deposits of confidence and self-esteem. Verbally acknowledge your children’s special talents and accomplishments. Catch your children doing something great, and tell them what a great job they have done.

            Children need to know that we recognize and support their hopes and dreams for the future. Encouraging children to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually provides the foundation for living a balanced life.

            6. Share Your Experiences with Your Children.

            We each have valuable stories to tell, unique maps of our journey through life. These stories tell how our reactions to events created the life we are living now. Sharing the benefit of your experiences – the roadblocks and rewards – is a very loving
            way to guide your children.

            Your children may face many of the situations you faced. Your
            experiences can help them make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary mistakes. Among the most worthwhile possessions that we can someday leave for our children are journals filled with the stories that shaped our lives.

            7. Love and Support Your Children Unconditionally.

            Love is an unconditional gift from the heart; it is not a reward for good behavior. Let your children know that you will love and support them in any situation. This message creates a sturdy bond of trust. Your children will grow to feel safe in coming to you with any problem they face.

            Children need the freedom to make decisions, try new things, and learn that life requires personal responsibility and persistence. They need the freedom to fail and learn from mistakes without being judged. Unconditional love helps them to acquire the decisiveness and resiliency required to become successful.

            If you could sum up all of our children’s needs, hopes, and expectations in one word, that word would be love. We share love when we play a central role in our children’s world of learning and discovery. Our legacy of love will have a guiding influence upon our children and grandchildren for many generations.


            © Copyright 2005 by Steve Brunkhorst. Steve is a professional life success coach, motivational author, and the editor of Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration, a popular mini-zine bringing great stories, motivational nuggets, and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve more in your career and personal life. Get the next issue at


            Anthony Kane, MD

            PS 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