web analytics
August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Managing the Unmanageable: Oppositional Defiant Disorder


Schonfeld-logo1

“Get out of my face.”
“Stop talking to me.”
“I hate you.”
“I wish you were dead.”
“Ahhh. I’m not going to stop screaming until I get what I want.”

I often write about Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) because it is a pervasive and problematic issue in our community today. Recent surveys suggest that ODD affects between two and sixteen percent of children. Children with ODD are often classified as “explosive” because of their severe and sudden outbreaks.

“Explosive” children erupt in temper outbursts or verbal or physical aggression, which includes kicking, screaming or tantrums when certain things don’t go their way. They are inflexible and have extremely low tolerance for frustration. They are very difficult to live with. Things can really get ugly.

There are various ways to deal with children like this, but I believe strongly in the method proposed by Professor Ross W. Greene in his classic parenting guide, The Explosive Child. Greene first describes the issues that confront the children themselves thereby giving us more insight into why these children act the way they do.

The problem with “explosive” children is that they are misunderstood. When your son is screaming and kicking in shul or your daughter is throwing a tantrum in the pizza shop it’s easy to get angry and think that the child is being manipulative and controlling. He knows you’re embarrassed to pieces. She realizes that you hate having all those people staring at you. And so your child uses this to his or her advantage in order to get what they want.

“You want another slice of pizza? Sure, anything you say.”
“You want to go out and play with your friends during leining? Go already.”
“You want to skip your homework tonight? Okay, whatever.”

Anything to maintain the equilibrium and keep the child from creating a scene.

Dr. Ross asks us to look at this scenario from a different perspective. Sure you hate it when your child explodes. But so does he or she. And just like you’re a little bit (okay, a lot) scared of these explosions, rest assured that the child is also terrified of them. He doesn’t want it to happen. He just doesn’t know how to stop it.

According to Dr. Ross, “These children have wonderful qualities and tremendous potential. Yet their inflexibility often obscures their more positive traits and causes them and those around them enormous pain. There is no other group of children who are so misunderstood.”

The important thing to consider is that these children can’t help themselves. Just like a child with a reading difficulty cannot help himself. Just like a child who is born with a disability cannot help herself. Explosive children are simply delayed in their ability to process the skills necessary for flexibility and frustration tolerance. They’re not doing it for attention or so that they can get even with you. They’re doing it because they can’t handle conflict or disappointment any other way.

Most children learn quickly how to compromise, how to adapt when they have to, and how to accept failure and disappointment. But some kids haven’t developed the skills or the ability to do so. I’m not making excuses for them. I’m just stating the facts. And I’m offering a program that can help you walk the children through these circumstances so that they will eventually develop the proper responses. Dr. Greene calls it Plan B.

Plan A is the usual approach, where parents refuse the child’s wishes, the conflict inevitably escalates, and – voila – you have an explosion on your hands. Plan C is when you consider the alternatives, and then allow the child to have his way. You eliminate the explosion but you’re left with a kid who gets whatever he wants.

Now let’s consider Plan B. In Plan B, we walk the child through the mental process of considering his alternatives. We show empathy and understanding. And we offer solutions that could save everyone a lot of grief and aggravation.

Let’s take Yossi, for instance. Yossi likes to go on trips but he just found out that the class visit to the park was cancelled. Yossi is disappointed and frustrated and is about to explode. Yossi’s Rebbe is already experienced with Yossi’s outbursts and deals with them by using Plan B.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Managing the Unmanageable: Oppositional Defiant Disorder”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Florida Congresswoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Wasserman-Schultz ‘Blocked DNC Resolution Supporting Iran Deal’
Latest Sections Stories
book-Lord-Get-Me-High

Even when our prayers are ignored and troubles confront us, Rabbi Shoff teaches that it is the same God who sent the difficulties as who answered our prayers before.

Schonfeld-logo1

I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bullies, friendship and learning disabilities.

book-Avi's-Choice

His parents make it clear that they feel the right thing is for Avi to visit his grandfather, but they leave it up to him.

There is a rich Jewish history in this part of the world. Now the hidden customs are being revealed, as many seek to reconnect with their roots.

There are times when a psychiatrist will over-medicate, which is why it’s important to find a psychiatrist whom you trust and feel comfortable with.

On November 22, 1963, Abraham Zapruder created one of the most famous, and valuable, pieces of film and became forever linked with one of the greatest American national tragedies when he stood with his camera on an elevated concrete abutment as President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Exhibited here is […]

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom I’ve been thinking a lot about worrying. Anxiety is an issue close to my heart – […]

Don’t be afraid to try something different.

Upon meeting the Zionist delegation, General Wu, a recent convert to Christianity, said, “You are my spiritual brothers.

With the assistance of Mr. Tress, Private Moskowitz tried tirelessly to become an army chaplain.

Dr. Yael Respler is taking a well-deserved vacation this week and asked Eilon Even-Esh to share some thoughts with her readers in her stead.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bullies, friendship and learning disabilities.

Schonfeld-logo1

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” – Corrie ten Boom I’ve been thinking a lot about worrying. Anxiety is an issue close to my heart – […]

All of us wish to act in kind, compassionate and intelligent ways. We all wish to build character.

They are habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time, the meals we order… have enormous impacts on our heath, productivity, financial security, and happiness.

What’s the difference between the first and second ten-year-old?

So, what do we do about grammar? Should we do grammar drills? Should we hope that the students pick it up from reading?

Most experts agree that with specialized coaching, a person’s social “intelligence” can be significantly raised.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Executive Function Disorder (EFD) have trouble keeping themselves organized and on-task.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/managing-the-unmanageable-oppositional-defiant-disorder/2013/03/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: