My son J was recently diagnosed with ODD. He has always been stubborn, intense and argumentative. He has ALWAYS, even as a toddler, had NO problem at all going toe to toe with me. I am frequently EXHAUSTED from arguing with him about seemingly everything or nothing. Some days though, he’s great-and I mean really great. I get fabulous reports from teachers-always have-and he has a black belt in Taekwondo and was recruited for the team not because of his skill, but because of his positive and respectful attitude. We always check on him with anyone in authority over him and they all wonder why we’re asking. They always tell us he is a great, very respectful, young man. I believe them, he can be that way with me too-when he wants to. He only acts out with his father and I. No one else. Well, he annoys the heck out of his little sister, but I don’t consider her an authority figure, though it does bother me a whole lot. J doesn’t raise his voice with me anymore-he doesn’t have to. The face, attitude, body language, lack of compliance and mouthy words speak loudly enough to really upset me and his dad. We sure yell a lot trying to get through to him. Lots of times I DO get through and he will come apologize and for a while things are really great. Until the next thing hits whatever it is.
Your website talks about physical violence, screaming matches, stealing, and lying. J has never been physically violent with us even though he surely knows how. He doesn’t steal either. J went through a period where he did lie, but that was a long time ago. It would be helpful to tell you he’s 12 now and the lying was at about seven or eight. J is also extremely gifted intellectually and has NEVER, EVER had a problem at school. As a matter of fact, he goes to a gifted school and gets A’s and B’s.
I have been in therapy for years for PTSD and related anxiety issues and I have recently brought my kids into therapy-with separate counselors-so that makes 3-because I really want to be a good parent and I want them to have someone to talk to who is objective and who can tell me how to raise them better. My husband is military and the separation issues are a concern too. I am very blessed because our insurance pays for it. J’s only just started, it’s only the second session, and he has this diagnosis. J fits it some, but not nearly as bad as the stuff I found on the web including your sight. So that leads me right back to-do I have the right diagnosis? Can your book help me and can I use it in conjunction with his therapy?
I’ve never claimed to be the perfect parent and I am very open to wise counsel. I have to be. These beautiful children are precious gifts given to me by God who surely expects me to love them, take care of them and find the ways to raise them to be everything He intended them to be. This is an AMAZING kid. Sometimes I watch him worship and cry because it is just so beautiful to see him worshipping and at peace. I want him, and our family, to have that peace EVERY day. I know I need help.
My Out-of-Control Son