Ways To Help Oppositional Defiant Children
Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Following my previous post about things we should avoid with children who are oppositional, I would like to share in this post helpful strategies.
• Using non-confrontational and invitational statements such as “I think that if we are able to get this done before 11:00, then we could get some free time” vs “do your homework now”.
• Aim for a “win-win” situation with no power struggle between the child and the caregiver (authority).
• Show the child that you care whenever he/ she seems in distress, frustrated or anxious.
• If the child’s problem behavior escalates, avoid talking to him/ her while engaging in problem behaviors. Instead, wait a few minutes until calmer, and then address the situation.
• Plan with your child ahead of time. Get him/ her to collaborate with ideas and preparation.
• Set easy mini-goals together as well as SOS strategies.
• Be flexible and model flexible behavior.
• Watch for your body language, and approach him/ her getting in his/ her level.
• Be positive, creative, friendly.
• Use positive affirmations such as “believe you can.. And you are halfway there! (Theodore Roosevelt)”.
• Use a visual task list.