Adolescents romanticize the idea of breaking rules and questioning authority as they test the limits of their independence. In high school, teens begin to form their own opinions and parents give them more freedom to allow them to make more autonomous decisions, but conflict occurs when differences in opinion about positive decisions turns into actively refusing to follow rules. That’s when ODD Treatment Centers may be able to help.

There is a difference between wanting to grow up too quickly and ignoring the role of authority figures who try to have your best interest in mind. Many parents struggle with figuring out how to discipline their child with Oppositional Defiance Disorder without enabling a power struggle or giving in. If your child is struggling with Oppositional Defiance Disorder, there are ODD treatment centers designed to focus on encouraging independence and family reconciliation.

Myths about ODD Treatment Centers: Won’t They Just Grow Out of It?

Although family conflict is an inevitable part of gaining independence, hostile behavior and intentional uncooperation can have a severe impact on one’s home environment and daily functioning.  Defiance is associated with negative peer influence, attachment issues, substance abuse, and underlying emotional issues, including anger management, depression, and bipolar disorder. One problem with finding appropriate ODD treatment is that it is often misdiagnosed.  

According to ADDitude magazine, oppositional defiant disorder is a common condition occurring in roughly 10% of all children; in kids with ADHD, that number jumps to 40%. ODD can begin to develop in childhood or adolescence and symptoms may depend on the setting.

Many parents believe that their child’s defiance is related to their parenting style and their relationship with them, however they develop the same attachment patterns with other authority figures in their lives, including bosses, teachers, and mentors.

Teenagers with ODD are at a greater risk of developing conduct disorder, aggressive behavior, and antisocial tendencies later in life. The first step in treatment for Oppositional Defiant Disorder is to help teenagers take responsibility for their actions and to acknowledge how their behavior impacts others.

What Makes ODD More Than Just a Behavioral Problem?

Assumptions about defiant teens include that they regularly break the law and are physically aggressive, but teens are diagnosed with ODD based on underlying emotional issues.

ODD is defined as often losing temper, being easily annoyed or annoying others, argumentative, angry outbursts, blaming others, and refusing to follow rules.

Wilderness Teaches Kids to Let Go of Control

Individuals with ODD do not respond to many traditional “punishments” and may benefit from a wilderness therapy program where they participate in a variety of outdoor adventure activities. Through backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing and more, teenagers are taught the importance of communication in working together. Wilderness takes teens out of their comfort zone and forces them to give up some control by having limited choices over daily activities.

In this environment, teenagers learn the importance of personal responsibility, leadership, and confidence. Students gain invaluable outdoor skills, social skills, and a greater understanding of how they interact with their social and natural environment. blueFire Wilderness is unique from other wilderness programs in that they encourage more family involvement. Families are encouraged to maintain contact through letters and phone calls in addition to family therapy and family workshops. Choosing a treatment center that approaches oppositional defiance disorder from a relationship-based perspective helps students to succeed in reintegrating back into their home environment.

How blueFire Wilderness can Help

blueFire is a Wilderness Program for ages 11-28 that combines adventure-based experiences with motivational interviewing to help individuals rediscover their inner spark. Our students struggle with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, oppositional defiance, risky behaviors, anger, impulsivity, and executive functioning skills.

Learn more about Oppositional Defiant Disorder and how you can better help your teenager, by calling blueFire Wilderness at 844-413-1999.

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