ODD Child Parenting: When Your Child Becomes Violent

A closeup of a very angry little boy glaring at the camera.

This article deals with addressing when is a good time to get the police involved in handling an oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) child’s violent outburst.

While involving the police doesn’t really help very much when you’re child is quite young, it does seem to have the desired effects when it comes to dealing with violent child behavior in older kids and teenagers.

A number of parents are hesitant in approaching the police and for a number of reasons. The main reason, though, remains to be the number of stories doing rounds about situations going out of hand when the police are involved, most of which are exaggerated or untrue anyway.

Some parents get the impression that their children could be unforgiving. Some are afraid of losing them, and some others think they might go away. A majority of the time, these fears are unjustifiable.

The police, on the whole, try and do their best in helping you, and spoiling the future of your child is not their aim.

The point being, at times it becomes necessary for a parent to involve the police in dealing with their ODD child and his violent child behavior.

This is how you should take it forward; if your ODD child is turning violent or abusive, if he is destroying any kind of property, and if you think you can no longer handle the situation; then the police should already be on the way, or called immediately.

This is where the situation is at a point where the child refuses to acknowledge the authority that his parents command. This is the point where involving the police can help because their voice will have to be heard.

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Any form of abuse and destruction should not be let off easily. If a child indulges in violence and is not corrected in a timely manner, possibilities of him having a life linked to crime definitely increase.

Upon turning eighteen and becoming an adult legally, unlawful things that a person does can land him in serious trouble.

parenting a violent child is tough. You should know that the authorities that get involved are not out for your child’s blood and actually try to help.

Besides trying to help your child, they also try and help you get in control again. They can also try and help financially, and help get all the support systems working.

But this changes when the child celebrates his eighteenth birthday. Why? Because the child then ceases to be a child and is tried through the penal system that serves adults.

This makes it important to try and seek help as early as possible, especially if your child is taking a turn for the worse, causing destruction, indulging in violent activities, or getting involved in uncompromising situations.

Help should be given long before your child’s eighteenth birthday.

The main reason behind this is that after that point, any unlawful activity can come with stern discipline. Once on this path, a lifelong battle with crime cannot be ruled out, especially if help doesn’t come in the formative years.

Often times, a run in with the police when your child is in his early teen years will be the only thing that will convince him to straighten out. And yes, in these cases, help can be the police.

In a number of scenarios, police involvement becomes necessary. The police, I’ll have you know, do try helping.

If you are wary that things might take an ugly turn and get out of your control… thinking about involving the police at an earlier stage (when the situation is still under control) is definitely recommended. This should be on your parenting agenda. Also, getting in touch with local juvenile organizations can also be very helpful.

If you think you might need police involvement, planning it in advance is always better than waiting for an ’emergency’ situation to erupt. You can always try and foresee any violent child behavior and plan accordingly.

Also, if you’re raising an ODD child, trying to keep a check on the future is a good idea. Knowing what alternatives can be followed is also good.


Anthony Kane, MD is a physician, an international lecturer, and director of special education. He is the author of a book, numerous articles, and a number of online programs dealing with ADHD treatment, ODD, child behavior issues, and education. You may visit his website, ADD ADHD Advances, and sign up for the ADD ADHD Advances online journal.

Anthony Kane, MD has been helping parents of ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder children online since 2003. Join over three thousand parents and get help for your Oppositional Defiant Disorder child, help with defiant out of control teens and ADHD treatment and ADHD information.

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