|Children and teens can seem irritable or even hostile when they are tired or aren’t feeling well. They may argue with parents or disobey them because they are trying to show that they’re growing up. |
Young children may lie because they are too young to understand the difference between the truth and a lie. Sometimes they lie to get themselves out of trouble. This is normal. When they act this way all the time, or when this behaviour gets them into trouble all the time at home, at school, or with other kids in the neighbourhood, they may have what we call a
disruptive behaviour disorder.
There are two main types of disruptive
behaviour disorders – Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD).
A child who has a lot of temper tantrums, or is disobedient or argues with adults or peers on a regular basis, may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).
More serious problems like frequent physical aggression, stealing or bullying may be a sign of Conduct Disorder (CD)
Children with Conduct Disorder often have trouble understanding how other people think. They may have trouble talking to others. They may think that other people are being mean to them or wish them harm when that isn’t the case at all. Their language skills may be impaired, which means they have trouble using words and may act out instead. They may not know how to make friends with other children, and may feel sad, frustrated, and angry as a result.
Many children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) have other mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). Their difficult behaviours are often a reaction to the symptoms of these conditions.
Children with ODD are more likely than other children to have a family history of behavior problems, mood problems, or substance abuse. Sometimes if caregiving is poor, supervision is lacking, or there is family discord or exposure to violence, children will respond by developing the symptoms of ODD.
Having a mother with untreated depression also makes children more likely to have ODD. Both ODD and CD are associated with harsh parenting practices.