Conduct Disorders/ODD

It can be incredibly difficult as a parent to live with a child or young person with a Conduct Disorder. Your child may have severe temper tantrums, be violent towards you and others, and strongly defy you as a parent. Make sure you have a support system of people who understand what you’re going through as a parent. There might be a support group for parents which can be helpful when you’re going through a tough moment with your child.

The condition can be categorised into two variants – a child may have a socialised conduct disorder, known as oppositional defiant disorder or ODD or an unsocialised conduct disorder known as Conduct Disorder or CD. With a socialised conduct disorder, the child will still have positive social relationships with their peers. Unsocialised conduct disorder might occur when the child is a little older. It means the young person will often be solitary and not have the ability to keep friendships and relationships. They will show destructive behaviours, perhaps using a weapon or fire lighting,

Your child may only show these behavioural issues at home, which can be very disheartening as a parent. You may feel alone and misunderstood if the behavioural issues are not happening at school, but it is important to not blame yourself in these times. If your child has a severe conduct disorder, they may target you or someone in your family, or at school, specifically as a victim to their behaviour.

It is not uncommon for the child or young person to also have other mental health or neurodivergent conditions alongside ODD such as ADHD. These conditions can easily be overlooked due to focus on violent behaviours as a result of ODD or CD.

To help your child it is important you don’t just pay attention to the negative behaviours as this will only exacerbate them. Make sure to notice and praise your child if they do something right or if they’re being good and reward them to remind them that they don’t have to act violently to get what they want. Inconsistent and harsh parenting can lead to a conduct disorder so make sure to always be fair in your punishment.

Your child can recover from ODD, and they are not alone in their journey to recovery. You can contact a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who can help by making a referral to your local child and adolescent mental health service (such as CAMHS) or another appropriate local support service.

Learn more about Conduct Disorders in children by watching our videos below and reading the Fact Sheet.

Watch our Films

Conduct Disorders in Children Information Film

Conduct Disorders are mental and behavioural problems in young people and the most common reason for a child to be referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. (CAMHS)

This film explains how to recognise and help a child who shows the symptoms of conduct disorder. You can watch it at home on your computer or download it to play at events or seminars.

Read and download our fact sheets, watch more videos or sign up for our mailing list and free interactive guide.

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Raising a Child with ODD and ADHD

ODD stands for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. It is a conduct disorder. Children with ODD frequently have severe temper tantrums, do things that annoy people, argue, defy adults’ requests, seem angry and spiteful and blame others for their own misbehaviour.

Find out more about Conduct Disorders in Children, read and download our Fact sheet, or watch more real life experience films.

Celina’s daughter has ADHD. But Celina describes how the ADHD feeds Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and it is the ODD that affects her daughter the most. ODD is the most common Conduct Disorder in children 10 years and under.

Celina explains the challenges of her daughter’s behaviour which present both at school and at home. They must explore ways for her to remain at school and for them to have a settled home life.

Conduct Disorders are the most common mental and behavioural problem in children and young people. (7% in boys and 3% in girls).

Read and download our fact sheets, watch more videos or sign up for our mailing list and free interactive guide.

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How to Recognise Symptoms of Conduct Disorder Part One

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How to Recognise Symptoms of Conduct Disorder Part Two

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