When It’s More Than A Problem!!!


As parents we sometimes find it difficult to discipline our children but we know that it helps in molding them morally and in being productive citizens. What happens when you have tried several methods and you realize that your child’s defiance is completely out of control. Your child may be suffering from a childhood behavior disorder such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Per the DSM-IV the following are a list of diagnostic criteria for ODD. Keep in mind that four or more of these symptoms have to present for six months or longer:

Diagnostic criteria for 313.81 Oppositional Defiant Disorder

A. A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months, during which four (or more) of the following are present:

(1) often loses temper (2) often argues with adults (3) often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules (4) often deliberately annoys people (5) often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior (6) is often touchy or easily annoyed by others (7) is often angry and resentful (8) is often spiteful or vindictive Note: Consider a criterion met only if the behavior occurs more frequently than is typically observed in individuals of comparable age and developmental level.

Children with oppositional behavior pose a unique challenge to parents. These parents must learn to view their child from a whole different perspective. In essence, they must learn the motivations and unconscious intentions of their oppositional child. This task can be made even more complicated when there are additional children in the household who are not oppositional. Parents then are faced with the difficulty of understanding the difference between their oppositional child and his/her siblings. According to an article written by Janet Lehman MS here are some ways to assist in dealing with the ODD child.

Here are four things you can do as a parent to effectively manage your child with oppositional Defiant Disorder:

Respond without anger: It’s important to respond to your ODD child without anger—try to be as calm and matter-of-fact as possible. Just acknowledge the behavior, state it as you see it, explain how it will need to change and then remove yourself from all arguments. You really have to pick your battles and decide what’s most important to you—and ultimately to your child.

Be clear and consistent: The nature of oppositional defiant behavior is to wear parents down so that they eventually give in. You need to be strong, clear and consistent in your follow through.

3. Do not take things personally. Do not take your child’s behavior personally. When your ODD child acts out, as hard as it might be, stay as neutral and objective as possible. You need to be clear and concise and not get pulled into a power struggle—it’s really not about you, it’s about your child and what he needs to learn. We as parents sometimes need to be great actors and actresses with our kids. The key is to keep practicing calm, consistent parenting and following through.

Don’t be your child’s friend—be his parent: Remember, being a parent is not a personality contest. There are times when he won’t like you—he may even shout, “I hate you,” or call you foul names. But if you keep setting limits with your child and follow through by giving him consequences and holding him accountable, then ultimately you’re doing the best thing for your child.

Believe me, I know from experience that it’s difficult to manage ODD behavior. It takes work and support from partners, friends, and the school system; it requires all the important adults in a child’s life working together to help change the behavior, but it can be done.


Making Your Spouse Feel Special

Making Your Spouse Feel SpecialWe all like to feel special and appreciated. You are the main source of appreciation for your spouse or sweetheart. If your spouse spends all day at a thankless job, whether it is at the office or home with your noisy kids all day, you need to be there for them. Use small, special and inexpensive surprises and acts of service to make your spouse feel special and appreciation. Doing something special for your spouse is an easy and free way to show your appreciation. A foot rub, after a long day of work would be greatly appreciated. Use some scented lotion for a bit of aromatherapy as well. Clean the house! Coming home to a messy house can be very stressful. If you are home during the day, keeping the house clean shows your appreciation for the hard work your spouse does. Making your spouse’s favorite meal or dessert on an ordinary day is a terrific way to make him feel special, especially if you don’t make it very often. Or make something new for dinner; the same old things can get boring after a while. Whatever your spouse’s job around the house is, give him a day off. Who would not feel special and enjoy not having to do a chore? If your spouse works hard at a thankless job, thank him for working hard for you and your family. A simple thank you can mean a lot. Send an “I love you” text message, or leave a message on your spouse’s voicemail. If your spouse travels out-of-town on business, write love notes and hide them in the luggage. Put one under the deodorant lid, in reading materials, tucked in a shoe etc. You could even have the kids write notes, or draw pictures so your spouse will know how much he or she will be missed by you and your family. Hiding love notes around the house works just as well. Putting forth the effort to give your partner special attention is a selfless approach to deepening your relationship.

Watch Your Mouth

Watch Your MouthOne of my favorite things Jesus ever said was, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34). Now, whether you find yourself leaning towards the camp of Christianity or more towards thinking “the Bible… Psssssh” you have to admit that what He said does make a good deal of sense. Seriously, think about it. The premise behind His remark is that our speech is motivated by something internal. Have you ever told someone, “I wish you would think before you speak”? Have you ever been told that? Of course the answer to both is yes, and sometimes we have moments brilliance where we do pause to reflect on what impact our words will have in the moment. However, those times where we just say something or respond instinctually to a given situation with our mouth… that speech is not random… it comes from somewhere.

The question then becomes, “If the words that come out of our mouth have an origin, what then produces them?” The short answer to this question is our character drives our vocal responses. Earlier in that Matthew 12 passage Jesus uses the fruit analogy in that trees produce specific fruit (good tree good fruit, bad tree bad fruit). Basically, if our natural response to situations is to say something negative, bitter, hurtful, or the like I am not going to say in a “matter-of-fact” sort of a way that is who we are, but maybe those tendencies are there in us. On the flip side, if our responses are filled with optimism, hope, encouragement, and the like then perhaps our character has been shaped to reflect such.

The overall challenge of this post is to take some time for internal perspective. Our thoughts and our attitudes are most assuredly reflected in our speech. Are we happy with the way we talk to, about, and around people? All of us could us improvement (especially me), and so what I am not saying is the answer is simply “if you don’t have anything nice to say blah, blah, blah.” What I am saying is that improvement starts with us changing our character, and then our mouth will follow suit.


Making Family Memories

family vacation

As summer approaches, many families will take a family vacation together. Family vacations are a great opportunity to reconnect as a family and create shared meaning together.

Sometimes the best and most memorable vacations are expensive and long. I know my family still talks about going to Disney World together several years ago. But when times were leaner, we discovered the day trip.

Day trips are just a one day road trip to anywhere within easy driving distance. You can pack some or all of your food to further reduce cost. Many cities and towns offer many free or inexpensive activities. Get to know the local history and culture.

Living in Texas, one of our best day trips was to Fort Worth. We were literally exhausted from all the free things we did that day. If you live in Texas, there is actually a PBS TV show called The Daytripper that has tons of fun destinations and things to do.

No matter where you live or what your budget, schedule some family time this summer to make memories together.

Married or Not; this is Sexual Abuse!!!

FFC image for Married or Not this is Sexual Abuse

There was this married couple who was having sexual problems in their marriage.  During their sexual intimate moments the husband would desire his wife to perform oral sex on him.  However, the wife was not in agreement.  She said every time she performed such an act with him, it made her feel ashamed, and dirty.  She discussed with her husband that she did not like doing that and would rather refrain from it. Instead of trying to compromise with his wife concerning this issue, he would make her feel guilty by telling her that she did not truly love him if she was not willing to perform this act.  He would even sometimes force her into it!  If she refused, he made her feel bad and would not speak to her for long periods of time.  So instead of having the enmity between them she compromised and continued to perform oral sex on him whenever they were sexually intimate. 

What this woman experienced was sexual abuse!  Anytime someone forces anyone to perform a sexual act against their will; it is sexual abuse.  Sexual acts performed in the marriage should be agreed upon.  Hebrews 13:4 explains that marriage is honorable and the bedroom is undefiled.  This means that whatever the two do concerning their sexual intimacy, it is rightfully permissible as long as the acts are natural and both parties agree. 

If you find yourself in a situation as such, you should seek help immediately.  No one should be subjected to this type of abuse!


Who Are You?

journalingHave you ever asked yourself this question. Who Am I? What do I have to offer? These questions were asked today in morning worship service at my church.  Matthew 5:13 says ” You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses it’s flavor, how shall it be seasoned?”  As believers in Jesus Christ we possess the spiritual fruits of God. These spiritual fruits can also be called personal strengths. We all have personal strengths and need to know what these strengths are so we can tap into them when we are faced with many challenges in life. Our personal strengths are what make us who we are. Are you: accepting, bold, courageous, dependable, eager, friendly, giving, humorous, insightful, likable, motivated, nurturing, optimistic, patient, reliable, sincere, tolerant unselfish or witty. Once you are able to identify what your personal strengths are then you can learn to apply these strengths when life challenges hit you head on.