Insights Into Teens: Episode 49 “Defiant Behavior”

What is defiant behavior? Does your teen exhibit symptoms of it? Is there a medical reason for it? We attempt to answer these questions in this weeks episode of the show. We’ll also talk about the suspect causes of this type of behavior, the typical risk factors associated with defiant behavior and strategies for dealing with defiant teens and Oppositional Defiant Disorder or ODD.

Insights Into Teens


Speaker 1: 00:01 Insightful podcast, a podcast network.

Speaker 3: 00:26 Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series, exploring the issues and challenges of today’s youth. Your hosts are Joseph and Madison, Whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.

Speaker 4: 00:51 Welcome to insights into teens. This is episode 49 defiant behaviors. I’m your host, Joseph Waylon and my brilliant and beautiful but not defined cohost Madison. Waylon, how are you doing today, Maddie? Pretty much like I am every other Friday. Every other Friday I will last Friday we like preempted the entire show to talk about how big your week was. Was it that bad again this week? Every other Friday. Oh, so you’re, it’s only terrible every other Friday. Oh, I see. Okay, let’s move on. Okay. So I’m just asking you a question that’s okay. So this week we are talking about defiant behavior and this actually came up. There was a conversation that we had had at work and one of my colleagues at work was telling a story about how, you know, how, for lack of a better word to find their one child was and how they didn’t listen to anything and you know, they would violently slam the doors on our faces and stuff like that.

Speaker 4: 02:09 And it was something where it was something that I had no experience with because neither you nor your brother ever had any kind of behavioral issues like this. And I know some parents who’ve had children that were like this and had these kinds of issues, but the parents kind of brought them on themselves. So in doing research for this, I found out that there was various trigger points for this kind of behavior and there’s a legitimate medical diagnosis for it in some cases as well. So we’ll do what we normally, we will define what we’re going to talk about. First off then we will talk about suspected causes of the behavior. We’ll look at risk factors that are involved with it. We’ll look for the signs and the symptoms. And then we’ll talk about strategies for dealing with the defined team. What do you think you’re ready to get going?

Speaker 5: 03:20 Why not?

Speaker 4: 03:27 So for the purpose of the podcast today, we’re going to define two different types of defiant behavior. One is just defiant behavior and that for that we went to a, a very well-defined terminology on a individual’s WordPress site here. And the links are in the notes and they described to find behavior by saying adolescence can be a difficult phase in life to navigate defying the wishes of their parents or other authority figures. And testing limits is a normal part of growing up for teens. Youth are trying to figure out who they are, establish their independence and express themselves. Unfortunately in some teens, this process can cause them to act out in angry, argumentative, spiteful, or rebellious manners. But just because it’s normal behavior doesn’t make it acceptable. So let me ask you, based on that definition, do you think you exhibit any of those tendencies?

Speaker 6: 04:32 Well, no I don’t. I’m not normally rebellious. I don’t really act, I don’t act out. I know I don’t, I’m not rebellious and really any way.

Speaker 5: 04:51 I’m,

Speaker 6: 04:52 I listened to what you guys say. I do what you guys want me to do and

Speaker 5: 04:58 Oh yeah.

Speaker 4: 05:00 So it also speaks to the fact that youth are trying to figure out who they are, established her own independence and express themselves. Do you feel the need to do these things? Do you know who you are? Do you not need to establish your independence? And if you do, how do you do it, if not through defiant behavior?

Speaker 6: 05:23 Well, I think I’ve pretty much established I’ve pretty much established sort of a good base on who I am. So if I was ever defined, it’s not because I’m trying to find out who I am. I’m pretty settled on who I really am. For my independence. I couldn’t, I can’t say I would ever really be defiant and that, because I gained a lot of independence when moving into the middle school where, you know, I get home earlier than you guys. And on some occasions I have to cook my own dinner.

Speaker 4: 06:05 Right. So how do you, and that’s a very good point, is that you’re, you’re expressing your own independence by being self-sufficient. That’s why one way that you do it speak a little bit to how you figure out who you are. Like, like what makes you who you are in that you don’t have to be defined. How do you diff, how do you discover that?

Speaker 6: 06:32 Well, I think the way I discovered that was thinking about mainly what qualities I could have to just gripe, who I would really be like, am I smart? Am I an athlete? Do I have, am I what gender do I want to be? Am I happy with the gender I have now? What is my personality? Do I want to be kind? Do I want to be evil? Do I want to be rebellious? That kind of stuff.

Speaker 4: 07:01 Okay. And are there things in your life that help you come to those decisions?

Speaker 6: 07:07 Well, yeah. So I mean you figure I’m a pretty solid straight a student.

Speaker 4: 07:15 If you do say so yourself.

Speaker 6: 07:16 If I do say so myself, I suppose if you want to add that in. I’m also in the advanced math pro, the advanced math class and I would definitely say I am quite smart. I can definitely confirm that I am not athletic in any way. Possible I get tired really easily if I have to run long distances, we can clearly see that from when I have to run to get for when I bring my Trump at home, we both can and I can totally see that. Also, I’m not really good at any of the games because sometimes I’m not really, I don’t go for the ball for most of the games. I normally let other people do it. I’m definitely not an athlete so I know that factor. I guess just seeing my daily average schedule and situations that are thrown at me and how I react is how I kind of figure out who I am. Cause I know I’m a straight a student, I’m a, I’m a kind person, not an athlete and I do have some problems with my brain anxiety wise.

Speaker 4: 08:29 So it sounds like you kind of define yourself by your positive traits. You know your strengths and you don’t have the need because you know, let’s be honest, you’ve got a lot of positive strains. You don’t have a need to act out as in some kids who do have defined behavior issues. Yeah. Interesting. Okay, so the second part that I wanted to define here is the actual clinical condition, which is called oppositional defiant disorder, O D D a. And this definition comes from Valley website may say oppositional defiant disorder is a childhood disorder that is defined by a pattern of hostile, disobedient, and defiant behaviors directed at adults or other authority figures. Odd is categorize by children displaying angry and irritable moods as well as argumentative and vindictive behaviors. While all children will display some type of defiant behavior throughout their growing years, children suffering from odd will display such behaviors more commonly than that of any other type of behaviors. For these kids, it can seem like nothing can be done to make them happy. These children will not only do things to purposely cause conflict or to purposely ignore the people around them, but they will often times placed the blame on others. I’ll ask you again, do you exhibit any of those soon? Symptoms?

Speaker 6: 10:13 Pretty sure. I don’t. If I ever, if I ever do anything that is wrong, I always try to own up to it. I don’t try to blame others for it because I need to own up to my mistakes. I also don’t really act too, I’m not, I don’t argue that much. We only have like, I mean, unless you count the play arguments, we have debates. Yeah. But the only time I could ever think that I would have like issues would be when I’m either stressed or having an a mental breakdown where I remember in sixth grade, those were kind of common for me. I would just frankly be annoyed at everyone around me and I just have to rant on about it. And I think that was like, I think that was like how I show exhibited some divine defined behaviors. I mean, I still listen to what you guys said, but I did have emotional breakdowns and just didn’t want to be around anyone. You’ve come a long way since then. Yeah, I can handle my stress a little better.

Speaker 4: 11:20 So based on these two clearly defined terms, do you know anyone, are you associated with anyone? Have you encountered anyone who exhibits either of these?

Speaker 6: 11:35 I don’t really get to know people enough to know that I just, I mean, based on my experience with them, not really, but there are a bunch of rebellious kids in my school because they’re kind of teenagers and they need to get it out. And honestly I don’t understand why they’re, they even have the confidence to like talk back to the teacher, which I know I will never have or even the idea to even do that. I’m confused with that. I don’t know if that’s defined behaviors. It’s just like they’re just being rude at that point. I don’t know if it’s going to agree with that assessment. I don’t know if it’s anything medical wise or if they’re just doing it because it’s just what they, what normally occurs or if they’re just doing it because they think, Hey, it’s funny and they’re going to be the class clown.

Speaker 4: 12:29 And I think a lot of it’s that. So. Yup. So we’ll come back and we’ll talk about some suspected causes for this type of behavior.

Speaker 4: 12:41 So the specific causes that might be attributed to the onset of odd cannot be narrowed down to any one specific factor. It’s widely believed that a combination of factors work together towards causing a person to develop the symptoms of operation, oppositional defiant disorder. So here’s a few symptoms. And they break these down into three categories. So one is genetic and they say it’s common for children who are diagnosed with odd, to have family members who also suffer from from various mental illnesses. Now you are aware, we’re constantly kind of pointing out, you know, the genetic aspect of things. How do, how do we relate to you with the genetics of what you get from mommy and daddy are, give some examples.

Speaker 6: 13:36 Well we normally base it off.

Speaker 5: 13:39 Well

Speaker 6: 13:41 It’s normally based off of actions and feelings. Like I scream at technology like you do, I kind of have the same point of view on life as you do. Like we’re like semi positive but also semi negative. Like,

Speaker 4: 13:57 And we also take it to the point of physical appearances too. Yeah. You know, like we always say you’ve got mommy’s nose.

Speaker 6: 14:04 Yeah. Like that’s ongoing thing that never stops.

Speaker 4: 14:08 But that’s a good thing cause mine is broken. So you didn’t want mine anyway.

Speaker 6: 14:12 Yeah. I also have your eyes and I’ll go back. I need them. And although people may not know it, but I also have your hair technically. Well, yes. You said just saying he used to have blonde, curly hair. Okay. He’s, he used very long hair actually. Yeah. And look at you now.

Speaker 4: 14:32 So, and so they go on the talk and they say that such illnesses can include mood disorders, personality disorders, and anxiety disorders. So you talk about having anxiety issues. I don’t know. Well, I can tell you that I don’t recall ever having anxiety issues myself. Nor do I recall that being a trait in my family. I don’t know if mommy ever did. So it’s also important to note that that while genetics certainly can play a part in this, it has to start somewhere. So, so defiant behavior itself is common, but the odd itself can be passed by genetics but it doesn’t have to by genetics. So one of the other aspects that they look at for this is physical. So they say the presence of oppositional defiant disorder traits have been linked to the existence of abnormal amounts of certain brain chemicals.

Speaker 4: 15:41 So we know that certain mental illnesses can be due to imbalance of chemicals in the brain for various reasons. We talked last week when we talked about comfort foods last week and you know, chocolate. So chocolate triggers a chemical reaction in the brain. Some people it doesn’t. So they have a slight imbalance in their brains where it doesn’t other people, it triggers too much. And that’s where you tend to get eating disorders. So for someone who chocolate is just so good that they get addicted to it because of that endorphin feeling. And you can imagine what the, some of the side effects of that are. So outside of the genetic side of things, there’s the physical side of things. They talk about brain chemicals known as neuro-transmitters. They work towards helping to keep the brain chemicals themselves balanced properly. So sometimes those things go a little off balance and it could be from any number of things.

Speaker 4: 16:49 You could have had a head injury if you would suffer concussions in the past or something like that. You could have situations where you might have multiple sclerosis, sclerosis that can cause lesions on the brain that can then cause issues with chemical imbalances and other complications as well. Now they say that when the imbalance exists, messages are suddenly unable to communicate properly within other aspects of the brain. So it kind of, your brain is broken down into different sections and different sections process things differently. So what happens is, is your speech processes in one part and your vision processes and another, and if you have a breakdown of these chemicals, they’re not communicating correctly. So there’s messages that are being missed or misinterpreted by your brain. So that’s kinda one of the physical things that they talk about. The other thing they talk about is environmental.

Speaker 4: 17:51 So they say in VI and in the environment in which person is raised can have a significant effect on whether or not he may, he or she may fall into the symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder. If a child is surrounded by a somewhat chaotic home life or violence arguments and other forms of general discord are prevalent, it would not be unreasonable to assume the child could begin acting out as a result. So if you live in a, in a house where your mom and dad fight constantly or he live in a house where you have, don’t have a mom and a dad and you only have one mountain parent. So you just had a mom who not only was trying to raise you but was also trying to earn money to keep the house up, you know, that itself can create a lot of stress.

Speaker 4: 18:45 Fortunately, I don’t think you run into that here. A mommy and daddy I think get along pretty well here. And I think as a result you see a lot of that. You know, sometimes you, you see affection there that you might not feel comfortable with, you know, but you know, mommy and daddy love each other and we show it. And I think it’s important that you see that and you see how, you know, we function and we function as a team, mommy and daddy. But you don’t always have that. Like, you know, there are a lot of kids out there to don’t. Growing up I had a mom, you know, my mom and dad stayed together, but the probably shouldn’t have because they argued constantly. And I’ll be honest, that had an effect on me to the point that I did act out at one point in time.

Speaker 4: 19:36 I don’t think it, it caused odd on my part. But you know, when, when you see your dad yell at your mom a lot and you know, you were raised to respect your mom and, and to protect your mom, it, it has an effect, you know. And one day my, my dad happened to be yelling at my mom and it was, you know, maybe the 30th time that I was there and the kind of shocked that he would do it while I was there. But it got to the point that I didn’t want to stand up. I didn’t, I didn’t want to just sit there and, and take it anymore. So I stood up for my mom, you know, and I defied my father and my dad was a, I wouldn’t say he was violent cause he didn’t hit my mom and he didn’t hit us regularly.

Speaker 4: 20:31 But he threatened violence a lot and he’d tried to use that to intimidate people. It’s kind of funny to think of that cause my dad was like five foot four and maybe 150 pounds soaking wet. So he was not a very intimidating looking individual, but he had a temper and he tended to use that temper to intimidate people. And for the longest time it worked on me until, I don’t know, I guess I was 16, 15, 16, somewhere in there. And my dad and I was yelling at my mom and living in that environment for as long as I did, I just couldn’t take it anymore. And I had a ballad foot of height and probably about 120 pounds on my dad. So I was a giant compared to my dad. I got my size from my mom’s side of the family genetics again.

Speaker 4: 21:31 Okay. And and I got between my mom and my dad and I put my foot down. I wasn’t going to take it anymore. It wasn’t going to let him treat her like that anymore. And that was, that was the pinnacle, I think of my defiant behavior before that. I was, you know, that in mild mannered, you know, young man who did what he was told and kept his head down and didn’t defy his parents until I, I saw that my dad was, was out of control and he was out of line. So again, that’s an environmental trigger there and that’s what got me so, so I don’t think you’ve got a genetic, any kind of, you know, genetic tie. To the best of our knowledge, you don’t have any physical issues. You never, never had you know, head injury or anything like that or any kind of illness that would have affected your brain function.

Speaker 4: 22:28 And I don’t think you’ve got an environment that would have, would be conducive to that. Nope. Which I think explains a lot of the reasons why you’re as well behaved as you are. And I don’t, you know, I like the thing, you don’t give us reason to discipline you. Like you can know what the rules are and I don’t think the rules are overly demanding are they? No. And you abide by them and as long as we, you know, you do, I won’t lock in the laundry room. Like they did bring that up. Do not even bring that up. The cat didn’t listen to the rules. She threw up on your desk that said, and you logged her in the laundry room for over an hour. My goodness, for over an hour and it’s terrible. Anyway, I’m just glad to treat me better than nutrient the cats.

Speaker 4: 23:24 Yes. Cause I’m terrible with the cats. I know. So anyway, just to recap, some of the risk factors associated with ODI day is family discord or family arguments. Dysfunctional home life exposure to violence, history of mental illness within the family, exposure to substance abuse, which we don’t have that here. And neither mommy nor daddy abuse drugs or alcohol. Inconsistent parenting. Now this is the one that we didn’t talk about, which I thought was kind of interesting. It says inconsistent discipline or inconsistent interaction. And this is one of these ones where my dad was kinda guilty of this too. Like my mom was always there like you, you could, she was the most reliable person I ever know. And she would stand by you and help you in and give you the last penny in her pocket if it, if it could help you. And my dad was very distant and he was, he was never really around.

Speaker 4: 24:33 He worked a late, a third shift. So he slept during the day and then on the weekends. And he was one, he was an alcoholic, so he was pretty much drunk all the time. But kept to himself fortunately and too, his hobby was his yard when we were growing up. So if you didn’t work with him in the yard to garden, then he didn’t have time for you until something went wrong or you did something bad or you know, you had a bad report or like, like he was never there to encourage you but you screwed up. He was there. So he showed an inconsistent parenting technique. They’re like, he can’t always be the bad cop. Right? Cause at that point in time you just, it wears thin so you gotta be there for the good and the bad. And even the bed, he was very selective in, in what he thought was bad.

Speaker 4: 25:35 You know, he thought a bed of report card that wasn’t above a certain level was bad and you’d get punished for that. But like you could stay out til like one o’clock, two o’clock in the morning and he wouldn’t have a problem with that. So it was kind of weird, like what rules he chose to enforce. And then the last risk factor they talk about is abuse and neglect, which we’ve already discussed. So anytime you see anything like that in any of your friends, that might be a warning sign. If they talk about stuff like that that they might need, they might need some help or even just someone to talk to. So just something to keep an eye out for. So we’ll talk about the signs and symptoms when we come back. So there’s three types of symptoms to be aware of. One is behavioral, the other’s cognitive. And the third is psychosocial. Like you stopped and you were expecting

Speaker 6: 26:44 Me to say something.

Speaker 4: 26:45 I was waiting for you to answer what psycho social was. Cause you don’t, you’re not very social. So I was just, I don’t have an inside joke anyway. So we’ll talk about behavioral first of all. So anyone who loses their temper easily or they throw repeat it, temper tantrums, that’s a sign. So if your friends tend to do that, they Snappy’s do you have any friends that, that have a short fuse we used to say, or a short temper?

Speaker 6: 27:15 Mm. Not that I know of.

Speaker 4: 27:16 Well that’s good. Anybody that you see at school who tends to be short tempered like that?

Speaker 6: 27:24 No, not really

Speaker 4: 27:25 Good. Arguing or fighting, you know, verbal fighting or physical fighting is another sign of people that suffer from this defiant behavior and odd, they fight a lot in school.

Speaker 6: 27:41 No, there was only that one fight at the end of the year in sixth grade. That was like the only time

Speaker 4: 27:47 I find that amazing because there are constantly fights in my school. Like I didn’t, I didn’t go to school in a really rough neighborhood, but like, you know, there’s always joking around pushing and shoving and variably, several times a week somebody always took it too far and while I’m getting into a fight,

Speaker 6: 28:06 Yeah. The only thing that really happens at my school, people just, you know, like you said jokingly push each other around, but that’s it. It’s never gone far enough to where there was an actual fight, at least not that I’ve heard of. But you know, I haven’t witnessed any fights.

Speaker 4: 28:23 Well that’s good. Yeah. Cause I was using the one who got involved in the fights, but not because I was the antagonist. I was the one trying to break things up and I got, I got punched in the face a few times doing that. Yeah. The other is refusing to follow rules. You have a lot of rule breakers in school?

Speaker 6: 28:42 Yeah. Maybe example, like sometimes in the ELA when we’re told to do, like I won’t in my one class we were when we were gone, our centers some, well some of the kids let’s just say don’t want to do it and they don’t. Okay. And well, yeah, we’re technically told to do them because they’re quiz grade and if we don’t finish them all, we’re gonna get a lower grade than the hundreds. So I always make sure I do them. But there are kids who like will either like we have like a certain amount of time to get each center done and if we don’t finish in that time, we have to do it for homework. And some of the kids don’t really take it seriously. Like they’ll like wander around. Do work on it bit and when the time’s done they don’t, they barely have half done.

Speaker 4: 29:44 So in situations like that, do they accept the consequences of the lower grade or do they argue over that?

Speaker 6: 29:50 Yeah, they literally accept the consequences and I have no idea how they can do that. They accept the fact they’re getting low grades. I know. I don’t know how that happened.

Speaker 4: 29:59 Yeah. The next one that they talk about, and I know you’ve got an example of this, so don’t name names with this either, is deliberately acting in a way that will annoy others.

Speaker 6: 30:12 Oh,

Speaker 4: 30:15 About that. Give us an example of that that you’ve seen.

Speaker 6: 30:18 Well, I’ve almost every time in gym, if there’s the one kid that’s there constantly, I can just, they just constantly annoy me and I’m pretty sure a lot of others.

Speaker 4: 30:32 So it’s not, they’re not just targeting you, they’re just being annoying in general.

Speaker 6: 30:36 Yeah, like one they don’t really try and gym and, and frankly it’s annoying to watch because like they, whenever the the goalie in any situation they like almost all the time like the other team’s going to score on them and I’m just like, you’re not even trying. I try and I still fail but I least look like I’m trying. Like when we had our one football thing, like we were throat, all we had to do was throw the football correctly to the other person and I literally saw that she liked that person, didn’t get the kid to the ball once and like didn’t even take it seriously. I could guarantee they were the only person who got an F and that test.

Speaker 4: 31:23 Now do you think they were doing this to be annoying or were they doing this just out of a complete lack of physical ability to do the task

Speaker 6: 31:30 If thing is, I think it’s a little bit of both because she’s a kind of, she’s a pretty rude purse. Well are they are pretty rude. Sorry. Yeah,

Speaker 4: 31:41 You didn’t name names. You’re okay. It’s okay. You didn’t name.

Speaker 6: 31:45 I’m bad at it. They are a really rude person. I have to change next to them in gym and constantly, they’re just like with all the other girls I have to change next to, they are just constantly talking. Also they like I’m normally done by the time they’re just starting to get starting to get changed. Like they talk way too much with the others. I’m just

Speaker 4: 32:11 Now, have you ever confronted this individual with some of these complaints?

Speaker 6: 32:15 Well the there was only one time and it wasn’t even like a real confession. So my one frat, so I have a friend in gym class where I sit next to and our squad spots and sodas. This other kid, so, so this other, so this other kid was asking my friend a really weird question, what time are you going to bed? I’m just like, I’m just telling my friend, don’t answer it. And like that, that apparently triggered them and literally like all of a sudden made them annoyed at me, like told me to mind my own business and calling me something similar to a rat. Then when I wasn’t looking, luckily my friend was looking, she literally, well, you know,

Speaker 4: 33:04 She told you you were a number one with her aunt. Okay. So yeah, I mean these are typical behaviors and I’m sure a few more of these candidates are going to fit that I’m blaming others. So something goes wrong, you know, you did it, but instead of taking the responsibility you blame someone else for, do you know anyone who does that?

Speaker 6: 33:28 Mmm, I think it’s probably happened at one point, but I just don’t really remember. I know none of my friends have ever done that.

Speaker 4: 33:45 See, and, and in this case it’s, I think it’s the reasoning behind that. Like some people, they blame others because they don’t want to get in trouble. And that’s natural to try to protect yourself in the sense of defined behavior. I think when people do that, they do it not to protect themselves, but to get someone else in trouble deliberately. So that’s kind of the distinction there. How about deliberately acting in a way that will, Oh, no, I’m sorry. I did that one again. That was really bad. We did it twice. Being willing to compromise or negotiate.

Speaker 6: 34:25 I know none of my friends do that. I’m definitely not wanting to do that. I always wanted to come up with a compromise in any way.

Speaker 4: 34:34 Good, good. Well this, these are just things that you need to look into, leap, need to be aware of. Blatant hostility towards others. It sounds like that one individual may have hostility towards you for reasons that you at this point in time are unaware of.

Speaker 6: 34:51 Yeah, I mean like in the very first month of school, like she told my one new friend to like also this was the exact same friend. She told my one friend to get away from me because she considered me annoying.

Speaker 4: 35:09 So not only was she hostile, she was trying to solicit others to be hostile towards you too. Yeah. So that one is another one here where if they’re willing to destroy friendships, whether it’s their friendships or someone else’s friendships. So this person seems to be exhibiting a lot of these symptoms. And the, again, these are just behavioral symptoms. The last two on here are being spiteful and seeking revenge and then blatant and repeated, repeated disobedience.

Speaker 6: 35:42 Well I’d definitely say the blatant, this would be the repeated disobedience is definitely what can describe that person. Because like I think on Thursday when we had Jim, like I thought they weren’t here that day, but apparently they came in late and I’m just like, we’re already in the middle of the game. Like in my brain I’m like, we’re only in or early in the middle of the game and just show up randomly like serious.

Speaker 4: 36:11 So you really don’t like this person did. So let’s talk about cognitive symptoms. Some of these you might be able to notice in these people too. So the first one is frequent frustration. So does this person strike you as being frustrated by everything? Every little thing bothers them.

Speaker 6: 36:32 Well, not every little thing, but they are definitely, I’m kind of frustrated when they talk to the others girls in the locker room. They, they constantly, like for some reason, I don’t know why, but these girls have never told on her because for some reason she constantly curses at them. And I’m just like, why has no one told the teacher yet? Like the first time she ever really did that to me, I immediately went up to the teacher as you should. Yeah. Honestly, like I think they consider it play fighting, but all I’m hearing is just they generally hate each other.

Speaker 4: 37:13 Right. So the next one that they’d talk about here is difficulty concentrating. And if you don’t have this person in any of your classes other than gender, you might not notice that.

Speaker 6: 37:26 Well, I kind of do notice it shape. I think the reason why they always well don’t ever are, it’s hard for them. They don’t, sorry,

Speaker 4: 37:40 Slow down. I know there’s a lot to get out.

Speaker 6: 37:44 I think the reason for why people are always able to score on that on them is because they’re constantly distracted and they don’t pay attention to the actual game because they genuinely don’t care. That’s a good, good point. And even though I really don’t care about play the game, I still pay attention to the ball cause I don’t want to look like a, I dunno an Eddy getting in front of my team.

Speaker 4: 38:08 So the last cognitive symptom they have here is failure to quote. Think before speaking. Do they have a filter on what they say or does the first thing that come to their mind just blurt right out of their mouth and they say inappropriate things.

Speaker 6: 38:25 Yeah, that’s pretty much them. Like you can’t like they never shut up. Okay. That’s all I’m gonna say. They never shut up.

Speaker 4: 38:32 All right, so the next section that have is the psycho social symptoms. I don’t have a definition for that. So we’re going to kind of have to play this one by ear. So the first thing is difficulty making friends. Do they have a lot of friends?

Speaker 6: 38:49 They seem to be talking a lot to people, so.

Speaker 4: 38:52 Okay. Well it sounds like they don’t treat their friends very well. How about a loss of self esteem? They seem like they have low self esteem.

Speaker 6: 39:01 No, not really.

Speaker 4: 39:04 Okay. are they persistently negative in their outlook on life? And if things they say,

Speaker 6: 39:12 Well not that I know of, I really don’t get to know them as a person because I really don’t want to.

Speaker 4: 39:17 And do they consistently have feelings of annoyance to others and everything around them? Mainly to me, yes. Okay. But the other people tend to annoy them too. Okay. So if this person might be suffering from this and, and you know, bear in mind, if they are, they can’t help it. Okay. So as difficult as they may be to, to deal with, they might not be doing these things deliberately to be spiteful or to hurt you. They might not be able to, to help themselves. They might not even know that they have an issue that they need to get help with. Just keep that in mind and kind of have a little bit of sympathy for someone in that situation. So we’re going to come back and we’re going to talk about some strategies for dealing with defiant teens.

Speaker 4: 40:14 So a lot of these are tips for parents who have defiant teens. Cause it’s things that only parents can do. So the first thing they talk about is to tie privileges to good behavior. And we do that, you know, as parents in general because we like to reward you for good grades or doing your chores or whatever it is. And I think that’s just a good life lesson. They say when your teen might consider what your team might consider as necessities are really privileges that they should have to earn electronics, money driving time with friends are all wonderful things that your team may be allowed when they’re behaving appropriately. So like you get these things, obviously you’re not driving at this point in time, but you get these, these, these things as well. Do you think mommy and daddy are fair and how we give you these types of rewards? Yeah,

Speaker 6: 41:15 I mean I’m going to use the example of technology. You guys tell me an hour before bed, turn off your technology. And I’ve actually come to cope with it because I actually go downstairs with mommy and watch part of a movie for that hour and a duck. And I’ve actually gotten used to it. And it’s not only keeping me off technology for the hour before I have to go to bed, but it’s also having more quality time with my mom.

Speaker 4: 41:41 Yeah. And I think that’s actually been working out really well. I know mommy’s been enjoying that time too.

Speaker 6: 41:46 I’ve really been enjoying it too because I get to, cause it’s not everyday I get to like just sit down with my mom and watch a movie together. I mean we occasionally do movie nights, but we haven’t, I don’t remember the last time we’ve done one. I think it was when we were on Disney and we were just watching movies we hadn’t seen yet. But it wasn’t that long ago. But yeah. But still,

Speaker 4: 42:09 We as a family, we probably should need, should sit down and do at least one movie night per week. But very good point. The next thing that they talk about here is avoiding repetition. For some reason it seems like most parents at one point or another resort to repeating themselves. I don’t repeat myself doing.

Speaker 6: 42:32 No,

Speaker 4: 42:33 I think so. I try to stay fresh. Nagging your teen or reminding them, you know, that laundry, mrs .

Speaker 6: 42:39 Oh yeah. That’s the only one.

Speaker 4: 42:43 Reminding them over and over that if they don’t do something, they will be grounded. It usually doesn’t work and I don’t threaten you. Right. We’re just friendly Vermonters.

Speaker 6: 42:51 Yeah. Except that I do end up getting a little annoying, especially if I’m just like laying in my room, just doing stuff I normally do. And then,

Speaker 4: 43:01 And you know, total confession, I know you on purpose just cause I get a certain sense of satisfaction from it. Many teens just many times it just encourages defiance and steals your authority instead of give directions one time, only offering only one warning and then follow through with a consequence. Now I’m gonna delve off into a different topic, a different direction here on this one. You probably never heard of the art of war by sun SU. It’s a, it’s a book on strategy. Okay. And there’s a lot of life lessons to be had in this book. And the one lesson that I’m thinking of at this point is a son Sue, who was a general in the Chinese army, says that if the commander’s orders are not clear, it’s the commander’s fault. If the orders are clear and they’re still not followed, it’s the soldier’s fault.

Speaker 4: 44:07 And to illustrate this very well in the book, he talks about working with the emperor and the emperor’s favorite servants. And he has all these female servants and he has the, the lead servant who’s in charge of all of them. And he, the general was trying to convince the emperor to let him command his armies and the emperor thought he should do it, not the general. So he said, all right, the generalist is all right if I can get your servants to follow my orders on the battlefield, will you believe that I can lead your troops? And the emperor laughed and says, sure, go ahead. Good luck with that. Basically. So he took all the S the servants and he told them what to do. He said, you know, you’re going to, here’s a staff, you’re going to stand at attention. When I say attention.

Speaker 4: 45:04 So he steps back up next to the emperor and says, all right, attention. And they all laughing, giggle with each other and they don’t take it seriously. So he walks up and he takes a staff and he says, okay, that was my fault. I didn’t explain what you had to do correctly. He says, when I say attention, you stand up straight. You hold your staff in front of you, like you’re ready for battle. Perfectly clear. That’s back up next to the emperor says, okay, attention. And they all laugh and giggle again. Well, at this point in time, he knows they know how to do it. They’re just defying him. So you know what he did? He walked over to the lead servant, took his sword out and cut her head off.

Speaker 4: 45:50 Then they all took them seriously. Now granted that’s an extreme, but the point of the story here is that if I asked you to do something and I don’t tell you how to do it correctly, then it’s my fault for not telling you. But if I tell you how to do it and the instructions are very clear, then it’s your fault. So if you fail to do it again, I have to then have consequences attached to it. So in the case of electronics, maybe I take your, your iPhone away for a day or two, or maybe you can’t play video games or you can’t go see your friends. Something like that. So that you understand that when you don’t abide by the rules, that there are consequences. And that’s basically the ruling. We’re not chopping anybody’s heads off here. We don’t do that. So rubber, okay? But this is a, this is like a book of military strategy that’s like 3000 years old. So it’s not like this is a new concept. This is a lesson that’s been passed down for a long time. The other thing they say is,

Speaker 8: 46:58 Mmm,

Speaker 4: 46:59 Have enforced consequences, which we just talked about. Have a plan. So when you teach, when your teen acts defiant, the situation can be very emotional. So you don’t want to act emotionally. I tell you a lot of times that when you get emotional, you need this. You need to back that down because you’re going to do something that you’re going to regret. Yeah. So one of our techniques is to count backwards from 10 to try and just calm down and look at things backwards in Spanish. Exactly.

Speaker 4: 47:31 The, and they say your teen may be angry and their behavior can in turn make you angry. Unfortunately, emotional gut reactions generally do not help calm the conflict. So it’s best to create a strategy beforehand, plan out what you’re going to say to your child ahead of time before he or she acts out again. Deliver your message in a simple, clear and calm answer. So I, a lot of times when I get agitated, I have to walk away from what I’m doing. Otherwise, you know, I do stupid stuff and we don’t want to do that. Praise, good behavior. I think we do that. Right? Yep. It’s important. You don’t necessarily have to give her a reward every time, but every time you do something that’s good, you need a Pat on the back. Right. That’s really how to encourage and, and get people to want to do things correctly. Teach problem solving. This one is huge. I think despite what your teen may say, they usually do not prefer to deal with their problems alone. As a parent, you are the, your teens, teacher, coach, cheerleader, and disciplinarian. Part of your role is to teach your team how to solve their own problems. So let’s talk about that for a minute. So how do mommy and daddy teach you how to solve your own problems? T tell us a little bit, a little bit about that.

Speaker 6: 48:56 Well, you first let me rant about what I’m, what my problems are and once I’m done ranting at you, Oh, you always make sure to tell me not to get worked up over something like sad because if you get worked up over something, you’d tend to not think clearly. So the thing you need to do is before you’re about to act up, you always tell him to take a deep breath and and go to the logical side of things, right? Right.

Speaker 4: 49:29 Work the problem. You know, every problem has a solution and you cannot come to that solution if you’re agitated or emotional or upset. So when a problem happens, you kind of need to wash those emotions away and let the logical side of your brain come out. And one of the things that we do, ironically enough to teach a problem solving is this podcast. You know, we started this podcast almost a year ago because you were having some issues, you know, sixth grade was kind of a tough year for you and, and I didn’t know how to cope with it. You know, we would sit down, we would talk, we would hear how your day was and our talks weren’t helping. And I thought, well, you know what, let’s put it in the form of a podcast. Let me go do the research so that I can at least kind of put things into context for you.

Speaker 4: 50:27 Now, this isn’t an issue that you deal with, but you know, we’ve talked about a lot of things, stress and depression and you know, the first thing we do is we define what it is. So we know what we’re talking about. We talk about what could cause it, and then ultimately we always talk about what we can do to solve it. And that is really part of the scientific process, you know? So we apply that to these podcasts and you can apply these to any issue that you run into. Define what you have, identify what the symptoms of, of those, you know, issues are, and then identify solutions for them. It’s really those three simple steps. Focus on one behavior. If your teen is acting defined in a number of different ways, it will be difficult and exhausting to try to address all the problems at once instead.

Speaker 4: 51:20 And this is what we tell you before. Instead, focus on one thing at a time. This is another problem solving thing. If you’ve got a big issue, you’re dealing with a big project, you know, a big assignment, whatever it is, take that, break it into small parts and deal with it in smaller parts. Pick your battles. You’ve heard that one before. You know, you don’t always try to correct every, every defiant behavior. Stay respectful. You know, you don’t, you’re the adult, you know, we’re talking to the parents in this case here, you’re the adult here. You want to make sure you treat your child with respect. And that’s one thing. Whenever we set boundaries with you or we set rules, we don’t set rules for a 13 year old. We set rules for an adult that you’re mature enough to follow. And mommy and daddy always tried to treat you with that same respect. We do it in a nourishing and enriching manner, but ultimately a respectful manner. We don’t tell you go do something because we said so. If we ask you to do something, I have no problem explaining to you why we need you to do it, what the value of it is of worth and necessity is and why you’re the right person for it. And we do that out of respect.

Speaker 6: 52:36 Yeah. And luckily for the most part, I think I can definitely understand things that I have to do that are genuinely necessary. I mean the only, I mean cooking for example is not necessary, but it’s always nice to for you guys to come home. And I’ve already got dinner started.

Speaker 4: 52:59 Yeah. And I think both mommy and I appreciate everything that you do with the cooking and you’re doing a very good job of it to be honest with you.

Speaker 6: 53:06 Yeah. You kind of just, it kind of messed up my pattern with the air fryer, but I’ll get on track. Right.

Speaker 4: 53:13 Well that was, that was the, you know, mommy got that one as a, as a Christmas present from work. So it just opens up new possibilities. We step outside of our comfort zone a little bit.

Speaker 6: 53:23 Yeah. I, and I can understand why I need to do laundry. I’m like, if I don’t do laundry or we’re probably not going to have clean clothes and are going to have people that want to be near you. Yeah. especially when I have to clean my clothes from gym. Cause you know, that’s a whole nother thing. Yeah.

Speaker 4: 53:44 So the last thing that they talk about here, which is one that, you know, we, we tell everyone in our podcast, you know, we’re, we’re not experts on all these things. We’re not trained, we’re not clinical get support. You know, we try to sort of steer people in the right direction and help people out. But ultimately if what you’re having is a problem, it’s too much for you to handle. Don’t be afraid to identify that there are tons of resources out there that you can go and look at and get help for. So there are the things that we can do to help out. We will come back with shout outs and closing remarks and I do have some, a programming note as well. Okay. All right. Go for your closing remarks and show.

Speaker 6: 54:36 Alrighty. So it might be a bit hard to talk to an 18 two are growing through this disorder because they don’t really know what’s going on. The best thing I can say for them is to notify if you have any of these symptoms or you think you have any of these symptoms. If you really don’t know, always make sure to like ask a parent or a friend if you think you have any of these. And if you do then you might want to consider seeing a professional or talking to your parents about it or getting it notified for the parents out there. There are gonna be plenty of kids who can either have these disorders or just find behaviors in general. And all I can really say is try to be prepared for it. Also, don’t be overly demanding cause that doesn’t help anyone. You need to be

Speaker 5: 55:29 Firm, but fair.

Speaker 4: 55:32 Very good. Said, well said. Shout outs at all.

Speaker 4: 55:38 No, not this week. Okay. And nothing wrong with that. We don’t always have that shout out.

Speaker 6: 55:43 Yeah, I don’t really know a lot of people.

Speaker 4: 55:45 So a quick programming note this week we actually are filming two episodes this week and we’ll be filming episode. Hopefully we’ll be filming episode 50 tomorrow, tomorrow afternoon. We do have a special guests, Sam, your brother will be on the show tomorrow. Time permitting and then next week we’ll go live again. Well we’ll be live tomorrow. I just don’t know exactly what time. Next week, next Friday we’ll be live our regular time and we do have another special guest next week as well assuming schedules work out two weeks. So before we go quick contact information, we always love to hear from all of our viewers or listeners. You can email You can hit us on Twitter and insights on the score. Things. You can see our videos on YouTube at and the things you can get us on Facebook at into things podcast. Our website has links to all of our audio and video as well as show notes and And

Speaker 6: 57:12 We also have also make sure to check out our two other podcasts, insights in the entertainment hosted by you and mommy and inserts and tomorrow hosted by you and my brother. We talk awfully where they will also have done on Saturday assuming everything goes to plan and Saturday afternoon. Yeah, Ben remembered. So our monthly podcasts, the other two are weekly, so don’t forget to tune in for that. And I think that’s it.

Speaker 4: 57:41 I think that’s it. Another one in the books. Bye.

Show Notes

  • Introductions
    • Insights Into Teens Episode 49  “Defiant Behaviors”
    • My brilliant and beautiful co-host Madison Whalen
  • What is Defiant Behavior
    • Adolescence can be a difficult phase in life to navigate. Defying the wishes of their parents (or other authority figures) and testing limits is a normal part of growing up for teens. Youth are trying to figure out who they are, establish their independence, and express themselves. Unfortunately, in some teens, this process can cause them to act out in an angry, argumentative, spiteful, or rebellious manner. But, just because it’s normal behavior, doesn’t make it acceptable.
  • What is Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a childhood disorder that is defined by a pattern of hostile, disobedient, and defiant behaviors directed at adults or other authority figures. ODD is also characterized by children displaying angry and irritable moods, as well as argumentative and vindictive behaviors. While all children will display some type of defiant behavior throughout their growing years, children suffering from ODD will display such behaviors much more commonly than that of any other type of behaviors. For these kids, it can seem like nothing can be done to make them happy. These children will not only do things to purposely cause conflict or to purposely annoy the people around them, but they will oftentimes place the blame on others.
  • Suspected Causes
    • The specific causes that might be attributed to the onset of ODD cannot be narrowed down to any one specific factor.
    • It is widely believed that a combination of factors work together towards causing a person to develop the symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder.
    • The following are some examples of various causes and factors that may play a role in the development of ODD:
      • Genetic:
        • It is common for children who are diagnosed with ODD to have family members who also suffer from various mental illnesses.
        • Such illnesses can include mood disorders, personality disorders, and anxiety disorders.
        • This fact suggests that there is most likely a genetic component that leads a person to be more susceptible to developing oppositional defiant disorder, as opposed to a person who has not next been exposed to the same type of genetics.
      • Physical:
        • The presence of oppositional defiant disorder traits have been linked to the existence of abnormal amounts of certain brain chemicals.
        • These brain chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, work towards helping to keep the brain chemicals themselves balanced properly.
        • When an imbalance exists, and messages are suddenly unable to communicate properly with other aspects of the brain, symptoms of ODD may occur.
      • Environmental:
        • The environment in which a person is raised can have a significant effect on whether or not he or she may fall in to the symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder.
        • If a child is surrounded by a somewhat chaotic home life (where violence, arguments, and other forms of general discord) are prevalent, it would not be unreasonable to assume that the child could begin acting out at as a result.
        • Similarly, if children are exposed to violence or have friends who behave in destructive, reckless manners, those children too are more likely to begin displaying behavioral symptoms that correlate with the onset of ODD.
    • Risk Factors:
      • Familial discord
      • Dysfunctional home life
      • Exposure to violence
      • History of mental illness within the family
      • Exposure to substance abuse
      • Inconsistent parenting (inconsistent discipline, inconsistent interaction, etc.)
      • Abuse / neglect
  • Signs and Symptoms
    • There are three types of symptoms to be aware of
      • Behavioral
      • Cognitive
      • Psychosocial
    • Behavioral symptoms:
      • Easily losing one’s temper / throwing repeated temper tantrums
      • Arguing
      • Fighting
      • Refusing to follow rules
      • Deliberately acting in a way that will annoy others
      • Blaming others
      • Blatant hostility towards others
      • Being unwilling to compromise or negotiate
      • Willingly destroying friendships
      • Being spiteful and seeking revenge
      • Blatant and repeated disobedience
    • Cognitive symptoms:
      • Frequent frustration
      • Difficulty concentrating
      • Failure to “think before speaking”
    • Psychosocial symptoms:
      • Difficulty making friends
      • Loss of self-esteem
      • Persistent negativity
      • Consistent feelings of annoyance
  • Strategies for dealing with a defiant teen
    • Tie Privileges to Good Behavior.
      • What your teen might consider as necessities are really privileges that they should have to earn.
      • Electronics, money, driving, and time with friends are all wonderful things that your teen may be allowed when they are behaving appropriately.
      • While you should try to keep the link positive – for example, telling your teen that they have the opportunity each day to earn more privileges with good choices – these privileges should be taken away if your teen calls you names, refuses to comply with house rules, or engages in some other disrespectful behavior.
    • Avoid Repetition.
      • For some reason, it seems like most parents, at one point or another, resort to repeating themselves.
      • Nagging your teen, or reminding them over and over that if they don’t do something they will be grounded, usually does not work.
      • Many times, it just encourages defiance and steals your authority. Instead, give directions one time only, offering only one warning, and then, follow through with a consequence.
      • It is the fastest way to achieve compliance while also maintaining a more peaceful household.
    • Enforce Consequences.
      • Once you have decided what limits and/or rules are important to you, stick to them, and establish specific consequences for breaking them.
      • You absolutely must follow through in enforcing consequences to see change in your teen’s behavior.
      • Do not ever threaten a consequence that you will not enforce – your teen will call your bluff, and, when you don’t follow through, you will lose your authority.
      • If your teen doesn’t comply, provide the consequence in a calm manner.
      • For example, you might say, “You didn’t clean your room like I asked you to, so you won’t be allowed to go to the movies.”
      • Or, “Since you came home late tonight, you will not have access to the car this weekend.”
      • The other important key in this area is not rescuing your child from the consequences of his behavior.
      • This will only encourage further defiance.
      • For example, if he backtalks a teacher, do not call and make excuses for his behavior or try to lessen his punishment.
      • Instead, talk to your teen about how he should make choices that work in his favor rather than choices that ultimately make him unhappy.
    • Have a Plan.
      • When your teen acts defiant, the situation can become very emotional.
      • Your teen may be angry and their behavior can, in turn, make you angry.
      • Unfortunately, emotional gut reactions generally do not help calm the conflict, so it is best to create a strategy beforehand.
      • Plan out what you’re going to say to your child ahead of time, before she acts out again.
      • Deliver your message in a simple, clear, and calm manner.
    • Praise Good Behavior.
      • Offer your teen a compliment or simple thank you when you see them making a good choice or doing something you asked.
      • You might say, “Thanks so much for cleaning your room without even being asked.”
      • Your compliments (as long as they are not sarcastic or over-the-top) will encourage your teen to continue to do good things.
      • If you are always on his back about what he does wrong, he will end up feeling like he can’t do anything right, so why bother?
      • Acknowledge the small steps they take in positive directions.
    • Teach Problem Solving.
      • Despite what your teen may say, they usually do not prefer to deal with their problems alone.
      • As a parent, you are your teen’s teacher, coach, cheerleader, and disciplinarian.
      • Part of your role is to teach your teen how to solve their own problems.
      • When things are calm, you might say, “This behavior won’t solve your problem—it will only get you into more trouble. So, how can you solve this problem differently next time?”
      • Listen to what your teen has to say, and suggest ideas if he can’t come up with anything.
      • Additionally, it’s important to realize that, sometimes, defiance is really a symptom of an underlying problem.
      • Don’t just assume your child is being defiant when they refuse to do something.
      • Perhaps they don’t understand their classwork, so they refuse to do their homework, or perhaps they are afraid of speaking in public, so they refuse to prepare their project.
      • You might need to help them develop a new or specific skill to address an underlying problem.
    • Focus on One Behavior.
      • If your teen is acting defiant in a number of different ways, it will be difficult and exhausting to try to address all of the problems at once.
      • Instead, choose one behavior that is bothering you the most and begin to plan the steps you will take to improve that behavior.
      • For example, if your teen is disrespecting or cursing at everyone in the family, not doing their homework, and also breaking their curfew, you need to decide which of these behaviors you cannot live with or seems most detrimental to their safety.
      • When you have enforced consequences for the first behavior and it is under control, then you can move onto the next most bothersome behavior.
    • Pick your Battles.
      • In all honesty, many family conflicts are not worth your time and energy.
      • It’s important to decide (with your spouse) which battles are worth fighting and which are best to let go.
      • Avoid power struggles. Many times, teens will use petty arguments to delay having to comply with rules.
      • Instead, concentrate only on battles that truly need your attention to protect your teen’s well-being.
      • By avoiding minor disagreements, you create a more peaceful environment for your family, which can actually give your teen more confidence to approach you on more significant issues.
    • Stay Respectful.
      • Youth often come across as rude and disrespectful to their parents, teachers or other authority figures, which can be incredibly frustrating.
      • Unfortunately, many adults respond by being rude and disrespectful back, but this is not constructive.
      • As the adult, you must model behavior you want to see. 
      • Regardless of what you “preach,” if your teen sees you respond disrespectfully to them, then they will assume that disrespectful behavior is appropriate.
    • Get Support.
      • When our teens act inappropriately, it becomes easy to think we are bad parents and feel disappointed or even depressed.
      • Do not buy into these negative thoughts or isolate yourself.
      • Instead, find someone to talk to, whether it’s a therapist, support group, friend, or a trusted family member.
      • You will be surprised how much better you will feel when someone simply listens to you.
  • Shoutouts and Closing Remarks
  • Programming Note
    • We will be doing a special off schedule recording of Episode 50 tomorrow afternoon with a special guest.
    • We will go live with it but we do not currently have a scheduled time in the afternoon
    • We will then be live on Friday of next week with a special guest for Episode 51
  • Contact Info