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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Relationship Advice, or Dysfunctional Family?

The experts' solutions naturally point to implementing a Successful Family Legacy but refuse to be direct.

(Edited version of this blog (article) was published by The Christian Post)

How often have you gone seeking assistance from health and psychological professionals about your troubled youth, dysfunctional family and heard the solution to your problem rests in your implementation of a Successful Family Legacy? Yes, I know the answer is "Never!" No professional has ever said those words to you because it is a concept deeply lost in translation and understanding. However, the truth is successful family legacy is the answer.

Unwarranted Societal Complications
Read this expert definition by the Mayo Clinic for the term "Oppositional Defiant Disorder" commonly found in early childhood. "Even the best-behaved children can be difficult and challenging at times. But if your child or teen has a persistent pattern of tantrums, arguing, and angry or disruptive behavior toward you and other authority figures, he or she may have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)."
As surprisingly as it has become a severe medical condition requiring treatment by trained professional medical staff, to the rest of the world beyond America that definition effectively describes a regular disobedient child requiring structure. Dysfunction and failed relationships appear eerily similar.

It is very apparent how our culture, on a greater level refusing to take healthy responsibility for our negligent behavior, will quickly default to blaming someone or something outside the realm of personal control. As such we have effectively "medicated" rather than healthily engaged issues such as relationship advice, dysfunctional family, and other similar concerns. However, when taking a deeper observation into the causes, treatments, and solutions of these "prescribed" conditions we notice such professional & instructional (scholarly) content:


There's no known clear cause of oppositional defiant disorder. Contributing causes may be a combination of inherited and environmental factors, including:
·         A child's natural disposition
·         Limitations or developmental delays in a child's ability to process thoughts and feelings
·         Lack of supervision
·         Inconsistent or harsh discipline
  • Abuse or neglect
  • An imbalance of certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin
Treatment and Drugs
...However, medications alone generally aren't used for ODD unless another disorder co-exists. The cornerstones of treatment for ODD usually include:
·         Individual and family therapy
·         Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT)
·         Cognitive problem-solving training
·         Social skills training
·         Parent training

Lifestyle and Home Remedies
·         Recognize and Praise
·         Model the behavior
·         Pick your battles
·         Set limits (structure)
·         Set up a routine
·         Build in time together
·         Work with your partner
·         Assign your child a household chore
These are causes and solutions respectively addressed and harbored in the security of successful family legacy. The healthy family structure rejects ills remarkably and naturally heals wholly.
In essence, every medical or psychological expert on this topic points back to the components I term as "implementing a successful family legacy" when providing a remedy to these problems. This is where the diagnosis should begin in the first place.

The Firstborn Son, Inc (non-profit Family Legacy Builders) exists first and foremost to address the problem immediately and specifically at the root through our products, seminars, community development, and much more. Our culture does not have a medical epidemic. What we have sadly is a society which has severely lost its order of priority as it pertains to healthy family, and the multi-generational development of children who will one day be responsible adults. The more effective approach to the problem is realigning our priorities by changing the family dialog to emphasize the components of successful family legacy. It will serve us all well and accomplish everything desired or detailed by the medical, professional, and social powers-that-be regarding symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder, relationship advice, or dysfunctional family.

The Current Landscape
We have fast become a society which accesses and consumes information at an extremely rapid rate with regard to the Internet. A simple search of our most powerful search engines quickly presents the most popular, accepted, and sought after dialogs on this topic. Sure enough some of the most shared professional content on this topic, and highly visible for our culture's teen and parenting connoisseurs, as well as academic authority figures quickly rose to the top of the list of offered and available advice.

HELPGUIDE.ORG in its discussion of "Normal Teen vs. Troubled Teen Behavior" had this to offer. "...Your sweet, obedient child who once couldn’t bear to be separated from you now won’t be seen within 20 yards of you, and greets everything you say with a roll of the eyes or the slam of a door. These, unfortunately, are the actions of a normal teenager."
The above text was offered in describing the behavior of a normal teen. In my opinion, no child who is raised sweet and obedient ends up behaving in such a manner. Let's be honest, such a transformation as offered by above takes many years of disobedience to attain. If deemed acceptable, we have been duped into buying a bag worthless black coal while expecting a sac of precious gold. Honestly, many adults have done just that as a culture by severely lowering our expectations of what is considered normal of our precious teenagers. Contrary to that belief teens are capable of, and worth much more than to expect normality is a collection of spoiled and disobedient brats. We in effect encourage social dysfunction in our agreement to buy that lie.

Family comparisons between normal and trouble teens also uncover these additional comments from industry experts and professional:
Normal Teen Behavior:      Changing appearance. Keeping up with fashion is important to teens. That may mean wearing provocative or attention-seeking clothing or dyeing hair. Unless your teen wants tattoos, avoid criticizing and save your protests for the bigger issues. Fashions change, and so will your teen.

Warning Signs of Troubled Teen:      Changing appearance can be a red flag if it’s accompanied by problems at school or other negative changes in behavior, or if there’s evidence of cutting and self-harm or extreme weight loss or weight gain.
Normal Teen Behavior:        Experimenting with alcohol or drugs. Most teens will try alcohol and smoke a cigarette at some point. Many will even try marijuana. Talking to your kids frankly and openly about drugs and alcohol is one way to ensure it doesn’t progress further.

Warning Signs of Troubled Teen:      When alcohol or drug use becomes habitual, especially when it’s accompanied by problems at school or home, it may indicate a substance abuse issue or other underlying problems.

It is a sad state of affairs when what should resonate to a parent as a critical limit (indicator) in behavior of their child is considered "normal" by our "so called" experts. Consequently, what is in effect a destructive and often by far an addictive condition in the behavior of the child to these experts is merely a warning sign. Folks the bar is set far too low and might as well be buried. These are the philosophies and attitudes which govern the majority of our schools, therapist, and even churches. Is it a wonder we have a society with criminally egregious statistical record on the family and child behaviors?   

In as much as these outrageous advice are being offered by individuals considered high-level family experts, their remedies and solutions continue to point to the rich components of successful family legacy. They continuously petition struggling parents and families to pursue awareness and solutions as improving relationships, biological teen development (brain science), anger management, rules and consequences (structure), personal boundaries, family connectivity, healthy lifestyle choices, parental self-awareness, mentoring, experienced support structure, and more.

Even the popular Dr. Phil McGraw comments, "Negative events that happened at ages 2, 3, or 4 help to shape children's personalities. By the time these toddlers become teenagers, they've been living with the resulting pain for most of their lives." He goes on to say, "This is all the more reason that you must be a positive, reliable person in your child's life... Even though they're often reluctant to admit it, they seek approval, love, and a "soft place to fall" in their parents." The question remains, are you implementing a successful family legacy which will innately and naturally address all of these concerns and more for your family?

The Indisputable Answer is Successful Family Legacy
I will admit, it is a bit refreshing to hear these same experts comment, "...there are many things you can do at home to help your teen and improve the relationship between you. And you don't need to wait for a diagnosis to start putting them into practice." That comment actually lends incredible credence to my claims of the work I seek to do by the instructional content and products on implementing successful family legacy. It is in fact an effective reference to the innate and natural power of a purposeful family legacy. Too often we inappropriately utilize the biological and scientific information or advancement we have garnered as a civilization to our detriment. We far too quickly justify our flaws, rather than provide an unyielding case for effectively implementing successful family legacy as needed in this topic.

One may ask, "Why are you so adamant about this thing you call successful family legacy? What exactly is it?"

Let's begin with this thought. We are going to leave a legacy behind for our dependents by design or default. When we are dead and gone, we will be remembered for something; good, exceptional, horrific, or non-existent. Maybe we will even be remembered for a combination of several of those characteristics. Many of our friends and acquaintances will quickly forget the essence of who we were in a few short years following our departure from the land of the living. The one cultural unit which we forever leave an imprint on is our family, regardless of being absent or present. Especially when it comes to children, God created us in such a way nothing short of God Himself can ever fill the gaping mother or father size hole left in the absence of a parent. No matter how old we become, especially in the absence of a father, it is a wound we tend to carry forever. In many cases that wound remains an unbreakable cycle of bondage upon the family for many generations to come. Our culture with regards to teen pregnancy, gang violence, drug abuse, suicides, divorce, educational successes and failures, incarcerations, and many more realities bears the imprint of the fatherless generations.

A successful family legacy is the process of utilizing the healthy societal, emotional, and religious (sacred) attributes purposefully handed down to us by our parents (ancestors) to live currently in a manner above reproach. It also involves living an exemplary life that allows our dependents a similar or enhanced success for generations to come. Better yet, even without having one handed to us by our parents and ancestors, with God's instruction manual we can begin and propagate our own. In Genesis 1:26-28, God the father handed down to us His original intent and design for a successful family legacy from a Father (Creator) to His children. He said, "Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness..." The word "image" (Eikon) in its original intent and definition translates and involves the ideas of representation and manifestation. In just those three short verses He ushers (transfers) to us characteristic traits such as creativity, authority, cultivation (relationships), occupation (work), blessing (approval, exalt), empowerment, instruction (teach, parental hierarchy), reproduction (creation of life), and more. All of these traits are critical for the development of the healthy individual as it pertains to the transfer of life from parent to child.

In short, the propagation of our healthy family legacy enables our children to effectively represent, and authentically manifest by their lives and actions the beliefs, core values, and purposes we have deliberately transferred to them. It is carefully done in the same manner by which God the Father transferred His legacy to us who came before them as parents. When that chain of events or order is broken we in effect usher chaos instead into their lives, and subsequently destruction into our society.

In general, as a society we have failed miserably at this task of transferring God's family legacy. There are some families who are battling fiercely against the epidemic of complacency with regards to defending against destruction. The symptoms of the destruction we have allowed is evident in the form of societal ills such as cohabitation, divorce, abortion, fatherlessness, drug abuse, work ethic, sexual revolution, poverty, homosexuality, injudicious faith, parentless, forms of modern media, amongst others.

In light of the negative statistical changes that are evident in today’s families and youth representations, as well as the obvious exercise of social engineering which seeks to render irrelevant the virtues of the traditional family, it is no longer a matter of simply pointing out the factual destruction to promote change in behavior. We must now guard and protect the minds of our children by insuring they understand the core foundational truths of our beliefs. The greatest and most effective way to accomplish such a task is to live exemplary lives that bear a living testimony to our family beliefs which they will one day possess as their own with convictions. We accomplish this task by creating an affinity within their souls as early as possible to those individuals who have held the greatest positions of power and commitment in their lives since birth: parents. (As put by Dr. Phil McGraw, " Even though they're often reluctant to admit it, they seek approval, love, and a "soft place to fall" in their parents.") It is the innate and natural order harbored in successful family legacy. In the practice of loving and unconditionally committed parenthood, if we can gain their preferences through authentic relationships, they will enduringly resist the cunning words of society and cling to the endearing actions they have lived and experienced in us. As such, our personal value systems, our faith, moral absolutes, and healthy societal statistical facts must align.

Questions to Consider regarding your successful family legacy:
·         In business and marketing terms, “Are we first to market?”
·         Will our children hear about the critical and decisive matters of life from us first or the predators waiting to wow them and steal their hearts?
·         Did not someone say “The greatest defense is an early and effective offense?”
·         Have we identified the pitfalls they will experience long before they encounter them, removing the awe factor?
·         Have we taken the time to learn what those pitfalls are firsthand in order to have a knowledgeable dialogue?
·         Have we deliberately and decisively fought to win our children’s hearts by leading exemplary lives above reproach?
·         What indicators do we have to verify that information?
·         Have we assured them it is “family first,” as such family transcends the individual?

At The Firstborn Son, Inc. (non-profit Family Legacy Builders) via our collection of products and services such as public speaking, successful family legacy seminars, books, audio content, video content, radio broadcasts, online resources, ongoing support (community), life coaching, we are committed to educating individuals, families, and our communities as a whole on the powerful process and impact of implementing a successful family legacy. Our efforts are evident in schools (middle, high or college), churches, business association meetings, juvenile detentions centers, prisons, community centers, conferences, and wherever we are invited. The foundational truth of the matter is best said this way, "Every soul longs to be molded in the security of a gratifying family experience."

For now, I will close with this biblical truth of 1 Peter 2:12-22 (NIV), "Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices..." To transform our society we must live what we know is true.

If you aren't already, please consider donating $8.99 per month to our non-profit organization (Family Legacy Builders), and very strategic work for such a time as this.Click Here To Donate!

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