Teen Low Frustration Tolerance
We live in a society that demands instant gratification. Unfortunately, the philosophy of “I want what I want, and I want it now” has become a mindset for many teens. For some, when they are do not get what they want instantaneously, they become quickly frustrated because they have not developed the coping skills to deal with frustration and have yet to learn the valued qualities of patience and perseverance.
Sometimes the lack of coping skills for frustration evolves into the classic struggle between youth and authority. While adolescent development does include a coming-of-age period in which teens individuate from parents and begin to define their own identities, for some, however, this so-called teenage defiance is something much more significant, and much more difficult. For these teens, defiance is not an issue of normal development, but rather a “developmental vacation” in the form of oppositional defiant disorder.
Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a diagnostic term referring to an individual who experiences an ongoing pattern of hostility, defiance and general uncooperativeness that seriously impacts their life in at least two major areas (commonly school and home). Often this includes frequent temper tantrums, near-constant arguing with adults—especially authority figures, refusal to follow rules, unwillingness or inability to accept responsibility for behavior, frequent anger and resentment, themes of revenge, low frustration tolerance, and active defiance. Between 5 and 15% of school-aged children experience this disorder, and its genesis is believed to be both biological and environmental. Roughly 65% of youth diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Disorder will later develop ODD, and both are much more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls.
We are frequently asked “How do I determine if my teen is simply frustrated and angry versus if he/she fits the ODD diagnosis?”
ODD is a long-term disorder—the behaviors will not go away in a week or two. With an ODD teen, there will likely be a persistent pattern of disruptive and defiant behavior that results in school disciplinary problems, frequent loss of privileges and groundings at home, and even legal action.
The typically defiant teen will usually have a clear goal in mind—avoidance of responsibility. The ODD teen, on the other hand, will often argue without rhyme or reason. The ODD teen will frequently argue and defy without basis, flying in the face of reason and logic. They will have great difficulty regaining composure once they are upset. Family Bootcamp recognizes that many parents coping with children with ODD have had their parenting skills pushed to the limit and often are very frustrated themselves. With this in mind the parent seminar provides a refreshing and new perspective for managing teen behavior.For the teen, The Family Bootcamp recognizes many youth simply do not have a language to discuss or express more complex emotions such as fear, disappointment, pain and sadness. Instead, they are manifested through anger and defiance. The program provides teens with skills to begin to express emotion.