I just finished reading Parenting a Defiant Child, by Phillip and Nancy Hall.
What I liked: There are some great insights into a defiant kid’s mind — especially those with ODD.
What I didn’t like: I disagreed with the authors’ advice that defiant kids should have no unstructured play time. While I agree this can lead to a child looking for trouble, it’s also a time of imaginative play and discovery. And I would rather give my ODD child that opportunity than assume she’s going to make the wrong decision with how to use that time.
What I learned: Defiant kids (especially those with ODD) feel the need to be in control and detest any authority over them. Giving them clear choices, such as “Do A, and B will happen”, or “You can choose between A or B activities” will give them an illusion of control and hopefully end some struggles.