All children are oppositional from time to time, particularly when tired, hungry, stressed, or upset. They may argue, talk back, disobey, and defy parents, teachers, and other adults. Openly uncooperative and hostile behavior becomes a serious concern, however, when it is so frequent and consistent that it stands out when compared with other children of the same age and developmental level, and when it affects the child’s social, family, and academic life.

Treatment of oppositional behaviors may include: parent training to help manage the child’s behavior, anger management training, family therapy to improve communication, cognitive behavioral therapy to assist problem-solving and decrease negativity, and social skills training to increase flexibility and improve frustration tolerance with peers.