Established in 1993, River View Christian Academy’s purpose is to provide a safe, structured, and supportive setting for struggling teenage girls, 12-17 years old. River View encourages positive change in girl students who have struggled academically due to negative influences or defiant behaviors.
River View is not a residential treatment center, or therapeutic boarding school, but we have found that a structured and caring environment can make an enormous difference in correcting behavioral issues among teenagers. River View understands that parents want to send a girl to a safe, monitored environment where she receives personal care, and guidance that helps heal emotional issues–whether brought on by trauma, foster care, adoption or victimization.
And while the young teen girl enrolls our residential boarding school to improve her academics and learn positive life skills, River View Christian Academy also helps teen girls acting out defiance issues improve their mental and physical health.
Call us to learn more: 1-800-494-2200
Dealing with Defiance in Young Girls and Teens
The question of how to handle defiant children is something most parents have struggled with at one point or another. Defiance in children is a common problem, especially in adolescents. It’s a normal part of a child’s development and can be expressed in behaviors such as talking back to or disobeying parents, teachers, and other adults.
Among school-age children, defiance will more likely take the form of arguing or not doing something you asked—or doing it very, very slowly—rather than a full-out tantrum (which is more likely to occur in younger children). Your child may be trying to exert control over a situation or declare their independence. They may be testing limits. Or they may be expressing dislike for a task like doing their chores.
When Defiance Isn’t What It Seems
In some cases, what appears to be defiance may simply be a child who’s dawdling because they are so focused on an activity. Understanding what’s behind your child’s behavior is an important part of addressing the problem.
Defiant behavior that persists for a prolonged period of time and interferes with a child’s performance at school and their relationships with family and friends can be a sign of something called oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD.
In children who have ODD, defiance is characterized by behaviors, such as temper tantrums or aggression, that often seem inappropriate for a child’s age. Children who have ODD may also exhibit other problems such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD.
If you suspect that your child may have ODD, consult your child’s doctor or school counselor to get help and information.
Causes of Oppositional Defiant Disorder
ODD is a behavioral disorder that results in defiance and anger against authority. It can affect a person’s work, school, and social life.
ODD affects between 1 and 16 percent of school age children. It’s more common in boys than girls. Many children start to show symptoms of ODD between the ages of 6 and 8 years.
There is no proven cause of ODD, but there are theories that can help identify potential causes. It’s thought a combination of environmental, biological, and psychological factors cause ODD. For example, it’s more common in families with a history of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
One theory suggests ODD can begin to develop when children are toddlers, because children and adolescents with ODD show behaviors fairly typical of toddlers. This theory also suggests that the child or adolescent is struggling to become independent from parental or authority figures they were emotionally attached to.
It’s also possible that ODD develops as a result of learned behaviors, reflecting negative reinforcement methods some authority figures and parents use. This is especially true if the child uses bad behavior to get attention. In other cases, the child could adopt negative behaviors from a parent.
Other possible causes include:
certain personality traits, like being strong-willed
lack of positive attachment to a parent
significant stress or unpredictability in the home or daily life
River View Helps Girls Heal from Defiance Issues
We understand that parents can try to teach their children good ways to resolve open defiance at home, and at school. But some kids still continue to defy parents, siblings and friends.
One of the most important aspects of redirecting a teen who is struggling is for them to be in an environment that is structured with a routine schedule that they can count on. We believe in student boundaries in all areas of life. Another reason for our success over 25 years at River View Christian Academy is the high level of involvement of staff and parents.
Located on 45 acres in the beautiful hill country of central Texas, River View’s girl students are also responsible for garden and animal chores, in addition to school and homework. Of course, there are fun school activities, as well as the amazing parks in the area.
We also provide nutritious meals, and healthy exercise and activities. We want each girl student to experience positive benefits of learning boundaries and responsibility, as well as improve her daily life in a challenging environment.