Most children, even those with normally excellent behavior, will defy authority occasionally. As part of growing up, they may go through periods of arguing with parents, disobeying teachers, or talking back to adults in general. However, when this contrary behavior is extreme and goes beyond the bounds of what is typical for the child's age, it may mean that the child has a type of behavior disorder called oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). ODD is characterized by an ongoing (at least six months) pattern of temper tantrums, stubbornness, anger, disobedience, and hostility toward authority figures. If your child shows signs of ODD, it is important to get help from a mental health professional as soon as possible. A qualified therapist can help the child to develop ways to cope with their anger and improve their communication skills.