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Explosive Child Audio, Cassette – Abridged, March 3, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Flexibility and tolerance are learned skills, as any parent knows if they've seen an irascible 2-year-old grow into a pleasant, thoughtful, and considerate older child. Unfortunately, for reasons that are poorly understood, a few children don't "get" this part of socialization. Years after toddler tantrums should have become an unpleasant memory, a few unlucky parents find themselves battling with sudden, inexplicable, disturbingly violent rages--along with crushing guilt about what they "did wrong." Medical experts haven't helped much: the flurry of acronyms and labels (Tourette's, ADHD, ADD, etc.) seems to proffer new discoveries about the causes of such explosions, when in fact the only new development is alternative vocabulary to describe the effects. Ross Greene, a pediatric psychologist who also teaches at Harvard Medical School, makes a bold and humane attempt in this book to cut through the blather and speak directly to the (usually desperate) parents of explosive children. His text is long and serious, and has the advantage of covering an enormous amount of ground with nuance, detail, and sympathy, but also perhaps the disadvantage that only those parents who are not chronically tired and time-deprived are likely to get through the entire book. Quoted dialogue from actual sessions with parents and children is interspersed with analysis that is always oriented toward understanding the origins of "meltdowns" and developing workable strategies for avoidance. Although pharmacological treatment is not the book's focus, there is a chapter on drug therapies. --Richard Farr --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The Explosive Child is a must for the many parents, teachers, and professionals who attempt to guide, teach, and work with difficult, hard-to-manage, and easily frustrated children. . . . A must-readfor the children's sake and ours." -- Thomas H. Ollendick, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Child Study Center, Virginia Tech

"A tremendous resource and a must-read for adults involved with easily frustrated children who are hard to manage." -- The Bloomsbury Review

"A user-friendly, practical guide for parents trying to help difficult, explosive children. This book will be of enormous benefit to such children and their families." -- Michael Jellinek, M.D., Chief, Child Psychiatry Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

"All parents should read this book . . . I could not recommend it book more highly." -- Edward Hallowell, M.D. author of Driven to Distraction and Worry: Controlling it and Using it Wisely

"An insightful, sensitive portrayal of children who need helpand how to help them." -- Myrna B. Shure, Ph.D., author of Raising a Thinking Child

"This is a truly remarkable book. . . . [Dr. Greene] skillfully provides us with both a framework and practical interventions for minimizing struggles with these children and enhancing their development . . . What comes across on every page of this wonderful book is a genuine caring and compassion for these youngsters and their families." -- Robert Brooks, Ph.D., author of The Self-Esteem Teacher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: HarperAudio; Abridged edition (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0694521906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0694521906
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,614,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Ross Greene is the originator of an innovative, research-based model -- now called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions -- for understanding and helping behaviorally challenging kids. The CPS model provides a compassionate, accurate understanding of behavioral challenges and an empirically supported, proactive, non-punitive, non-adversarial approach for reducing challenging episodes, solving problems, improving communication, and repairing relationships. The CPS model is described in his books The Explosive Child (now available in a revised and completely updated fifth edition, and also available in Spanish as El Nino Explosivo") and Lost at School (now available in an updated second edition), as well as in the forthcoming books Lost and Found (Jossey-Bass, 2016) and Raising Human Beings (Simon & Schuster, 2016).

Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years. He is now founding director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance (www.livesinthebalance.org), which provides free, web-based resources on his approach and, through its Kids Advocacy Action Network, advocates on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers. He is also adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech. The many research papers documenting the effectiveness of the CPS model can also be found on the Lives in the Balance website. He consults extensively to families, schools, inpatient psychiatry units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities, and lectures widely throughout the world (visit www.cpsconnection.com for a complete listing of learning and training options). Dr. Greene has been featured in a wide range of media, including Mother Jones magazine, The Oprah Show, Good Morning America, The Morning Show, and National Public Radio. He lives in Portland, Maine with his wife and two kids.

Feel free to connect with Dr. Greene by using the Contact form on either website.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
After years of reading books on "strong-willed" or "difficult" children... and years of psychotherapy, Dr. Greene's fresh approach to what seemed an unsolvable problem has brought peace to our household for the first time in 8 years. I have bought a copy of this book for everyone that deals with my 10-year-old son: my parents, his teacher, his previous teacher, and the County Mental Health worker who is working with us on in-home behavior modification. I was very sceptical when I first learned of Dr. Greene's approach-- it sounded too easy ! But it truly, truly works.
Dr. Greene put into words what I had always known about my child, but couldn't express cohesively. My son used to have several "melt-downs" each week, and I always wondered how much control he had over his own behavior and emotions. Now I know the answer, and also can recognize the various stages of escalation leading up to a rage episode.
Applying Dr. Greene's "basket" principles, we haven't had a melt-down in 3 weeks, and my son's cooperation with our "basket A" and "basket B" requests is fantastic. No more melt-downs, no more frustrated adults. We actually have hope for a brighter future. Even school is going really, really well.
Many thanks to Dr. Greene for giving us an alternative to manage our "inflexible, explosive" (but lovable) children !
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Format: Hardcover
As a teacher of children with behavioral and emotional disorders, I found Greene's book extremely useful. In the first part of the book, he explores inflexibility and explosiveness in children (and biological/chemical factors influencing such behavior.) This section alone is worth its weight in gold for helping parents and teachers take a closer look at what's going on with their kids.
The rest of the book is devoted to his "three basket" intervention method. I am beginning to use this technique in my classroom to help avoid "meltdowns" over issues that really aren't important and to help TEACH my students how to negotiate and cope in frustrating situations. I want my students to become more flexible not just because it makes it easier on me in the classroom; they'll be happier and less frustrated in school, at home, and out in the world.
I've recommended this book to many parents and colleagues.
Comment 170 of 173 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on March 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The cover of this book caught my eye in the bookstore and I knew there must be something in there for me. I finally had some authoritative information on what my family has been through for the past 13 years. I've known our son was "different" since he was a toddler throwing his time-out chair at me and screaming, I just didn't understand why until now. The "pick your battles" basket approach Dr Greene uses puts daily frustrations and battles into perspective and gives the frustrated parent an extremely useful tool in learning to work with the time bomb in your house. Letting go of the notion that a child should behave a certain way and obey without question is very difficult for some parents to do but learning the art of negotiating with your explosive child and reducing the "meltdowns" in your life is well worth it.
The chapter on medications is very helpful for those not understanding what an important role they can play. Our son has been on Ritalin for ADHD since he was 3 1/2 and was finally diagnosed at age ten as also having bipolar disorder. After 2 hospitalizations in the past 2 1/2 years and 2 suicide attempts in the last year we are getting the correct mixture of 7 different medications that have finally helped stabilize his moods enough to actually begin to use the methods in the book. Dr. Greene has finally helped us find a major piece of the puzzle to being able to help our family regain some sanity in our lives.
Anyone who has ever looked down at another parent for not being able to control their child needs to read this book and walk a mile in their shoes. The parents of these children need a friend much more than they need another condescending comment on how to raise their children.
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Format: Hardcover
This book really hit the nail on the head in describing what seems to be going on with these children - how they start to go into a "meltdown" and after this begins it is as if they no longer can comprehend what is going on. You cannot at that point reason with the child and nothing you say actually gets through. The child is always sorry or evens sometimes cannot recall the events that took place while going through this event.
The book is great at helping you set priorities as to what behaviors are worth going through a blow-out and what isn't with his basket approach. In other words, how to pick your battles.
The basket approach is easy to comprehend and usually easy to put to use. However - the things that must go into the "A" basket [which are things that are non-negotiable] are, for many parents, the very same things that are causing the most disturbance in their households. This includes such things are getting up in the morning and getting dressed and going to school. He does not tell you how to best ride-out or attempt to diffuse these situations. It's great to say that parents should limit basket A to these types of items, but we still need help in getting these things accomplished!
I, myself, am the parent of an explosive/inflexible child and I'll tell you - this book was recommended by my son's school and his therapist because none of the traditional behavior management methods, medications and/or counseling has done any good in helping him and ourselves deal with this. We have been doing counseling for 4 1/2 yrs and using meds for 3 yrs. I bought the book with high hopes because he is once again in crisis at school and things are terrible at home.
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