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The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children Paperback – January 19, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Revised Updated edition (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061906190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061906190
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (426 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A groundbreaking approach to understanding and parenting children who frequently exhibit severe fits of temper and other intractable behaviours, from a distinguished clinician and pioneer in this field, now updated to include the most recent research.

Almost everyone knows an explosive child, one whose frequent, severe fits of temper leave his or her parents standing helpless in their fear, frustration, and guilt. Most of these parents have tried everything—reasoning, behaviour modification, therapy, medication—but to no avail. They wonder if their child is deviant or just plain bad.

Dr. Ross Greene has worked with thousands of explosive children, and he has good news: these kids aren't bad, and neither are their parents. Rather, explosive children suffer from a physiological deficiency in frustration tolerance and flexibility. Throughout this compassionate book, Dr. Greene demonstrates why traditional treatments don't work for these kids and offers a new conceptual framework for understanding their behaviour, along with new language to describe it. He explains the latest neuroscience findings about the importance of flexibility, and, most important, he shows parents specific, practical ways they can recognize the signs of an impending explosion, defuse tension, and reduce frustration levels for the entire family.

  • For parents, psychologists, educators and ADHD groups.
  • In addition to the scientific foundation of the book, Greene addresses parents in practical ways that will help show results in difficult children and their effect on families.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is Associate Clinical Professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the originator of the Collaborative Problem Solving approach. Dr. Greene consults extensively to families, schools, and therapeutic facilities, and he lectures throughout the world.


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Customer Reviews

Very easy to read and helpful!
Bethany Tope
The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children This book is an excellent resource for parents.
Diana Lynn McDargh
This book was a great help in understanding and trying to help my behaviorally challenging granddaughter.
Susan L Snyder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

154 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read The Explosive Child after reading The Defiant Child (and attending a Douglas Riley-esque parenting class). The problem with the premise in The Defiant Child, and in most of the negative reviews on this book, is that there are many adults who cling obstinately to the belief that these children are capable of doing better than they are, and if the adult can just make said child's life difficult enough, he/she will shape up.

The problem with that line of thinking, and the subsequent "strategies" it produces, is that no matter how much I punish a child, if he/she is incapable of doing better, the issues we face will persist. It is akin to punishing a child who needs glasses for not being able to see. A much better solution all around would be to get him/her glasses.

My daughter, in the Riley worldview, would be "punishing me" or "controlling" and "manipulating." What I saw was a little girl who was so very overwhelmed by various aspects of her environment, that she had no adaptations, no ability to cope. I can't imagine what it must be like to live in a world where the way your plate is turned at dinner, or which direction your socks are facing, is so overwhelming a proposition that you lose the ability to function and/or think rationally. That's the little girl I was living with. The little girl who could blow up over the most incomprehensible thing, and for whom most of life's daily situations and frustrations were just more than she could bear.

In the calm between storms, she was (and still is) a delightful girl - funny, bright, loving, and always, always remorseful after an explosion. I knew she knew what she was doing was wrong, and moreover, she didn't want to be doing it at all.
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173 of 181 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book changed my life. My child does not respond to "traditional" disciplinary approaches. I'd tried everything short of spanking � time outs, consequences, loss of priveledges, positive reinforcement for good behavior � and NOTHING worked. After reading at least 20 parenting books and struggling to find a way to cope with my child, I discovered "The Explosive Child." What a godsend. This book provides a new way of looking at and helping "difficult" children who respond with anger and aggression when they are frustrated, and explains why traditional methods of discipline don't work with these kids. It then goes on to suggest a new method to teach kids (and their parents!) the skills they need to avoid meltdowns. While perhaps geared more toward the older child and adolescents, I think it would still be helpful to parents of preschoolers. Even if your child doesn't have major behavioral problems, it teaches great basic communication skills. I'd highly recommend it for people who work with kids, especially difficult ones.
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134 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Chuck on February 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a practicing pediatrician there are two books that have changed the way I approach behavior problems: "The Explosive Child" and Mel Levine's "A Mind at a Time." Be wary of the negative comments by reviewers as they miss the point of the book. The advice in this book is aimed a specific type of child personality. Setting clear limits and using time-out and 1-2-3 Magic that rely on removing attention when a child does something dangerous or misbehaves should always be tried first. For the stubborn, inflexible child, implementing time out often makes the situation worse. The initial infraction, like pushing a sibling, which normally would earn a time out, leads to an argument that only escalates until the child has earned enough time in time out to last past past early adulthood. The limits still need to be defined, but the approach to discipline needs to be less incendiary. The situation is often made worse by the presence of an equally inflexible adult. My favorite example is the first grader who kicked snow while waiting in line to come in from recess. It escalated, thanks in part to an inflexible vice-principal, to a three-day out of school suspension.

The best part of the book is the first section in which the author uses multiple examples to describe this personality type. Most parents are able to see their child in one of the examples. Understanding what causes the meltdowns in 90% of battle. This is the book I most commonly recommend to parents, but only after I determine that their child fits the personality type this book addresses.
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Lori on June 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Finally somebody who understands what we live with. After several years of professionals suggesting that we just needed another parenting class, we were ready to fall apart. "The Explosive Child" acknowledges that children like mine exist and that we have to understand why they are the way they are and how we can start to bring some sanity to our lives. For desperate parents, this book is like oxygen. It provides a great template for dealing with explosive children on a day to day basis. Dr. Greene's book gave me the courage to stop accepting answers that clearly weren't in our daughter's best interest. This gave me the understanding of how to start advocating for my child. If you find yourself thinking that 'something just isn't right with my child' and 'how can I live with this behavior forever' and 'we need help because nobody understands what we live with', then this book belongs in your hands today. I am not exagerating when I say this book saved our family. We actually have hope that we can raise our child to be a happy and self-sufficient person instead of ending up dead or in jail.
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