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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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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.
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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Top customer reviews
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Our daughter's OT suggested this book and I'm pretty sure I sounded like really enthusiastic parishioner during a great sermon because I found myself blurting out "YES!!" "That's exactly right!" and "Amen!!" a few times...and I suddenly felt understood and human again. But, most importantly, I understood my little explosive child much better and began to learn ways to avoid her going into VAPOR LOCK and being "unreachable" and volatile.
Does she still throw humiliating tantrums without regard to where we are or who might witness it? Yes. Am I still mortified in those moments and begging God to spontaneously combust me? Yes. Will that ever change...? I doubt it. lol But we are doing better now that I have a more solid understanding of her psychology and how to work with it.
If you are looking at this book, perhaps it is because someone in your life (a doctor, OT, Therapist, friend, or fellow parent of an explosive child) has recommended it, so please know I am praying for you! lol I do...I pray for parents everywhere who have a child like this because it is really the hardest thing I have ever undertaken as a parent!! Please know you are not alone....and as a reformed judger, I can only say I am so so so sorry. I never knew!!! But I am humbled and wiser now...and still wondering if spontaneous combustion could save me from some of the more embarrassing locales of explosions.... :-)
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. A common conversation, post-blow up, involved my baby girl, red-faced, tear soaked and shaking, saying, "Mommy, do you still love me? Even when I lose all my marbles?" What amount of punishment was going to solve that? She KNEW what she was doing was wrong, the problem was that she had no other strategies for dealing with her overwhelming frustrations.
My goal in seeking treatment for her at all in the first place was not about how I could make a phone call or waste time on the computer without her "bothering" me (actual parenting class verbiage there), but how I could soothe my daughter. If I never talked on the phone without interruption again, it would be a small price to pay to help soothe my girl - to help her cope with the stuff of life.
That's what I feel like I have gotten in this book - a set of strategies to employ, as part of a complete parenting philosophy. More importantly, it accomplishes these goals without the guiding philosophy of "I'm bigger than you, and I can inflict several different types of pain to get you to comply."
That's the best way I can describe this book: it is like getting glasses, and finally being able to see the world.