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The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children Paperback – May 20, 2014
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From the Back Cover
Screaming, swearing, crying, hitting, kicking, spitting, biting...these are some of the challenging behaviors we see in kids who are having difficulty meeting our expectations. These behaviors often leave parents feeling frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, and desperate for answers. In this fully revised and updated book, Dr. Ross Greene helps you understand why and when your child does these things and how to respond in ways that are nonpunitive, nonadversarial, humane, and effective.
Dr. Greene describes how best to:
- Understand the factors that contribute to challenging episodes.
- Identify the specific situations in which challenging episodes are likely to occur.
- Reduce or eliminate challenging episodes by solving the problems that cause them.
- Solve problems collaboratively (rather than unilaterally) and proactively (rather than reactively).
- Help your child develop the skills to be more flexible, solve problems, and handle frustration more adaptively.
- Reduce hostility and antagonism between you and your child.
With Dr. Greene's practical, expert guidance, you and your child will forge a new relationship based on communication and mutual respect.
About the Author
Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the originator of the Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) model described in this book, an approach he has researched extensively, along with colleagues throughout the world. Dr. Greene served on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, and is currently Founding Director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance and adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech. He consults extensively to families, schools, and therapeutic facilities and lectures widely internationally. Vast free resources on the CPS approach can be found on the Lives in the Balance website (www.livesinthebalance.org).
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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.
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.... :-)
of children. I really like his ideas - can't wait to see how it works with my daughter.