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A Calm and Reasoned Response
on 2 February 2003
Dealing with a child who seems to be constantly pushing the barriers is an exhausting way to live, and Dr Riley's book has been of immense use in trying to calm the entire family situation down. Using accessible language and calm, measured tones, Dr Riley takes the frustrated parent step by step through processes designed to not only initially quieten a situation, but deal with the issues in the long run.
Don't be put off buying the book if you feel that your child is not an ODD kid; many of the measures are firm and reasonable enough to deal with kids who are excessive in their behaviour, without maybe being oppositional. The layout of the book is such that a parent can choose the methods that seem most suited to the child and the behaviour.
We were most impressed with the book's no-nonsense approach to child rearing. Too many books seem to take a wishy-washy approach to children who drive the parents mad, somehow attaching the blame to the parents. Dr Riley asks you to look at the family situation, but also points out that many children are just oppositional, it's a part of their nature, and blame is not to be attached. Instead, he offers practical ideas on how to deal with the situation you are in.
I would recommend this book not just to parents, but to teachers of defiant children as well.