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The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children Paperback – 19 Jun 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; 5th Revised edition edition (19 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062270451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062270450
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

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).


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 25 May 2002
Format: Paperback
This guide has really made a difference to our lives. I had read other books which described time outs and other ways of punishing kids. This guy has really understood what makes these kids tick, and his understanding has made me understand what we were doing wrong as parents.
I couldn't recommend this book enough and will be buying copies for other parents who have these same kind of inflexible, explosive kids. It's a lifesaver.
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Format: Hardcover
As a parent of an explosive child for 7 years, and a teacher of special education for 22, I highly recommend The Explosive Child. Dr. Greene has been able to help me transcend years of my own frustration to see this type of child through brand new eyes. The book not only presents a plan for prioritizing goals, it teaches the parent how to instruct the child in negotiation, adjusting to disappointment, and handling frustration. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, it teaches adults how to reduce frustration in the child's environment, so explosive episodes are less likely to occur. Actual dialogue and scenarios from therapy sessions are used to illustrate these methods. Dr. Greene's subtle humor makes this an easy read with practical principles that can be implemented immediately.
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Format: Paperback
I probably would have given the first half of this book this book 5 stars for the authors vivid understanding and explaination of just why some children are so inflexibe and volatile. He described our own childs behaviour in explicit detail and I'm sure this information on its own is probably enough to get parents started in the right direction.
It is recommended that parents sharply reduce demands and expetations by enforcing only the ablolute minimum firm unyielding limits. (but no advice on how to actually do it)
The avoidance of meltdowns is given as a top priority because when children are incoherent, they are not receptive to learning. His theory is that if you strive to keep the child coherent as he/she approaches a meltdown by negotiating and problem solving, they will eventually learn to manage frustration. I think they will learn to manage their parents and avoid learning and growth. He insists that the few absolute demands will be enough to maintain the adults as authority figures and that everything else is not important enough to risk instigating a meltdown. I agree that it is useless to lecture or punish during or after a meltdown, but avoiding a meltdown should not even be a consideration when it comes to family rules and values. This approach teaches a child to fear their own emotions as they watch their parents jump through hoops in fear of angry outbursts.
I can say with certainty that this approach would have been catostrophic with our child as he rarely actually wanted what he was fussing about. He would endlessly bait and lure us into senseless arguaments trying to get us to explain or negotiate our rules with no purpose.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very easy to read book and one which makes you realise that you are not alone. Easy to follow instructions and approaches and a good description of how to problem solve with your child. Well worth the time to read.
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Format: Hardcover
I can't really do more than echo the praises of other reviewers, but I wanted to add that this excellent book will be also be indispensible for many parents of children with autism, Asperger's syndrome or PDD-NOS. Most of the examples in the book focus on kids with ADHD or Tourette's, and the book only mentions PDD very briefly, but its wise advice would be equally relevant to verbal kids with autistic spectrum conditions who have rage attacks/tantrums, as many do.
I'm speaking from personal experience here - I have Asperger's syndrome (a mild autistic spectrum condition), and, looking back, as a child I definitely fitted the "inflexible-explosive" patterns described in the book. This book encapsulates all the wisdom my exhausted parents had to learn the hard way.
I already know of at least one parent of a teenager with AS who is currently finding the book absolutely lifesaving, and I've had to buy several copies to lend to people.
It's thoughtful, humane, and very practical. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
If you have a child who seems to know the right buttons to press to make you cross. A child who seems inflexible in their thinking, easily frustrated and prone to explosive incidents (tantrums). Read on!

I started reading The Explosive Child book about six weeks ago, during the school summer holiday. My youngest daughter is five, and was frequently testing the patience of everyone around her. Exploding over seemingly trivial incidents, often daily.

Ross Greene explains in the opening chapters that the child does not deliberately set out to cause angry scenes, they just cannot help being inflexible. Before I accepted this statement, I felt sure my daughter said things just to annoy me. It took me a day or two to accept this statement.

Then I was ready for the next stage, observing my child and watching out for the warning signs of a pending explosive situation. Now I had "let go" of the idea that she was winding me up on purpose, I was calm and able to identify the main triggers for an explosion. Also I discovered that I could calm her down and avoid a conflict from occuring. Fantastic! Whoopee!!!

I am only half way through the book, (chapters 8 to 14 still to read) having read and digested Ross Greene's views, advice and manangement techniques thus far. I am pleased to say this book has transformed her life, I really enjoy my time with her as she is so much calmer, without me getting angry in response to her inflexibility. So what if she stays in the bath playing 10 minutes longer that I would previously have liked? She goes to bed calm and happy (and I'm calm too!!!!)

I have shared my understanding and the techniques with the rest of the family, and her school. Now we all have a consistent approach towards her, can spot potential triggers and act accordingly. I was sceptical that his approach would work as it seems so radically different from other positive parenting methods.
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