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on 2 February 2009
After many years of terrible guilt and extreme difficulties with a our six year old son, things are on the mend after reading this book. Not many child psychologist or psychiatrists seem to know how to handle a child that suffers from violent rages that can harm both himself and his family and siblings. As Dr. Ross W. Green points out, these violent outbursts are often seen as a result of "not enough dicipline" or balamed by others on bad parenting. We have two older children that were really much easier to handle, so we were lucky that we had examples of children who were well behaved who had already been brought up in our home. However for several years we were unable to make any real progress until we read this book. The great gift of this book is to make you realise that it is not his fault nor yours as a parent that he or she is the way they are. It allowed me to love and be gentle with my son again even when he is having his(now rather infrequent)rages. It gives you practical advice on how to cope and improve things. The difference in our lives and in our home has been quite dramatic. Go and buy this book now, it would be money well spent even if it cost ten times the price! And I would also like to thank Dr.Green for giving families like mine new hope, and a bettter life.
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on 25 September 2006
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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on 23 September 2013
Bought because grandaughter has been having trouble controlling her temper. She's a tall 8 year old and when she exploded she would often lash out. And we were getting extremely worried about her behaviour. We thought we had tried everything - time out, naughty step, reward, punishment, charts etc etc etc!

But almost as soon as we started using the techniques, clearly explained and with lots of examples, in this book, we saw a change. She still loses her temper occasionally, don't we all! But she is now learning to control it, without exploding. This makes her a much happier child, and her younger sister and the rest of the family much, much happier too.

If you are having problems with a child with an explosive temper - buy this book, understand your child's behaviour and learn how to deal with it effectively!
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on 17 February 2010
I have tried very hard to use this approach and other similar approaches described in other positive parenting guides (such as Raising your Spirited Child). I have come to the conclusion that these cannot be used entirely on their own, but that occasionally boundaries have to be firmly established. Endlessly listening, negotiating, and adapting our lives to accomodate the so-called "needs" of our explosive child, left my husband and I with a little monster (four and a half year old boy) who ruled the roost, was constantly rude and used screaming fits to manipulate us.
After months and months of frustration, I decided that unadulterated positive parenting wasn't enough, and bought a book called "Backtalk" which teaches parents how to impose boundaries and discipline children who are rude. Within two weeks, our lives had changed for the better. Our 4 year old boy stopped screaming (because if he did I walked out of the room after saying "I will not be shouted at") and started realising that treats and privileges were just that, privileges. He no longer has a dreadful sense of entitlement and is a much more normal child, able to take no for an answer. I don't agree that explosive children tend to have authoritarian parents. We never were.
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on 1 June 2014
Like a previous reviewer, I started to put this into practice before I'd read even half the book - you learn all the main ideas within the first half of the book, with the rest just taken up with exceptions/examples/advice. And it worked! - pretty much immediately. I have read dozens (hundreds?) of parenting books over the years, and this is one of my top 3 (up there with How to Talk so Kids Will Listen... and The No-Cry Sleep Solution). IT REALLY DOES WORK!!!

Unlike so many parenting books, which are very counter-intuitive and complex, and therefore hard to put into practice, even if they would work (dubious), this book is great because it is nothing more than common sense writ large. It expresses the kind of common sense that most parents already possess and how they set out to parent - but as life gets on top of them, they're busy, in a hurry, tired, kids are misbehaving, they forget.

Unlike many parenting books, which either blame the child for being naughty and tell the parent how to rule the roost according to their will (eg 1-2-3 Magic), or those which blame for the parents for being too bossy/uncaring (eg Unconditional Parenting), this book is a blessed relief because it doesn't blame anyone. It starts by making clear that - contrary to how parents often feel when their children are acting up - the children are NOT doing it deliberately. This in some ways is one of the most helpful bits of the book because once you, as a parent, stop feeling your child is deliberately trying to wind you up, it allows you to regain your calm and see them as a child who needs help rather than punishment. It then sets out the (very simple and obvious) steps to discover their concerns and yours, and resolve them satisfactorily, in a win-win fashion. Since so much parent-child conflict is about power struggles, once you stop seeing it as a choice between 'letting them get away with it' and 'getting them to do what you want' and instead realise that actually the solution is one that allows both you and them to feel you are 'winners', the power struggles disappear and you can go back to enjoying your child and they can go back to feeling loved and protected and nurtured - which is half the battle anyway.

Also potentially useful (guidance included) for sibling conflicts, bad behaviour at school and potentially as a way of resolving all conflicts, even adult-adult ones.

Would recommend it to all parents - not only ones who have children who have tantrums/behave badly. Just shows you that sometimes the best things in life can be really simple!
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on 24 December 2012
This publication is one of the most important books I have ever purchased! If you have contact, as a parent, guardian, teacher or therapist with 'explosive kids', this book will make a positive impact. Highly recommended.
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on 12 June 2011
One of the best books to deal with challenging behaviour.
Totally a must for the bookshelf of parents with autistic children.
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on 30 March 2014
Wonderful book. Has been so helpful in dealing with our 4 year old. Have had to adapt some of the strategies to his age, but the core principles are great. Can't recommend enough. Shared with his teachers who are also seeing improvements using this approach.
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on 30 November 2013
This book is a really good insight for anyone about how not all children can be brought up the same way. Its enlightening for that reason alone.

If you have a child that has explosive tendencies then it is an excellent way to understand how they are feeling and unlock why they are feeling like it. But be prepared to accept that you are not perfect otherwise it won't work. You have to be prepared to look beyond how you might have been raised and perhaps find another better way for you and your child. It helped us no end and I would highly recommend it. The techniques have now become a way of life that we do without even thinking about it.
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on 8 June 2012
Well we have been through a positive parenting course and had lots of advice on how to 'handle' our lovely but challenging child. None of it helped and a lot of it made things worse..we were all left drained and upset. In addition our son developed a very low opinion of himself.

Then I saw this book and thought 'why not'. On reading it I knew this would be at the very least a good step in the right direction. After implementing the suggestions we are already (just one week in) seeing significantly less meltdowns, violent out bursts and our 5 yr. old son is starting to try and discuss his difficulties. I feel we are finally working together to help him make better informed decisions.

I do not understand why some comments mention that the book doesn't tell you how to resolve the issues with your child. I found it gave very clear explanations. There are many scripts and examples of how to talk with your child, also when to choose the right time. The book also explains how your child differs in their response to certain triggers so you understand why a caring and more dynamic approach is now necessary.

I am so glad I bought it and have recommended it to other parents struggling with challenging behaviour. How you relate to this book depends on how you perceive adults and child 'should' interact. If you want to nurture mutual respect and understanding between you and your child this book will help you do just that. It's not a 'quick fix' and you must be prepared to work at it but believe me it's definitely worth it.
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