The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children [NOOK Book]

Overview

What′s an explosive child? A child who responds to routine problems with extreme frustration-crying, screaming, swearing, kicking, hitting, biting, spitting, destroying property, and worse. A child whose frequent, severe outbursts leave his or her parents feeling frustrated, scared, worried, and desperate for help. Most of these parents have tried everything-reasoning, explaining, punishing, sticker charts, therapy, medication-but to no avail. They can′t figure out why their child acts the way he or she does; ...

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The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

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Overview

What′s an explosive child? A child who responds to routine problems with extreme frustration-crying, screaming, swearing, kicking, hitting, biting, spitting, destroying property, and worse. A child whose frequent, severe outbursts leave his or her parents feeling frustrated, scared, worried, and desperate for help. Most of these parents have tried everything-reasoning, explaining, punishing, sticker charts, therapy, medication-but to no avail. They can′t figure out why their child acts the way he or she does; they wonder why the strategies that work for other kids don′t work for theirs; and they don′t know what to do instead.

Dr. Ross Greene, a distinguished clinician and pioneer in the treatment of kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges, has worked with thousands of explosive children, and he has good news: these kids aren′t attention-seeking, manipulative, or unmotivated, and their parents aren′t passive, permissive pushovers. Rather, explosive kids are lacking some crucial skills in the domains of flexibility/adaptability, frustration tolerance, and problem solving, and they require a different approach to parenting.

Throughout this compassionate, insightful, and practical book, Dr. Greene provides a new conceptual framework for understanding their difficulties, based on research in the neurosciences. He explains why traditional parenting and treatment often don′t work with these children, and he describes what to do instead. Instead of relying on rewarding and punishing, Dr. Greene′s Collaborative Problem Solving model promotes working with explosive children to solve the problems that precipitate explosive episodes, and teaching these kids the skills they lack.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
By teaching parents how to communicate with an inflexible son or daughter who feels there is no way out other than to throw a fit, The Explosive Child miraculously helps families unlearn the habits that lead to incendiary behavior. The book equips parents with the necessary skills to defuse and even prevent the intense situations that all-too-frequently arise with a volatile child.
Edward Hallowell
All parents should read this book, especially those with children who are out of control. Ross Greene presents a loving, rational, and research-based approach to dealing with problems that most parents have either felt were their own fault or were unsolvable. I could not recommend this book more highly.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061742064
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 32,435
  • File size: 529 KB

Meet the Author

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is Associate Clinical Professor at Harvard Medical School and the originator of the model described in this book. He serves extensively as a consultant to families, schools, and therapeutic facilities and lectures widely throughout the world. Additional resources on his approach can be found on the website of his nonprofit Lives in the Balance (www.livesinthebalance.org).

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Waffle Episode

Jennifer, age eleven, wakes up, makes her bed, looks around her room to make sure everything is in its place, and heads into the kitchen to make herself breakfast. She peers into the freezer, removes the container of frozen waffles, and counts six waffles. Thinking to herself, "I'll have three waffles this morning and three tomorrow morning," Jennifer toasts her three waffles and sits down to eat.

Moments later, her mother and five-year-old brother, Adam, enter the kitchen, and the mother asks Adam what he'd like to eat for breakfast. Adam responds, "Waffles," and the mother reaches into the freezer for the waffles. Jennifer, who has been listening intently, explodes.

"He can't have the frozen waffles!" Jennifer screams, her face suddenly reddening.

"Why not?" asks the mother, her voice and pulse rising, at a loss for an explanation of Jennifer's behavior.

"I was going to have those waffles tomorrow morning!"

Jennifer screams, jumping out of her chair.

"I'm not telling your brother he can't have waffles!" the mother yells back.

"He can't have them!" screams Jennifer, now face-to-face with her mother.

The mother, wary of the physical and verbal aggression of which her daughter is capable during these moments, desperately asks Adam if there's something else he would consider eating.

"I want waffles," whimpers Adam, cowering behind his mother.

Jennifer, her frustration and agitation at a peak, pushes her mother out of the way, seizes the container of frozen waffles, then slams the freezer door shut, pushes over a kitchen chair, grabs herplate of toasted waffles, and stalks to her room. Her brother and mother begin to cry.

Jennifer's family members have endured literally thousands of such episodes. In many instances, the episodes are more prolonged and intense, and involve more physical or verbal aggression than the one described above (when Jennifer was eight, she kicked out the front windshield of the family car). Mental health professionals have told Jennifer's parents she has something called oppositional-defiant disorder. For the parents, however, a simple label doesn't begin to explain the upheaval, turmoil, and trauma that Jennifer's outbursts cause. Her siblings and mother are scared of her. Her extreme volatility and inflexibility require constant vigilance and enormous energy from her mother and father, thereby lessening the attention the parents wish they could devote to Jennifer's brother and sister. Her parents frequently argue over the best way to handle her behavior, but agree about the severe strains Jennifer places on their marriage. Although she is above average in intelligence, Jennifer has no close friends; children who initially befriend her eventually find her rigid personality difficult to tolerate.

Over the years, Jennifer's parents have sought help from countless mental health professionals, most of whom advised them to set firmer limits and be more consistent in managing Jennifer's behavior, and instructed them on how to implement formal behavior management strategies. When such strategies failed to work, Jennifer was medicated with innumerable combinations of drugs, without dramatic effect. After eight years of medicine, advice, sticker charts, time-outs, and reward pro-grams, Jennifer has changed little since her parents first noticed there was something "different" about her when she was a toddler.

"Most people can't imagine how humiliating it is to be scared of your own daughter," Jennifer's mother once said. "People who don't have a child like Jennifer don't have a clue about what it's like to live like this. Believe me, this is not what I envisioned when I dreamed of having children. This is a nightmare."

"You can't imagine the embarrassment of having Jennifer ‘lose it' around people who don't know her," her mother continued. "I feel like telling them, ‘I have two kids at home who don't act like this — I really am a good parent!' "

"I know people are thinking, ‘What wimpy parents she must have ... what that kid really needs is a good thrashing.' Believe me, we've tried everything with her. But nobody's been able to tell us how to help her...no one's really been able to tell us what's the matter with her!"

"I hate what I've become. I used to think of myself as a kind, patient, sympathetic person. But Jennifer has caused me to act in ways I never thought I was capable of. I'm emotionally spent. I can't keep living like this."

"I know a lot of other parents who have pretty difficult children...you know, kids who are hyperactive or having trouble paying attention. I would give my left arm for a kid who was just hyperactive or having trouble paying attention! Jennifer is in a completely different league! It makes me feel very alone."

The truth is, Jennifer's mother is not alone; there are a lot of Jennifers out there. Their parents quickly discover that strategies that are usually effective for shaping the behavior of other children — such as explaining, reasoning, reassuring, nurturing, redirecting, ignoring, rewarding, and punishing —don't have the same success with their Jennifers. Even formal behavior management programs — sticker charts, contingent rewarding and punishing, and time-outs — and commonly prescribed medications have not led to satisfactory improvement. If you started reading this book because you have a Jennifer of your own, you're probably familiar with how frustrated, confused, angry, bitter, guilty, overwhelmed, worn out, and hopeless Jennifer's parents feel.

Besides oppositional-defiant disorder, children like Jennifer may be diagnosed with any of a variety of psychiatric disorders and learning inefficiencies, including attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders (bipolar disorder and depression), Tourette's disorder, anxiety disorders (including obsessive-compulsive disorder), language-processing impairments, sensory integration dysfunction, nonverbal learning disability, reactive attachment disorder, and Asperger's disorder. Such children may also be described as having difficult temperaments.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
1 The Waffle Episode 1
2 Terrible Beyond Two 9
3 Pathways to Inflexibility-Explosiveness 26
4 Inflexible-Explosive Faces 56
5 The Truth About Consequences 85
6 Corrective Lenses 101
7 Basket Case 130
8 Brain Chemistry 180
9 Roadmaps 192
10 Family Matters 217
11 All Things Considered 238
12 User-friendlier Schools 264
13 Change of Venue 298
14 Children Do Well If They Can 309
Additional Resources and Support 315
Index 321
About the Author 335
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Head line

    It was dineamite!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2011

    not helpful for very young children and not much new

    this book had some explanation of the wiring issues that can be causing the outbursts. the solutions offered however were nothing that i haven't seen other places. i think that "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen; How to Listen so Kids Will Talk" does a much better job. Greene's solutions are approaches that I think can benefit all kids, not just explosive ones. Having said that, I think "How to Talk..." is a better use of your money. The reason I chose to try this book is that I was hoping for some help with my daughter who is three and has been having tantrums where she throws, hits, and kicks that last twenty minutes on average for about 14 months. Because she is still so young, talking it over with her preemptively really doesn't help. I've tried many times. So Greene has nothing to offer if your child can't think about future events in a constructive way. There were a few helpful tidbits to remind me that she doesn't want to behave that way and that she does have a physiological delay. But beyond that, not much.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Highly Recommended - this is a must read for parents

    My wife and I have been struggling with our daughter for 4 years. We had tried literally everything to get her behavior under control but nothing was working. I picked up this book and immediately I have changed my entire thought process and approach my daughters challenges from a completely different direction. It was like a golden light went off in my head. I cannot begin to explain how this book is changing my life. For any parent who is struggline with a child where behavior is the issue and you feel like you are at your witts end, you need this book. Dr. Green goes into depth exactly WHY the explosive behaviors happen and why the standard ways of dealing with them do not work. It is nothing short of amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Great

    Did a fabulous job

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