We've all seen them: children who
explode when they're told to do something or when things don't
go their way. The ones who completely lose control and become
verbally and physically aggressive. Spoiled, stubborn, manipulative
Not so fast. These labels suggest
that the behavior if such
children is planned and intentional, and popular
reward-and-punishment strategies are typically used to teach
and motivate them to behave more appropriately. But for a significant
number of these children, the standard approach doesn't always
Such children are easily frustrated
and extremely inflexible. They get "stuck" over seemingly
simple requests, benign issues, and sudden changes in plans.
They may be very anxious, irritable, and volatile.
They may have difficulty telling
you what they're frustrated about or thinking through potential
solutions to problems. In clinical terms, they may be diagnosed
with any of a variety of psychiatric disorders, including
- oppositional-defiant disorder
- Tourette's disorder
- and bipolar disorder.
If this sounds like your child,
you're probably feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, guilt-ridden,
exhausted, and hopeless.
Now there is a new way for you,
your child, and your entire family to find help. In this groundbreaking new book, Dr. Ross
Greene, a child psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital
and Harvard Medical School, makes a compassionate argument that
the difficulties of these children stem from developmental deficits
in two critical skills: flexibility and frustration tolerance.
He asserts that if such children could do well, they would.
Drawing upon recent advances in
the neuroscience, Dr.
Greene describes the factor that contribute to "inflexible-explosive"
behavior in children and why the
strategies that work for most children aren't as effective for
inflexible-explosive children. Then, with the help of "snapshots"
from the lives of children, parents, and teachers with whom he
has worked over the years, Dr. Greene lays out a sensitive, practical,
effective, systematic approach to helping these children at home
and school, including:
- reducing hostility and antagonism
between the child
- anticipating situations in which
the child is most likely to explode
- creating an environment in which
explosions are less
likely to occur
- focusing less on reward and punishment
and more on
communication and collaborative problem-solving
- helping the child develop the self-regulation
thinking skills to be more flexible and handle frustration more
In Explosive Child, you'll find
ways to regain your sanity and
optimism and rebuild the confidence to handle your child's
difficulties completely and lovingly. With Dr. Greene's
compassionate, expert advice and insight, you and your child
will rediscover newfound hope and a relationship you can both
feel good about.