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

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Flexibility and tolerance are learned skills, as any parent knows if they've seen an irascible 2-year-old grow into a pleasant, thoughtful, and considerate older child. Unfortunately, for reasons that are poorly understood, a few children don't "get" this part of socialization. Years after toddler tantrums should have become an unpleasant memory, a few unlucky parents find themselves battling with sudden, inexplicable, disturbingly violent rages--along with crushing guilt about what they "did wrong." Medical experts haven't helped much: the flurry of acronyms and labels (Tourette's, ADHD, ADD, etc.) seems to proffer new discoveries about the causes of such explosions, when in fact the only new development is alternative vocabulary to describe the effects. Ross Greene, a pediatric psychologist who also teaches at Harvard Medical School, makes a bold and humane attempt in this book to cut through the blather and speak directly to the (usually desperate) parents of explosive children. His text is long and serious, and has the advantage of covering an enormous amount of ground with nuance, detail, and sympathy, but also perhaps the disadvantage that only those parents who are not chronically tired and time-deprived are likely to get through the entire book. Quoted dialogue from actual sessions with parents and children is interspersed with analysis that is always oriented toward understanding the origins of "meltdowns" and developing workable strategies for avoidance. Although pharmacological treatment is not the book's focus, there is a chapter on drug therapies. --Richard Farr

A groundbreaking approach to understanding and parenting children who frequently exhibit severe fits of temper and other intractable behaviours, from a distinguished clinician and pioneer in this field, now updated to include the most recent research.

Almost everyone knows an explosive child, one whose frequent, severe fits of temper leave his or her parents standing helpless in their fear, frustration, and guilt. Most of these parents have tried everything—reasoning, behaviour modification, therapy, medication—but to no avail. They wonder if their child is deviant or just plain bad.

Dr. Ross Greene has worked with thousands of explosive children, and he has good news: these kids aren't bad, and neither are their parents. Rather, explosive children suffer from a physiological deficiency in frustration tolerance and flexibility. Throughout this compassionate book, Dr. Greene demonstrates why traditional treatments don't work for these kids and offers a new conceptual framework for understanding their behaviour, along with new language to describe it. He explains the latest neuroscience findings about the importance of flexibility, and, most important, he shows parents specific, practical ways they can recognize the signs of an impending explosion, defuse tension, and reduce frustration levels for the entire family.

  • For parents, psychologists, educators and ADHD groups.
  • In addition to the scientific foundation of the book, Greene addresses parents in practical ways that will help show results in difficult children and their effect on families.

Customer Reviews:

  • Must read if you work w/ a difficult child
    This well-organized, brilliantly thought-out book gives educators and parents a completely different way of thinking about how we lead all children but particularly difficult, abused, angry children. In short order it provides specific tools together with examples of what we can do to create a more peaceful, flexible child who can function successfully in the world and get along with others. The corresponding web site is extremely valuable in conjunction w/ this book. ...more info
  • Enlighting
    Very easy reading material that has help me understand my daughter's behavior, what triggers her frustrutions, and what can I do to help her. Our home's environment is not as aggressive any more....more info
  • Excellant Book
    This book is a wonderful book about raising "any" child, not just the explosive one. Very common sense. I would recommend it to any parent or grandparent. Best I have read on the subject. ...more info
  • The Explosive Child: a New Approach for Understanding Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
    I highly enjoyed reading this book. The excerpts and examples were very useful and illustrated the method very well. The school where I work, a special needs school, employs this method with the children who attend our school and it really helps....more info
  • Great book, needs more practical advice
    This book opened up a new world of possibilities for me and my son. I discovered that there is a description for his behavior and that it has little to do with normal parenting techniques. Focusing on his problems as a type of learning or processing disorder has changed my focus from discipline/limit setting to training. We've already had some success in reducing the number of explosions and decreasing their length and intensity....more info
  • An Introduction to Alternatives
    You can get the gist of this book by skimming through it. It speaks to cooperative communication and problem solving with the child instead of the authoritarian approach that is so easy to fall into (do it because I say so.) The approach would be beneficial for any child. There are quite a few examples written in dialogue style to demonstrate the technique and the author talks about common mistakes made when first trying to use this method. The three main points are - show empathy, describe the problem, invite the child into finding a solution....more info
  • The Explosive Child
    This was an excellent book! The most important fact I liked was it's simplicity in understanding the problem and the journey to work through helping your child. The most interesting factor being---- I'm my child's frontal lobe--- until my child develops that part of the brain and can effectively respond to frustration.
    I have to say that I was a bit worried about reading another book of promised solutions!
    This book will not disappoint you. It gets to the point pretty quick and at the same time empathizes with us weary parents.
    I loved the fact that children were looked at as a whole child with feeling--and that yes when you child rages or fits it is the spirits gentle and consistant nudging for a cry for help!!!! Why wouldn't you empanthize first, figure out the problem and than work it out after? As long as you follow those steps without straying, you have answered your child's cry.


    The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible ChildrenGill...more info
  • Learned ALOT
    Learned alot from this book on how to deal with my little boy!...more info
  • A great book to better understand the stressed child
    Dr. Greene does a superb job of describing the temperamentally stressed child. He lets the reader know that the explosive child is wired in such a way that life stresses him/her easily and strategies to help don't come easily.

    As the adults, be we parents or caretakers, we need to realize that children don't spend their days pondering how to make our lives miserable. These children are miserable and looking to us to teach them strategies to feel better.

    Dr. Greene's book builds on the books on temperament such as "The Difficult Child" and "Raising Your Spiritual Child". He gives us a deeper understanding of the emotional consequences of temperamental mismatch. He then also has a program to help us help our children to become the boss of their emotions.

    If one hasn't seen one of his workshops, I would also recommend you go. Hearing is definitely another way of absorbing the intent and knowledge that he offers....more info
  • The Explosive Child
    The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

    This book is an excellent resource for parents. I would even recommend it to all professionals, especially teachers who may deal with these children in the class room. It gave me hope and it let me know that I am not alone. ...more info
  • Real Results-when nothing else has worked!
    Thank you Dr. Greene, as reading this book has been more helpful to helping me understand my daughter, and has given us more tangible results than any other medication or therapy that we have tried. Things are not completely normal, but after instituting the behavior plan, they are MUCH BETTER. Every child is different, but in our specific case, the information that Dr. Greene presents makes so much sense, and his basket approach has really helped us avoid rages. This is a must read for parents of children diagnosed with Reactive Attachment disorder, Bipolar, ODD, or ADHD. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Explosive child
    Awesome book for special needs kids. This is a great book with lots of practical advice and a very neutral stance on medication. I loved this book....more info
  • The Explosive Child
    I bought this book as I've seen it in many classrooms, it has been recommended to me, and because one of my daughters is oppositional defiant disorder/ADHD. Between this book and "The Defiant Child" (I am reading them both together) I am getting amazing insight to myself, parenting styles, and my child's thinking! These books have giving me a few more ways to work with and understand my daughter. I find them extremely valuable. ...more info
  • no-nonsense realistic approach
    This book has a practical, no-nonsense, workable approach. As a long time teacher I've seen many approaches and been given many "fix-its" but this one is the best and really works. I also like the fact that he does not claim it's easy like so many, he's realistic and that is reassuring. ...more info
  • A Must-Read for Parents of Challenging Children
    Ross Greene has written an incredibly insightful book about the kids for whom traditional parenting techniques just don't work. He explains well why kids who yell, scream, and generally melt down over what seem to be -- to parents and others -- inconsequential things can't just "be flexible." And he explains well why the traditional carrot-and-stick approach of rewards and consequences just doesn't work with these kids. As a parent of a child who went from colic as an infant to tantrums as a toddler to explosions and melt downs as a child, I know what he's talking about, and I've tried all those other techniques that haven't worked. Greene lets parents see that kids who lack frustration tolerance and flexibility need extra support and a different approach to learning those skills, the way a kid with a reading disability needs extra support and a different approach to reading. It all makes so much sense, but is a great departure from the typical limit-setting approaches. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. It's really helping me to become the parent I want to be!...more info
  • For Parents of Angry kids
    This is an awesome book. I would recomend that anyone that has a child or adult that has an anger problem read this book! I even got a copy for our local library!...more info
  • EXCELLENT Book! Has made a huge difference in our child!
    In a moment of desperation (our six year old son having yet another meltdown - probably the 3rd or 4th that day), I did a search on 'anger management in children' and followed a link to this book. The day it arrived, I stopped everything and began to read. My husband and I immediately began to employ the methods decribed by Dr. Greene, and within a day or two, the change in our home was amazing. Interestingly, the day after the book arrived, I broke my leg in a fall -- mobility issues have had me confined for a day here and there to the upper level of our home. This has allowed me to 'hear' but not 'see' dialogue between my husband and our son. This has been amazing -- just 'listening' to the two of them afforded me the opportunity to more easily understand how to implement Dr. Greene's methods. I could 'hear' the dynamic that he describes so well in his book, and this has made such a difference in our little boy. We have implemented Dr. Greene's methods along with a complete nutrition makeover -- While waiting for Dr. Greene's book to arrive, I read the following (all available on Amazon):1 of: Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills; Food Additives: A Shopper's Guide to What's Safe & What's Not (2004 Revised Edition); Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders. With a switch to organic foods, and a complete vitamin regimen, we saw change...with the addition of Dr. Greene's 'basket approach' and his complete description of the various stages of meltdown (we now know how to handle vapor-lock), the change in our quality of homelife and our son's behavior at school is amazing. We finally feel like a 'normal' family! We understand and look for the signs of our kids (we have three) being pushed beyond their limits as far as fatigue and hunger, and we now respond proactively with very positive results. We were literally a day away from seeking help via a therapist when I searched and found this 'title'...I am so thankful we found this book.
    If the nutrition/diet changes and the methods described by Dr. Greene could make a difference in the hellish homelife we were experiencing, they can make a difference in just about anyone's. Both things (nutrition/diet and Dr. Greene's approach) work in tandem with each other. I do not think we would have achieved the results we have as quickly as we did, if at all, if both areas were not addressed....more info
  • Explosive Kids
    After reading this book I changed my approach to parenting and working with challenging behavior in my role as a school principal. The results have been excellent and I am not even good at it yet. It is an easy read and it changed my though processes in a variety of situations. I highly reccomend itto anyone dealing with the frustration of challenging behavior in kids! ...more info
  • Ideas would benefit any parent
    Introduces the concept that children do well if they can and gives good advice on how to structure interaction with any child....more info
  • If you're looking up this book- you must buy it!
    I've never written a review before, but after reading this book last night (yes, the whole book in one sitting), I had to write to other desparate parents out there to tell them they won't regret buying this book.

    We've been dealing with "explosions" from my 5 year old son since we moved to a new town 11 months ago. I finally took him to a child psychologist a few weeks ago and after describing his behavior, she recommended this book. I stayed up really late last night reading the book and it describes my son to a TEE. I couldn't believe how accurate it is and it made me feel so much better to read about other children who act identically to him. AND to learn that it's not my parenting, it's a learning disability (according to Dr. Greene, these children have yet to learn how to deal with frustration, thus it's a learning disability but nothing that can't be taught). What's great about looking at my son's explosions this way, as opposed to him "being difficult" or "manic" or "defiant" is that I'm approaching it much more calmly and compassionately. As Dr. Greene puts it, I have to be my son's frontal lobe until he can learn to verbalize and problem solve. The book offers some great, great, great insights and advice. I already implemented one of the suggestions this morning, less than 12 hours after reading the book, and it totally worked to diffuse what was turning into an "episode" or "explosion". It ended up that my son did not get his way, but in the end, it seemed to him like he did because we solved the problem together. Normally, if my son doesn't get his way, he has a violent explosion. But by using the methods in this book (specifically Emergency Plan B), I was able to calm him down, talk rationally about the problem, and come to a satisfactory resolution for both of us. I can't wait to share this book with my husband, my son's grandparents and his preschool teachers....more info
  • on our way to peace
    A social skills group leader suggested we work with this book while waiting for a spot for our son in the group.It's only been a few weeks, and the difference in our home is palpable. we parents have been more understanding of our son, and why he is sometimes so difficult. (turns out he isn't being difficult, he is experiencing difficulty) and he has been less explosive (he does not have all the skills he needs yet, but we see some progress already, and we know true growth must take time!)AWESOME!!!...more info
  • Finesse Your Egg

    "1-2-3 Magic" and other behavioral plans are great when they work. Behavioral Management plans are very logical and very effective in children with the capacity to internalize them (and parents with the unity, self-awareness, and discipline to enforce them). But not all kids are the same, and therefore not every behavioral plan is best for every fit.

    Greene's "The Explosive Child" starts off with some very helpful attitude reframing for parents who deal with the more extreme end of behavioral problems. The key, per Greene, is for parents to remember that their children want to be good. The issue rarely is teaching your child "who's the boss." Even with kids with most mellow temperaments, being a parent is a very demanding job. When kids are having meltdowns, it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking "he knows how to push my buttons." Or "she's so manipulative," or "coercive," or "oppositional." But these labels (which, sadly, clinicians use all to frequently as well) only shame children, demoralize parents, and intensify the battle. A much more helpful way to approach the situation is to realize that flexibility and frustration tolerance are skills. They are skills like any other, like language skills or math skills. Different kids have different relative strengths and deficits. The important task for parents is to recognize your child's strengths and weaknesses, then teaching skills where possible and accommodating the deficits where necessary.

    There is a nice section with instructions on prioritizing the demands placed on a child. In other words, pick your battles. Not everything is worth the stress of offspring meltdowns and the concomitant exhaustion of parental ammunition.

    Another strength of the book is the focus away from reacting to meltdowns and instead focusing on preventing them in the first place. The basic idea is that, once in tantrum mode, with everyone's adrenalin pumping full blast, it's hard for anyone in the room to even be coherent let alone have the state of mind to absorb the logic of behavior plans. It's no different than that point that arguing couples get into when they are just trying to say anything they can think of to hurt each other. That's not the time to expect couples to reconcile and gain new insights into their dynamics. You have to talk about it later and try to avoid the heated argument next time.

    Greene's book is written in a way that I think most parents will find pretty accessible. There are plenty of vignettes to illustrate the points. While the book is geared to the most extreme behavioral problems, there is plenty here that translates into universal parenting wisdom as well. And check out some of the other reviews. Testimonials of parents who have found this book helpful say more than my words can. Thumbs up. Buy this book. Thank you for listening, nighty-night.

    ...more info
  • Review on the book Explosive Child
    I think it is a very didatic book for both parents with this type of problems in their families or for professionals....more info
  • A great guide for parents struggling with an explosive child!
    I was pleasantly surprised by the straightforward approach to this book. Instead of a psychobabble, Dr. Greene explains potential reasons your child may be struggling to control his/her outbursts in language a layperson can understand. More importantly, we found very practical, effective help for dealing with these frustrating explosions that have become very disruptive to our family. I feel hopeful after reading this book that we can finally help our child deal with the frustrations of life in a healthy, appropriate manner. If you are looking for solutions without thousands of dollars in therapy and medication that may not be warranted for your child (although sometimes it certainly is), I would highly recommend this book....more info
  • A book for all parents...
    Although designed specifically for parents and caretakers of chronically frustrated/explosive children, this book contains guidance that works for all children. The basic theory put forth by the author is that children do well when they can, children inherently do want to do well, and that children explode when they can't effectively deal with a given situation. It's explained in simple, everyday language without talking down to the reader. Labels are avoided for the most part, because a label isn't going to fix a problem. It only informs the school staff that there is a problem.
    The book discusses the 2 most well known parenting styles, laissez-faire and authoritarian and explains how to combine the two to get an effective parenting tool that not only helps you parent your child but gives the child the tools they need to succeed in life.
    I found it validating (I'm not the only crazy parent who TALKS her kids through problems?) and made my authoritarian-leaning husband read it,too. It's not an easy way to deal with kids, but it is definitely easier than dealing with an explosion! And infinitely better than trying to fix a problem years later. ...more info
  • An excellent book for parents of all children
    A must for all educators, professionals and parents who either have or work with children. Gives an overview of the varied assortment of issues many children have to deal with, and guides the reader in a clear and concise fashion in how to deal with a "short-tempered" child. ...more info
    We bought this book for help with our special needs son who has ADHD and mood disorder, and nonverbal learning disorder. He has very rigid thinking which makes homework and school difficult. This book gives you methods for getting around these problems to help your child succeed....more info
  • Can relate to so much
    I was amazed when I began reading the book The Explosive Child. I am about half-way through the book so far and I have learned much already on proactive ways to approach different situations involving my difficult 4 year old son. This is extremely important. Although he has not had an official diagnosis at this time, I can relate to much of what these other families encountered while raising their chilren. I highly recommend this book to any parent who is trying to raise a child who has difficulties with change (especially), constructive criticism, and many other roadblocks in the life of a parent/child relationship. I am looking forward to continuing to study this book....more info
  • Great Book, Big Help!
    I loved this book. I have to say I was skeptical at first, as I felt the author was talking down to the reader, however, I was being over sensitive. As the mother of an adhd child, often a person gets over sensitive to percieved criticism when none is really there. Anyway, this book opened a whole new view for me on my child's behavior and the basic reasons behind it. At last I saw why conventional behavior modification (token economies, loss of privileges, etc) didn't work and I saw what would work. I found this book the most helpful thing I've tried in years. I would highly recomend this book to anyone dealing with an explosive child.

    Higest Marks....more info
  • Help just in time
    I've been working with a great child psychiatrist and a number of psychologists and never once was introduced to these ideas. Everybody wanted to use behaviour modification and none of it worked. Now I know why and what to do about it. This book is extremely well written. The concepts are clearly presented and the technique (cooperative problem solving) clearly explained with numerous helpful examples. If your child falls into this category, you must get this book, read it cover to cover and then read it again....more info
  • A Practical Guide for Parents with Children Rage Issues
    As the mother of a son with severe behaviors, this a practical guide to help parents how to deal with their children's out of control anger and rigidness. It teaches different techniques to deal with these behaviors and come to a better resolution without the inevitable meltdowns.

    It is an easy read for parents and teachers, as well as anyone that is involved with having to deal with any of these children. It is informative without getting tangled up in difficult technical jargon.

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND!...more info
  • Confusing and Unhelpful
    I was very disappointed in this book. There was never any clear discussion of what symptoms or characteristics one might use to classify their child as "explosive" other than one who throws a lot of violent fits. But there is a big difference between a "difficult" kid and one who is emotionally incapable of controlling him- or herself.

    Also, the book devolves quickly into doc-speak, bandying terms like "separation of affect," "working memory" and "shifting cognitive set" which had me seeing stars. It's almost like you need to be a psychologist to even begin to understand what the author is talking about.

    From the ratings, it appears that many others have found this book to be helpful. But it left me frustrated and confused. ...more info
  • Brilliant Parenting Book
    As a consultant who helps families with special needs, I have read many parenting books, most of which are of little use, offering unhelpful and unrealistic advice. Greene's book is the opposite. He has a brilliant mind. Writing in a humorous tone despite the difficult subject, he constructs a superb argument that explains inflexible explosive children and convinces parents to deal with them appropriately. I frequently recommend this book to my clients....more info
  • Excellent Book for Children with Anger Challenges
    I am a child clinical psychologist in private practice. I regularly work with children who have difficulty controlling emotions. They get frustrated and react in an angry way. Or, they may be told to do something they do not want to do and physically act out. In our training as psychologists we are taught that early temperament plays a huge part in how we interact with the world. Some of us are born pretty mellow. Others of us are more emotionally reactive. Those of us who are more emotionally reactive need to learn skills to manage our emotions in an effective manner. Many parents I meet react to emotional outbursts in a punitive fashion. However, this approach rarely works. Ross Greene, PhD presents an approach that is effective. The foundations of this approach are well supported by research. I consistently recommend this book to my parents in need. I have about 5 books that I recommend on a consistent basis and this is one of them. I am sure you will not be disappointed.

    Steve Curtis, Ph.D., author of Understanding Your Child's Puzzling Behavior

    Understanding Your Child's Puzzling Behavior: A Guide for Parents of Children with Behavioral, Social, and Learning Challenges...more info
  • Very Informative
    This book was very helpful in explaining why 1 out of 3 of my children was so much more difficult to deal with. These are principles we should apply with all our children. It's a better way to deal with others,children and adults, respectfully....more info
  • Very informative read.
    The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

    So far for us, this has been a great learning experience. But it is far from over. We are learning to communicate better and more effectively for all of our benefits. We aim to have a more loving and peaceful home with the help of this book....more info
  • The Explosive Child A good way to help change the explosions.
    This book offers a good way to change the explosive pattern that will help throughout your child's life. I would recommend it to all who work with these children. It's easy to understand these methods and quick to read book....more info
  • Solutions, not just problems...
    We've known for quite some time that our son(age 6) isn't "typical". After almost a year of testing and dealing with doctors we have been able to nail down a diagnosis. Research has told us time and again that traditional punishment and reward systems aren't effective with children like him (I could've told you that years ago), but so far none of the books we've read have offered solutions. It's all, "You can't do this, you can't do that". All right already, I want to know what I CAN do to help!
    I was skeptical at first because generally one size fits all solutions are anything but. I really appreciate that this book takes into account the varying range of difficulty from individual children instead of lumping them all into one category. It allows for individual tweaking of the methods introduced to accommodate all sorts of kids.
    I appreciate that this book describes my child and his thought processes better than they have ever been described to me before. After years of trying "traditional" parenting with my son I have undergone a complete mind shift and the results have been very good. Even if he has a difficult day and is in the midst of a breakdown, I am able to remain calm because I know he isn't just being willfully defiant or trying to upset me. I can see the effort he puts into making it through each day and I am far more appreciative of his wonderful personality traits. I have a lot more sympathy for his struggles and for the way he experiences the world.
    This book also gave me the kick in the rear I needed. Yes, parenting my kids alone while my husband is deployed is hard. I am busy. But if I don't wish to add a few extra minutes to my schedule to make sure things run smoothly for my son then I'm basically egging him on to a meltdown. I'm the adult here and it's my job to help guide and teach my son, not his job to keep me calm. My insistence that he do as I say every single time is certainly not teaching him flexibility, and we both experience a closer relationship by figuring out solutions together. I have remembered that the small stuff really isn't that big of a deal, and I have come to terms with my position as the parent of a special needs child.
    Is this a magical cure all? Of course not. But it is a very helpful starting point and can offer some needed insight into the inner workings of your child. We have seen a drastic reduction in the number of serious conflicts we experience and our relationship is so much better. A few months ago this scenario seemed like a distant and vague dream.
    For those who say that "giving in" is no solution, I would say that for typical children you're probably right. I parent my 4 year old in a traditional manner and it works quite well for him. But most parents of spectrum and sensory sensitive children understand that their thresholds and processing are quite different and can benefit from some accommodations. This book clearly lays out suggestions of what those accommodations should be and how to go about them....more info
  • Structured and Very Helpful!
    I am a recent graduate and am now working toward licensure in Counseling Psychology. I currently work at a community mental health facility with children, adolescents, families, couples, and adults. I found this book to be a great resource for myself and the families I work with. It gives a very structured approach to the work I am already doing with my clients. This is one of the most beneficial, realistic, easy-to-understand and implement books I have bought. I will definitely be using it more with my children and families....more info
  • Ever wish your kids came with instructions?
    I have an 11 year-old son who has been clinically diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder as well as ADHD. I have wondered for most of my son's life what was wrong. I thought the struggles were my fault at first. Then I thought I just had a willful child on my hands.
    As I started reading this book, I came to realize that I am not alone. In fact, I felt like I was reading a perfect spot-on description of my son.
    I can't believe how much this book is describing the lives of my son and the ways I have viewed his disability.
    I am currently raising my two children alone while my husband is serving overseas in Iraq. I have been struggling so desperately and then this book came along. I have already begun seeing him in a different light and approaching him differently than I have before and have been experiencing such good changes in him.
    I have a much better outlook for our lives ahead. I really believe that with the support of others and the armour of knowledge about his disability that we will be able to become a stronger family rather than just co-existing as we have been.
    Thank you so much, Ross Green, for writing this book. ...more info
  • not a cure all, but the most helpful approach yet
    Last year my 16 year old stepdaughter moved in with us. She has ADHD and ODD. I had never even HEARD of ODD at that time. I could not believe that a 16 year old could throw TANTRUMS but she has my 4 year old nephew beat. She could melt down over the smallest things! This book confirmed what I knew in my heart - that she doesn't WANT to be a bad kid and she DOES want our LOVE. Learning to negotiate with her in a positive way has been incredibly helpful and there have been much fewer meltdowns since my husband and I read this book. ...more info
  • Mohab Hanna, M.D. Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist- author of Making the Connection: A Parent's Guide to Medication in ADHD
    The explosive Child is a book that I recommend frequently to my patients. Many of the parents that I work with have found it very helpful. This book helps parents to understand the underlying problems that are leading to the exlosive behavior. ...more info
  • Explosive Child? The Real Solution May Surprise You!
    Frustrated by my son's age-inappropriate temper tantrums, I desperately searched for solutions. [He'd be set off by little things like making a mistake coloring and would rage for 1/2 hour or more ... still at age 6! Maybe this is understandable for a 2 year old, but there was something wrong here...] I approached it psychologically, certain that I somehow wasn't handling him properly. However, he just seemed out of control. No matter how I approached his anger, I couldn't make any significant changes. I purchased this book, but it didn't help me much, as I'd already tried so many behavioral approaches. I finally researched the Feingold Program (you can Google it) after observing that his biggest tantrums came immediately after eating foods with red food coloring. The Feingold Program primarily removes artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives from children's food and environment (yes, even those hand-stamps after gym class can have an effect!), and it's been around since the '70s. A family friend used it successfully for her 2 boys during that time, so I knew at least one success story. I bought the materials and dove in. Guess what -- no more tantrums! My boy is a changed person, and I couldn't be happier. Please give this diet a try -- you may be amazed! It's a bit more work for me when shopping or cooking, but my life is so much easier in every other way because I'm not dealing with a raging kid all the time. He and his little sister (who's 3 and is also on the diet now; she doesn't seem as sensitive as he is, but she definitely benefits also) now play nicely most of the time, freeing up hours of my day. I truly believe that the question is NOT "Will this help my child?" ... the question is "How much will this help my child?"...more info
  • A must for every adult who deals with an inflexible child!!!!!
    This well presented book offers an alternative view of children who are less flexible than most, and as a result they are more easily frustrated. Greene does an excellent job of explaining this phenomenom, as well as offering a reasonable way of dealing more effectively with children who either explode or implode as a result of their inflexibility....more info
  • A Great Companion to Bipolar Disorder Books
    I write books on bipolar disorder treatment for adults- when someone asks me about the illness in children, I always have to admit that children are not my area of expertise. The illness manifests so differently when a child starts symptoms so young. The Explosive Child filled in a lot of grey areas in my work.

    I always tell parents to read this book for insight into why a child may be violent, can't sooth themselves, is angry, oppositional and almost always frustrated. It helps the parent have compassion for the pain they see in their children. I learned so much about self soothing difficulty and the intensity of crying the children described in this book go through. It's so different that with adults. I'm not saying that children with explosive reactions to situations have bipolar disorder- not at all, but I feel that all parents who think their child might have bipolar disorder should read this book before making any decisions. It's a much needed resource in the mental health field.

    Julie A. Fast
    ...more info
    Gave insight for strategic solutions for building self confidence in my son. The "role play" used in the book gave insight from my sons perspective on how he perceives the situation. Very helpful....more info
  • So Helpful that I blogged about it!!!!
    I am a child psychiatrist who thinks this book is one every parent should read even if they don't have an explosive child!!!! [...]

    And buy this book! Enjoy. ...more info
  • The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
    Wonderful Book. Easy to read and understand. Has many great insights into the the thinking of these children. Have gotten many good ideas and parenting strategies to use to help the child and the parent better communicate and get along. It is really important to understand that parenting this type of child is not done with the traditional methods....more info
  • Definitely worth the read!
    This book was recommended to me by a good friend who is a LCSW. She originally suggested it as a way to help understand some of my students. She mentioned it again when I told her about my own child's frustration and inflexibility.

    There were definitely some "light bulb" moments as I read the book. The book is geared toward older school-age children, though. The strategies and theories can be applied toward younger children, too.

    If there is a child in your life who is explosive, and not just in a violent way, inflexible, and easily frustrated, this really is a great resource!...more info