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

A groundbreaking approach to understanding and parenting children who frequently exhibit severe fits of temper and other intractable behaviors, from a distinguished clinician and pioneer in this field.

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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Anonymous on November 4, 2019 at 4:05 AM.

Two years later…. I got this book two years ago for my 3 year old girl. She was frustrated, I was frustrated, and she had 2 younger siblings. We needed change. This book changed our lives. I took every word to heart. Wrote down the problems and came up with a strategy. Focused on one behavior at a time. It took months of hard work to see progress but one skill at a time has added up to a strong and amazing straight A Kindergartener who is thriving. I know her better than my other kids because of the journey we…

Anonymous on November 4, 2019 at 4:07 AM.

Helped our household; Helped me. Our child isn’t “explosive” but just way harder to get to do stuff than some – i.e. transition from bed to up, from TV to homework, from friend’s house to car, etc. This book really helps in explaining those behaviors so they make sense and giving techniques to avoid the threats and yelling that I hate to say was getting pretty common in our house. Maybe better title: “The Explosive Parent; A New Approach for Understanding and Dealing With the Strange Person You Become sometimes…

Anonymous on November 4, 2019 at 4:30 AM.

for the better.