Reddit Reddit reviews Explosive Child, The: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

We found 17 Reddit comments about Explosive Child, The: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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Explosive Child, The: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
The Explosive Child A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated Chronically Inflexible Children
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17 Reddit comments about Explosive Child, The: A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children:

u/also_HIM · 128 pointsr/Parenting

All of your solutions involve disconnecting from her and disconnecting her from the world. You can't then turn around and expect her to happily and cooperatively work with you.

I'm phoneposting while on vacation so I'm not going to get deep into this, but let me recommend my favorite books on the subject: The Explosive Child and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.

u/Giant_Asian_Slackoff · 52 pointsr/Parenting

Well, first off, stop spanking. Teaching a child not to hit by hitting them, even lightly, is patently insane and counterproductive. And yes, throwing away his toys is just making him resent you and is pushing him away from you, meaning he now has no internal motivation to respect or listen to you. Because that is emotionally damaging.

Second off, the only kind of discipline you seem to use are punishments. Quoting myself from a similar (now deleted) recent thread:

>You can't solely punish your way out of bullying behaviors. Negative reinforcement isn't nearly as effective as positive reinforcement in the long run, and what little effectiveness it has drops off enormously the more time passes between the misbehavior and the punishment.

>Why? Because when you take their electronics, or make them do chores, or spank them, they aren't making that connection between what they did and their punishment. Even if you explain to them "I'm taking your things because you hit your brother," they aren't listening to that. I mean, they are and they understand, but they don't understand. They're just thinking about the fact that they lost their stuff. When you spank them (which by the way, don't do that), even occasionally, they aren't thinking "wow, I better not do this again," they're thinking "this really hurts, I want it to stop", and nothing else. Their negative emotions at being punished blocks the connection and thought process from happening.

>Punishments essentially make it hard for kids to make the connection between misbehaviors and consequences, and hence it does little to correct future problems. In other words, punishments do little more than breed resentment between himself and you. He pushes you away and is less receptive to talking to you. He likely in part blames his brother for his punishments, not himself, making everything worse. He becomes apathetic and "used" to punishments, and so becomes apathetic towards future punishments, and thus feels like he has nothing to lose. The misbehavior repeats.

Do you ever praise him for wanted behaviors like being nice? Go out of your way to say "you're being really nice right now" or "I'm proud of you for behaving so well" when he has a good moment or day. Give him a high five or a hug. In other words, if you're going to use rewards/punishments, focus on the positive end of reinforcements much more than punishments. Punishments should be a last resort, not the first. Maybe try a rewards system of some kind, but if you do, do it right.

Rewards and punishments are extrinsically motivating though. Intrinsic motivation is more effective. In other words, you need his motivation to behave to come from within. The best way to do that is to, again, don't just punish, punish, and punish. That breeds resentment between him and you, and he'll push you away. If it gets bad enough, he might actually grow to resent you so much that he'll misbehave with the intent to spite you. You don't want that. The other way is to get him involved in his own behavioral correction.


I like analogies. Imagine a a child trying to learn how to do long division, but they keep messing up. Would you just send him to time-out and throw his toys out or spank him and until he figures out long division on his own? I would hope not. No, the right approach is to teach him the steps of long division, practice with him, and then have him practice on his own.

Behavior problems are no different. Your child literally doesn't have the emotional or cognitive maturity to handle the feelings of frustration and anger. Sending him to his room or taking away his toys won't help him learn how to tackle the root causes of his outbursts or how to regulate his feelings in a mature manner.

You need to treat him misbehaving like you would any other problem. By all means, remove him from the situation to let him calm down, but then once he's calm and ready to talk, get down on his eye level, tell him you want him to open up and that you won't be angry if he's honest with you, and basically talk him through what went wrong - what caused him to "forget" how to behave?

Example: If he hit his sister, don't ask him why he hit his sister - bringing up his offense might make him shut down out of fear. Instead, ask him what made him get angry. Try and put yourself in his shoes - maybe his sister wasn't sharing, for example. Ask him what he was thinking, and be as specific as possible without bringing up the misbehavior itself. Then brainstorm "solutions" with him. "How do you think you can get your toy from your sister like a grown up? Like a big, mature boy?" Brainstorm a solution - "Maybe you can ask her nicely for the toy, and if she still says no, come to mommy or daddy and tell us your sister isn't sharing."

Then, role-play and practice with him. Do this every time. By doing this, you're a) giving him the means to handle these big emotions in a mature manner, b) reducing resentment by talking to him like an adult and by asking him to open up to you, c) by him opening up to you and involving him in his behavioral correction, you give him that intrinsic motivation to behave better, because he won't want to disappoint you or himself. Because kids want to behave. They don't like these big, negative emotions they're feeling either, but they often don't know how to process and handle them.

The book I used for my own kid was The Explosive Child. This method can take a long time to work, so don't be surprised if he doesn't change in a week, or even in a couple months. Because it takes practice on both your end and your son's end. You can also check out the [author's website]
( for an executive summary of this method.

u/VeggieLover · 9 pointsr/Parenting

I have two books to recommend which might help, although our daughter is only 6 and had many of the explosive/destructive bursts that you describe (they are greatly improved now).

Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition: Eliminating Conflict by Establishing CLEAR, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries

Reading and implementing the techniques in this book recently stopped almost all of the behaviors that we were going crazy over. Our daughter was getting more and more abusive with name-calling, hitting, breaking things, etc and after reading this book and implementing the techniques, it is 95% gone. When it still happens, we now feel like we have tools to deal with it calmly but firmly.

The Explosive Child

This book focuses on preventing explosions and managing explosions proactively/in the moment. It focuses as well on the type of child that acts out in this way, and how to deal with it. A co-worker recommended this book to me after dealing with his son's explosive outbursts. His son's therapist recommended it to him.

Our daughter also showed little remorse for things like pushing her brother down the stairs, hitting him in the face, breaking doors, etc. One of the biggest realizations to me was that my wife and I were being permissive in our parenting approach, and the lack of firm consequences was causing our daughter to act out more. The Setting Limits book describes the three parenting styles (authoritarian, permissive, mixed) quite articulately.

u/blendedduck · 8 pointsr/psychotherapy

Apologizes if you've already read it, but "The Explosive Child" by Rosse Green and the whole Collaborative Problem Solving approach was a game changer for me when I worked with behavioural kids.

u/tinysnails · 6 pointsr/relationships


You need to make some boundaries with your husband. He needs to see this is some serious business. You will leave, and you will not be coming back EVEN AFTER THE BABY IS BORN unless Ava is in therapy. And unless he makes limits for her and sticks by them.

Secondly, you. "That I cannot look past. Sorry if that makes me immature and selfish but I don't want to surround myself with that kind of negativity EVEN if it comes from a seven year old." You're kidding me, right? This child is emotionally damaged. I have had a five year old tell me he is going to bring his dad's gun to preschool and shoot everyone. That he is going to kill me with a knife. I have had kids bite and kick me. Kids will do a lot of sociopathic stuff when they get out of control. If you're really going to have this attitude of "I'm not going to surround myself with negativity" when this child obviously needs your husband and your help, then you really need to just leave. Or own up to the fact that you will be pushing her into the foster care system (if the dad chooses you) or destroying your relationship with your husband (if he chooses Ava).

Honestly, Ava's violence towards you is going to track onto your child once it is born. You have some serious work to do here. Even when you're living with your sister, you need to be over there every second night. Setting limits. Setting boundaries. Creating relationships. You and your husband both need to be reading books about defiant/explosive children.

Here is a strategy for Ava hitting your belly:

When she does it, immediately she is sent to a time out for 5 minutes. All he says is "I won't let you hit. Come to time out." It is a stool or a mat on the ground. The timer doesn't start until she is there, and it restarts every time she escapes/runs away. Every time she runs away, your husband must take her back there and restart the timer without speaking. Ever seen Supernanny? Yeah.

Also she loses a privilege - video game ban, TV ban, for 3 days.

Also, your husband needs to talk to her about violence. "When we hit people, it hurts them. When you hit [name]'s belly, it can hurt the baby."

Good luck. I sincerely wish you the best. But your attitude towards Ava is just not the one you need to help her. I understand you must feel resentful that this is happening to you, during your pregnancy. But it will also be happening to you when you have your newborn, your toddler. It must feel so unfair. But when you chose your husband, you also chose his daughter. Similar to how I cannot disown my foster siblings or ask my mother to put them back into the system when they are infuriating and hurtful, you cannot just ignore this situation and wish she would leave. How many years until Ava gets help?

Your feelings of resentment are normal and I even understand them. But kids who are emotionally troubled are going to act out even though you cook, clean and ferry them around. Regular kids are hardly ever grateful for that kind of stuff, let alone kids who are hurting badly inside. Ava can't see the nice things you do for her - not in the moment when she is in so much emotional pain that she hits you.

You need to be in therapy, right away, to work through your feelings of resentment, fear and envy, so you can be in a good place to help Ava AND your new child. How functional a parent will you be if you have all these emotions battling inside you? How safe and happy will your new child's life be if Ava doesn't get the support she needs. Because trust me, she will not "cool off" once the baby comes. It will get WORSE.

I really hope you listen and begin therapy right away, and keep going over there during your separation and implementing these things.

u/AwakenedEyes · 5 pointsr/Parenting

First, I want to say that it is possible to help that kid. You need to change her context. Her behavior will change when the dynamics change with her caretakers.

Second, I want to say also that it's going to be very hard because she is still saying her father and step mom, and - I am sorry to say - but what you describe is child abuse plain and simple, so as long as she live that kind of dynamic with them, it's going to constantly set you back and break your efforts on your side. It's not impossible, but it's going to be very, very difficult to have steady progress while she lives abuse like that on their side. Someone suggested supervised visits on her dad side; if you can get that from a judge, it could really help.

> We have a system of incentives and consequences and we remind her of this, but she chooses the bad choice 99 times out of 100. We remain calm as much as we can, which is probably 80% of the time. We never hit her, but if she is being unsafe and destructive I carry her to her room to serve out her consequence, while being pummelled the whole time.

So the problem here is that although you are doing a much better job than her dad/stepmom, you are still acting with her under the same governing principles. It's a loop that looks like this:

She acts out > an adult punish her > She resists and feels more justified in her outrage and resistance because the punishing is humiliating and, from her point of view, unfair > Which leads her to act out even more > which triggers more punishments and so on and so on.

It's an escalating loop that simply CANNOT end well, on the long run; it's a downward spiral.

At a deeper level, each iteration of this nasty loop is eroding, and eventually killing the attachment - this special invisible link that makes children look up to their caretaker and makes them want to learn from them. As the kid becomes more and more detached, she no longer finds a reason to want to follow you and listen to your guidance; in fact, resisting the adult's guidance is about all what she feels is left for her to keep her sanity and keep feeling like she is not totally crushed. It's a coping mechanism to remain in control of her life despite all the beating and humiliation she lives on a regular basis.

So you need to reverse toward an auspicious cycle, a positive cycle. She needs to deeply feels like she matters MORE than her behavior. That EVEN when her behavior is at its worst, SHE IS STILL LOVABLE. Unconditionally. Unequivocally.

Watch this funny scene in "The martian child" where the adopted kid breaks stuff and he becomes scared that he could be kicked back to the orphanage, and watch how the adoptive dad reacts instead about "stuff"
It's just a movie, but it's profound. Children need to feel loved DESPITE how they act. Sometimes, the acting out can even be an unconscious way to test if they are really loved., if they can DARE to relax and feel like they can belong for real. Never let them prove themselves they aren't lovable.

> If you ask her to do something involving getting ready for school, getting dressed, brushing her hair, etc, she completely changes, like flipping a switch.

When she wants something and she doesn't get it, it's not the stuff she really is missing. She is reacting to the terrible feeling of rejection, because she doesn't know that refusing what she ask did not mean you no longer love her or that she is not worth being loved.

When you ask her to do something she doesn't want to do, you trigger her bad cycle of defiance-punishment-defiance and she instinctively recoil to it as it instantaneously destroys her mood and puts her back in that dark place where her experience is that she is being repressed and punished.

Even if you TELL her that you love her and that the punishment is about her actions, not herself, her experiences tell her otherwise. In her guts she feels not worthy as soon as something wrong happens, because the attachment is weak. It needs to be reinforced.

Instead: try active listening. Name her emotions: "You are SO SO SOOOO ANGGRY right now!" and validate her emotions.
If she screams that she wishes you were not alive and she hates you, respond with gentleness. Lay down your defenses, be vulnerable, tell her it makes you sad because you love her so much; but even if she hates you, you don't care, you love her anyway. Don't go away from her when she is storming. Stay, gently, opened, don't punish, name the emotions so she feels UNDERSTOOD in the violence of her emotions, until the storm passes and at THAT moment, you have a KEY door that will slightly open just for a brief time for her to fall into your arms, exhausted, and violence will turn into tears and you will have a real connection suddenly, as her own emotional shields comes down.

It's a long process. It's draining and difficult, and I am afraid you may have to do it all again several times as she will go back to her dad and it will trigger her defenses again. But it's possible. Family counseling can of course help. I am also leaving you with a book reference: Dr Green, The Explosive child

I hope this will point you toward the right direction.
Good luck, and if you have more questions do not hesitate.

u/ElegantAnt · 4 pointsr/Parenting

You might also take a look at The Explosive Child.

u/thenickomang · 4 pointsr/fosterit

I agree with everyone's recommendations about therapy. I would also recommend Skills Training (sometimes called Life Skills or Skill Building) and not just because that's what I do for a living. I'm not sure if it's available in your area but basically when I get a referral it's typically because the youth's behavior is to a point where displacement is a distinct possibility. I do as thorough an assessment as possible - when do these episodes occur, where do they occur, etc - and then put what I learn through the Collaborative Problem Solving Assessment and Planning Tool to identify these situational factors as well as the lagging skills that contribute to the behaviors we're seeing. Then I put together a Service Plan which is very different kid to kid but the gist is we are going to do X, Y, Z (could be activities like board games, could be behavior modeling and coaching, etc) to address the lagging skills. I've managed to keep a lot of difficult kids in placements with these tools. Look into Skills Training in your area. Also, I'd recommend reading The Explosive Child and researching Collaborative Problem Solving.

u/charcuterie_bored · 4 pointsr/teenmom

Don't know if you've already heard of or read it but this book is supposed to be really helpful for parenting difficult kids.

u/FightDragonGetGold · 3 pointsr/CBD

You sound like an awesome father. Your son is lucky to have you. My son has a sensory processing disorder and he is considered a "explosive child." Doctors think he might be on the spectrum. I am happy your son is able to attend ABA therapy. One thing that helped me with my 5 year old was this book:

This book also helped me to understand how frustration and not being able to deal with dissapointment was at the heart of some of his anger:


I also started to give him CBD gummiest. I only give him 3 mg. His explosive anger has greatly subsided. He is a different kid. He still has major meltdowns but I would say they have been reduced by 40% in frequency and intensity. Other people have posted on the CBD with kids issue. If you use the search function you can find some of those threads.

Good luck to you. please report back if you decide to use CBD with your child. I am sure there are other parents who would like to know more.

u/myeyesarerolling · 2 pointsr/Parenting

If you try to remember, when he does something to hurt you or someone else, he's just acting out. Try your best not to get angry. As a bunch of other posters have said, give him a lot of love. Make him feel like you admire and love him. Keep him away from anymore unnecessary stress and try to make things happy and hopeful even if they aren't.

If you can turn things around now, he may not be permanently damaged. He probably won't even remember much of it. Also, this book is helpful.

u/tasthei · 2 pointsr/Parenting

That sounds so difficult. You are not alone. Many parents have found help with something called Plan B. Have you heard of it?

u/smartydumbdumbs · 1 pointr/BSA

These kinds of issues require a tremendous amount of patience. You have to keep in mind that often times, this behavior is not really intentional. Boys and girls with behavioral issues don't *WANT* to be difficult. It's just very difficult for them to regulate emotions. I myself was diagnosed with ADHD (ODD wasn't a diagnosis back then, but I'm sure it would have applied, too) as a youth, so I know firsthand. Emotional responses just override logical responses.

We have a scout in our troop who has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder and ADHD. He will often behave in a very similar manner to the scout you've described. I've learned through observation that it usually happens when he's had a lot of interpersonal contact. Dealing with people exhausts him, and when he gets exhausted, his ODD will come out and shine. We have learned that he does particularly well if we can earmark some of the solo tasks his way. He's particularly fastidious with washing dishes, for example, and that task doesn't require him to socialize very much.

When the outbursts happen, take a tack like saying "Hey man, why don't you take a break in your tent and gather yourself. We can get the cooking gear set up right now, and you can help with the dishes after dinner." Sometimes just a bit of self-time will allow them to reset enough to carry on, but you've also left the expectation that they will be doing some of the work.

Oh, another thing to do is go go over well ahead of time, what your expectations are for the campout. "Ok, we'll be arriving at the campsite at 6PM. Everybody will need to set their tents up. If you didn't bring a tent, you're still expected to help your tent mate set up their tent. Mark, Dave, Tom, does everyone understand? Great. Then we'll be setting up for dinner. We expect everyone to help set up, and break back down afterwards. Mark, Dave, Tom, do you understand? Great." Do the same each day, for those guys.

It can seem silly to do that, when you're thinking "Gee, everyone knows all that stuff...", but what you're really doing is providing advance notice of your expectations. And letting the boys know what the structure of the outing is. So there are no surprises. ADHD kids know things need to be done, but without structure they often flounder and then telling them what needs to be done Right Now(tm) makes them feel put upon. Giving them the plan in advance provides a structure they can work within. Lack of structure is a rarely verbalized, but often felt, challenge for the ADD/ADHD crowd.

All that said...

You need to talk to your scoutmaster, and your committee chair, and make sure the adults are aware of the issues. One issue is the boy's behavior itself. Another issue is the potential that these issues are real medical issues that need to be properly dealt with. Yet another issue is the impact to patrol and troop morale can happen when a kid won't help with the work that needs to be done.

Because of two-deep leadership needs, we have mandated that for activities like Summer Camp, the kids with these or similar issues are required to have a parent/guardian attend. We simply can't afford to leave two adults back in a campsite when it's time to head off to meals or activities, and we won't deny the other boys the opportunity to participate.Your troop committee may need to explore similar requirements.

In terms of resources:

u/MixedTogether · 1 pointr/Parenting

I had a similar issue with my boy, but he was 6 at the time. I posted on here and got a suggestion to read a book.

Just reading the first few pages was mind blowing, "THAT IS MY SON!" Everything in that book I could relate to my boy. A quote that stuck with me from the book is, "a child wants to be good, if he can." Some kids simply lack the skills to control their emotions and lash out because of it. They're frustrated they can't figure themselves out, you're frustrated that they won't calm down, tensions rise, anger comes out, all of that doesn't work for anyone.

Get that book, read it, it will change your understanding of what's going on with your child and how to get things back to normal.

u/MattinglyDineen · 1 pointr/Parenting

Read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. This book was written with children like your son in mind.

u/thesassyllamas · 1 pointr/Parenting

Maybe The Explosive Child or No Bad Kids? Also loved The Whole Brain Child! :)

u/kaceface · 1 pointr/Parenting

You might find the book "The Explosive Child" helpful in understanding your child's behavior. My son sounds very similar to your daughter (and honestly, much, much less of an explosive child than what the book is truly intended for). However, the premise of the book is that kids who explode like this are lacking in the skills of flexibility and adaptability and that helping them learn these skills is far preferable to punishing bad behavior that stems from a lacking skill.

My pediatrician also recommended the book, "The Whole-Brain Child", which helps explain some of the way children's brains functions. This book is especially useful because it explains why, during huge meltdowns, your child is really incapable of rational thought. You have to wait until the child is calm again before trying to address any of the challenges you're facing.

With that being said, I have noticed in particular that my son has a lot more frequent meltdowns when he is 1) tired or 2) hungry. Asking "are you hungry?" and offering him a snack sometimes snaps him right out of it.

Interacting with him/discussing his feelings/giving hugs during the meltdown seem to make it worse (contrary to my initial impulse which is to walk him through his feelings). This is really only possible AFTER the storm has been weathered. Isolating him, which is pretty much my least natural response, is what seems to work for him the best. We simply tell him he needs to stay in his room until he is calm and ready to talk about what's going on. He calms down MUCH faster by himself and half the time, he ends up falling asleep (and wakes up in a perfectly happy mood).