October 16, 2020: I love Dr. Ross W. Greene’s book The Explosive Child. One of the most common issues I see in my practice is children who are described as manipulative, hard to motivate, and defiant by their parents. Pushback and meltdowns are confusing and frustrating for parents, which often leads to shame about their parenting skills. When families are stuck in a loop of angry interactions, everyone feels like a failure.
The Explosive Child provides an amazing perspective shift on a child’s angry behaviors and gives seriously practical parenting strategies for changing the behaviors while fostering positive child-parent connection. Dr. Greene says “Kids will do well if they can.” He views a child’s challenging behaviors as skill deficits, primarily in frustration tolerance and flexibility, rather than willful opposition. Collaboratively addressing lags in these key areas of development can lead to better communication, closer relationships, and overall lower stress for the whole family. Your child wants to cooperate; they just need your help in building those cognitive muscles so that they can.