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Book Review: The Explosive Child by Ross W Greene
  • gram
    Posts: 18
    Brief quotes from Preface to 2nd edition to book by R W Greene 2001

    'As the title suggests, this book is about explosive, inflexible, easily frustrated children. These children often exhibit severe behaviours - intense temper outbursts, noncompliance,volatility, mood instability, and verbal and physical aggression --'

    'I believe their behaviour is still poorly understood and therefore difficult to change. For a long time the prevailing view of such behaviour has been that it is attention-seeking, coercive, and the byproduct of inept parenting practices. But research of the past two decades suggest to me that inflexible and explosive behaviour is a lot more complex than previously thought, and may emanate from a varity of different factors. Thus, there is no "one size fits all" approach to helping these children.'

    'My goals are to help you appreciate the manner by which your explanations for and interpretations of a child's inflexible and explosive behaviour can influence how you respond to it ---.'

    it is possible to read an excerpt of the book 'The waffle incident' at

    home page click 'The explosive child' , the click read excerpt
  • fredam
    Posts: 4
    It is about time this book got some credit! Although our son, 8, was just dx'd as PDA this year, we have been giving the schools this book to read for the last 3 years. Of course, they did look at us as though we had two heads. LOL But, it definately seems to fit, doesnt it?

    Although I have seen the book reviewed and referred to in several places, it is always just mentioned. Has anyone enough experience to say that the book and strategies ARE for PDA children, or is it just a coincidence?


  • mazhawes
    Posts: 18
    We've followed Dr Greene's advice for a while now, and now it's a natural part of the way we manage our family relationships. School (whilst Oliver was at school) tried to follow the principles but clearly it's much harder to use some of his techniques in a school environment. Incidentally he has produced a DVD which we ordered from the States- even better than the book, his techniques are updated and discussed. It's produced in the form of a 'chat' with parents of Explosive kids, in a studio setting, and is around 2 hours long. Sounds fairly hard going I know but we watched it avidly, recognising a lot of what the parents were talking about.
    What about organising our own seminar and getting Ross Greene over to the UK? Would there be enough support do you think?
    Another book we've found particularly useful- and we've read a lot of books trying to find the answers!- is 'Raising your Spirited Child' by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. It talks about children who are intense (showing powerful reactions to things and often with tantrums which are 'raw and enduring'); who are persistent ('locking'in or out of certain tasks and won't change their minds); who are sensitive (noises, smells, textures, other peoples' moods etc); uncomfortable with change; eating / sleeping at irregular times:and so on. Although Aspergers, ADHD etc are mentioned, the book is about the temperamental traits of children rather than their labels. Highly recommended!
  • charlie
    Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm new to this forum and have been working with children with PDA for several years. I just finished reading "The explosive child" and have to say I thought it was brilliant! The ideas are very thought provoking. I would imagine as parents of children with PDA you are already putting the strategies in place and Dr. Greene just uses different phrases to explain them. It is always good practice to review and revise what we do to confirm that we are trying our best!
    All in all, this book is definitely worth reading and I will read it over and over I guess! wink
  • mango69
    Posts: 967
    Hi Charlie,
    Welcome to the forum - I hope you find it useful - perhaps you could also post on the professional forum too - as no-one seems to have started yet. It is very helpful to have someone on here with the experience you have. Thanks for joining and happy reading/posting
  • Pamela
    Posts: 205
    Charlie....I read this book some years ago when Olivia's behaviours were soooo bad I thought I would throttle her!!!!! It has been my saving grace...and by using Ross Greene's strategies consistantly has certainly helped us manage Olivia's behaviours better, instead of making everything a battle!
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