I have a book named, “The Explosive Child,’ – a new approach for understanding and parenting Easily frustrated, “Chronically Inflexible” children by Dr.Ross W. Greene. This book is for the adults dealing with easily frustrated and Inflexible child.
I was lucky to have bought this book because I found it useful when I came across three “difficult” children.
What I mean by “difficult” children is this – Children who lose control, become aggressive and make parents feel “incompetent”. They do not (because they cannot) follow instructions because they are inflexible.
In Dr. Green’s words – These children get “stuck” over seemingly simple requests or sudden change of plan. They become anxious, irritated and volatile.
One mother had confided in me, “Where have I gone wrong? My mother tells me that I have spoilt my daughter because she doesn’t listen to me or follow my instructions. If I become strict or put my foot down, the situation goes out of hand. I do not want to hurt my child and I do not know how can she hurt us so much? Is she doing it intentionally?”
The truth is that these children need help. They may be having Conduct Disorder, Hyperactivity or ADD.
Here are few things Dr. Green recommend:
- Create user – friendly environment. It means that you understand his handicap. You help him maintain sanity in the incoherent situation. You move away from an adversarial relationship.
- Be judicious about the demands for flexibility and tolerance of frustration placed on the child.
- Identify in advance – specific situation/ individual/ tasks that routinely lead to explosion.
- Read warning signs.
- Do not take it personally. It is incoherent behavior.
- The child has a language problem. He is unable to express himself. He should know feeling words.
- First teach him 3 expressions – sad, happy and frustrated. Discuss entire day and what she felt at that time. Slowly, introduce more feeling words – like confused. Show how should express his level of frustration and what he wants them to do. They should listen to him.
- Adults need to understand how they are fueling child’s explosive behavior. Click To Tweet
- Think – is this expectation important enough?Make three baskets.Basket A – The expectation is very important.Basket B – This expectation can be negotiated.Basket c –may have seemed high priority before but have been reduced.
- After identifying these expectations, think – is it important to teach this thing right now and is he capable of learning the lesson presently?
If the answer is yes, help him to change that behavior.
The Frustrated And Inflexible Child needs to be taught Self – Control, Overcoming School Problems, Making and Keeping Friends and Healthy Self – Esteem.
You will find various activities to teach these skills in one of my favorite books – The ADHD Workbook for Kids: Helping Children Gain Self-Confidence, Social Skills, and Self-Control (Instant Help)