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GDing the Explosive Child - Page 2

post #21 of 140
Thread Starter 
Holy crap! I forgot to sub and now the thread is outta control!

I just finished The Explosive Child. It was so good. Now I just gotta get DH on board. He is the main caregiver and he has already said, "I am so tired of this basket stuff." AHHHH! I just want to scream. I am soooo tired of tantrums and anger from DS.
post #22 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeysesame View Post
this idea is really eye-opening for me. this morning ds (6 yo) replied enthusiastically to my questions about what for breakfast with his whole specific plan of how he likes breakfast these days (toast, butter, jam, runny egg yolk from fried egg on top of that, and then scrambled egg on top of that!) and i set about making it (we make scrambled and fried anyhow, so no trouble) but for one reason and another didn't get the eggs right so the fried fell apart and ds quickly despaired and before i could offer problem-solving ideas began a full blown tantrum with yelling crying and kicking and screaming.... i just tried to remain present and calm and tell him i was glad to try to work it out when he was ready that i had a few ideas, and after a few minutes we did.... dh even didn't intervene, just closed the door to the room ds eventually landed in and said something half sarcastically to me (ds couldn't hear) about letting him have his feelings (any ideas to get dh a little more on my page?).... i wonder if my approach helped toward quicker equilibrium? anyhow, sorry to ramble on, but does this sound like an explosive child kind of thing?
Oh yeah! That's it!

DS is much like this only less severe. He becoming more flexible and tolerant.

I do think many 2 yr are basically "The Explosive Child" I think when it starts to extend to 3 and 4 yr then you can truely see the personality. My DD is explosive but she calms quickly and adjusts easily. She also has a much better emotional intelligence. The book talks a lot about other diagnoses that often are mistaken or accompany this type of kiddo.

Basket A - Things worth a meltdown - Usually safety only and still may be Basket B in our house if possible

Basket B - Important but nogotiable. Teach your child to find something in the middle before "vapor lock"

Basket C - Things you can let go of

Before this book we were just doing Basket A and C and mostly C because the tantrums could last 15-30 min especially in the evening. But with Basket B you can teach your child to negotiate and work on the "Collaborative Problem solving"

I think any child even if they are not Explosive would benefit from this teaching especially at young age.

I just want to connect with others and hear how everyone is managing.
post #23 of 140
My 4yo has been and is explosive also. The hardest is bedtime. He's always given us a hard time about going to bed, and even though I'd like to put it in Basket A, if a meltdown occurs right before bed, he won't go to sleep for at least an hour. And if I do a Basket C, then he would ask to read books after books, and he would eventually get overtired and get second wind. There's no putting him to bed when that happens either. We've been trying Basket B, but sometimes he's just non-negotiable. We then resort to a car ride...

We're also doing a chart, but he would say "I didn't want it anyway!" Arrggg... What do you do w/ such a strong-willed child?
post #24 of 140
Thread Starter 
What behavior does your DC have that makes YOU want to explode?
What other diagnoses or other behaviors have you noticed?

My DS's violence makes me so mad. I have such a hard time with this. For example, DS likes to bite DD. He generally bites fairly gently but sometimes harder. I am actually sometimes amazed at his ability to control himself. He gets really mad sometimes and doesn't hit at all but all bets are off the DD does something he does like. However, if I start to show any anger at his behavior he will start to bite more and harder. He started doing this with yelling in my ear too. Sometimes I feel I am raising a sociopath. He likes to wave knives around. He's destroyed multiple things. The knife thing was mainly from watching Peter Pan and Captain Hook fights. I am also really trying to get DH to limit TV watching because it seems to excerbate some of issues.

I think DS has ADD/ADHD, poor social and emotion skills, and poor transitioning skills. He has some ODD tendancies but not too bad. He may have some general anxiety that he is not able to fully express.
post #25 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffiB View Post
My 4yo has been and is explosive also. The hardest is bedtime. He's always given us a hard time about going to bed, and even though I'd like to put it in Basket A, if a meltdown occurs right before bed, he won't go to sleep for at least an hour. And if I do a Basket C, then he would ask to read books after books, and he would eventually get overtired and get second wind. There's no putting him to bed when that happens either. We've been trying Basket B, but sometimes he's just non-negotiable. We then resort to a car ride...

We're also doing a chart, but he would say "I didn't want it anyway!" Arrggg... What do you do w/ such a strong-willed child?

Oh yeah! Bed is a huge issue for us too. See HERE I am trying to keep it in Basket A with lots of routine and quiet time. My DS will not just sit and read unless we hold him. Timers have been really great for us. DS will now say, "Set the timer, Mama."
post #26 of 140
Wow, Zoe... I think I had a twin son and didn't know it!! He is pretty much to the tee as your DS about going to bed.

I have The Floppy Sleep Game CD, and he liked it enough that he would request it. But that's only when he's willing to lay down... and he usually winds up rolling around in bed, not doing anything that the CD says to do, and he won't lay still to listen to the story. And he stays up to listen to the whole thing, so anything w/ words are out of the picture now. I'm usually half asleep by the first few minutes... LOL. I haven't read the book, but I've tried telling him to lay still, relax, close his eyes, etc but he just wouldn't do it. He fights every chance he gets.

He has a Sensory Processing Disorder which makes it a bit harder for him to fall asleep. I've been meaning to make a weighted blanket for him - I've heard good things about it - the weight or pressure on the joints relaxes and calms them down. Even a tight bear hug. You might want to check this SPD symptom list to see if anything fits your DS. Mine has been in occupational therapy for 3 months, and I started noticing improvements.

I also think he'll wind up w/ ADHD and bipolar II like myself (just recently diagnosed). I have inattentive ADHD, not hyperactive, and DS is not too hyper. But my brain is super hyperactive, and I can tell DS's is too. It's so hard to shut down his brain at night. Bath, books, CDs w/ words, and anything before bed is stimulating to him and will just keep him awake.

And if he would just stop moving, he would fall asleep... I wouldn't mind so much if he didn't need me in his bed. I'm a SAHM, so I feel the need to get stuff done after he goes to sleep, so I'm anxious for him to fall asleep, and that doesn't help either. After about 45 min of laying down in bed w/ him, I start to get frustrated. I'm also an explosive adult also, which is getting better w/ medication...

I see a psychologist, and we talk about my DS a lot. His temperment makes him believe that he could have bipolar also, so we started going to a social worker (much like a child pshychologist w/ no degree). She's going to start play therapy w/ him. She's the one that recommended The Explosive Child book. I'll have to try Rescue Remedy, Calme Forte, etc. w/ him.
post #27 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by InochiZo View Post
Oh yeah! Bed is a huge issue for us too. See HERE I am trying to keep it in Basket A with lots of routine and quiet time. My DS will not just sit and read unless we hold him. Timers have been really great for us. DS will now say, "Set the timer, Mama."
For you and the other poster who mentioned bedtime struggles:

Just wanted to share my experience with an explosive child who *needs* a regular bedtime and consistent, quality sleep. We found that it actually helped to make bedtime a Plan B issue-one to work together on (the latest version of the book talks about "plans" rather than "baskets," and imo is a better, more clear description of the collaborative problem solving approach). Our approach wasn't to sit down and say "what time would you like to go to bed?" but rather "what would help you feel relaxed and fall asleep more easily?" And then lots of experimenting, working with our child to help her transition to sleep more easily.

It was like this:
me: I've noticed that going to sleep is kind of tough for you. what's up?
dc: I don't know.
me: It seems like it's kind of hard for you to relax at night. Is that right?
dc: kind of.
me: I've also noticed that you get up a lot to tell me you're scared.
dc: yeah
me: So it seems like you feel scared at night, and that might be part of why it's hard to relax. Is that right?
dc: yeah.
me: And sometimes you say you just don't want to go to sleep. Can you tell me about that?
dc: I don't know. I just don't like to sleep.
me: I hear you. You don't like to sleep. And sometimes you feel scared at night, and it's hard for you to relax. Is that right? <insert hugs>
me: Here's the thing: I think it's really important for you to fall asleep earlier. When you stay awake late, you're very cranky the next day. I wonder if we we can find ways of helping you relax so that you can fall asleep better, so that bedtime is more enjoyable for you and so that you can feel better during the day. What do you think? Have any ideas?
dc: I don't know.
me: well, what if we try some special relaxation stories?
dc: okay

And so on. Totally Plan B. Her concern: doesn't like falling asleep because she's scared and has trouble relaxing. My concern: she gets cranky and difficult to live with without enough good quality sleep. We found a solution that addressed both concerns, no Plan A necessary. We made several attempts at problem-solving until we found a combination that worked. And one thing we did try and agree on was an earlier bedtime (which helped-it gave us more time to help her relax before I got impatient, and gave her more time to relax while still falling asleep at a reasonable time).

An excellent book that helped us was Sleepless In America, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, which has a lot of great information and ideas for helping kids "flip the switch" to sleep.

One thing Dr. Green said at a workshop, that he really emphasized, was that the more important the issue, the more it needs to be addressed by Plan B. Plan A is for those times when you do not have time to engage in Plan B: your kid is about to run into the street, for example. But to find a truly durable solution, eventually you'll need to use Plan B proactively. And Plan B works best as a proactive measure, problem-solving that begins before you're in the midst of a problem. Once a it's already bedtime, for example, you're now using emergency (rather than proactive) Plan B. Emergency Plan B can work, but you'll have more success the more proactive you are. And remember, it usually takes a couple (or a few) tries to find a solution that really works long-term. If your first solution doesn't work, that doesn't mean Plan B doesn't work. It just means that now you have more information to help you find another solution.
post #28 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg View Post
It was like this:
me: I've noticed that going to sleep is kind of tough for you. what's up?
dc: I don't know.
me: It seems like it's kind of hard for you to relax at night. Is that right?
dc: kind of.
me: I've also noticed that you get up a lot to tell me you're scared.
dc: yeah
me: So it seems like you feel scared at night, and that might be part of why it's hard to relax. Is that right?
dc: yeah.
me: And sometimes you say you just don't want to go to sleep. Can you tell me about that?
dc: I don't know. I just don't like to sleep.
me: I hear you. You don't like to sleep. And sometimes you feel scared at night, and it's hard for you to relax. Is that right? <insert hugs>
me: Here's the thing: I think it's really important for you to fall asleep earlier. When you stay awake late, you're very cranky the next day. I wonder if we we can find ways of helping you relax so that you can fall asleep better, so that bedtime is more enjoyable for you and so that you can feel better during the day. What do you think? Have any ideas?
dc: I don't know.
me: well, what if we try some special relaxation stories?
dc: okay

An excellent book that helped us was Sleepless In America, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, which has a lot of great information and ideas for helping kids "flip the switch" to sleep.

If your first solution doesn't work, that doesn't mean Plan B doesn't work. It just means that now you have more information to help you find another solution.
How old was your dc? I definately don't want to do Plan with A and have not had any meltdowns around bedtime in the last few weeks. I have decided that the routine is key and that we need to try to be home and relaxing most evenings with only the rare exception.
I will try talking to DS, which I doubt will help. He knows he needs to sleep, because we've talked a lot about why sleep is important. He knows that a back rub will help him relax but refuses it because he doesn't want to sleep. I will try more collaboration, though. I hope it helps. He seems to be enjoying the idea of solving problems together. His problem solving is actually quite good. He can find any way to escape the house that he wants.

Thanks for the suggestions!!!
post #29 of 140
Well, we really got into Plan B when my dd was about 7?? So she was older.

However, we did bedtime Plan B with my littlest one when she was 3. That involved a lot less talking. Sometimes we'd talk through the problem solving, other times we'd just try stuff (in a "would you like to try a backrub tonight?" kind of way). And with her at age 3, going to bed earlier was key because it was when she was overtired that she refused to go to bed. When we moved her bedtime, we didn't even say anything, we just shifted our routine so that it started earlier.

I did find that with my two kids who resisted bedtime, once we experimented enough to find a few reliable ways to help them relax and to make bedtime pleasant and relaxed, they actually stopped resisting bedtime and began to ask to go to bed. They began to view it as something pleasant rather than something to resist. It took time, though, and a committment to being patient and present, and a lot of creativity. But it has brought a lasting, durable improvement.

Oh, and books on CD and CD's of nature sounds are popular for relaxing here. Also, there are some free children's meditations (that even my 4 year old likes) that you can download from iTunes.

Anyway, I'm rambling on and you haven't actually been having bedtime meltdowns. So I'll stop now. I just remember how hard it used to be for us.

Quote:
His problem solving is actually quite good. He can find any way to escape the house that he wants.
I'm sure it isn't funny when it happens, but That's a creative, determined child. Qualities that can serve a person well in life.
post #30 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sledg View Post
Anyway, I'm rambling on and you haven't actually been having bedtime meltdowns. So I'll stop now. I just remember how hard it used to be for us.


I'm sure it isn't funny when it happens, but That's a creative, determined child. Qualities that can serve a person well in life.
We have been using white noise of the ocean for several years now. I love it. It blocks out a lot of external noises.

I am on the verge of a meltdown about everyother night and so is he so these ideas are still very helpful. His stalling drives me crazy.

He can open the window and climb on to the hose holder, breaks open the kid proof door handle covers with his wooden sword, and uses a chair to reach the latch pull on the 6' foot fence. If he really wants, my attention he crosses the street and climbs the little maple tree across the street. Mostly he just turns on the water and plays with that or climbs all on top of the car. I can't believe that we've had to make most of this plan c issues. Except the street, which I trying to teach him to watch for cars.
post #31 of 140
I am rereading this book, as my little inflexible one is going through a tough time right now.

Two problems we have:

Me: So you don't want to____. What's up? Why don't you?
DD: I don't know.
Me: Is it because __________?
DD: No.
Me: Could it be___________?
DD: No.
Me: Can you think of a reason?
DD: I JUST DON'T WANT TO!!
Me:

Also:

Me: So you don't want to ______ because _________. The problem is, ________. Do you have any ideas about how we can solve this?
DD: No.
Me: How about we______?
DD: No. I don't like that idea.
Me: Well, then, how about we______?
DD: No. I don't like that idea either.
Me:

Um, help! For the record, though it sure doesn't sound like it in these examples. DD is an extremely verbal, creative, talkative kid.
post #32 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I am rereading this book, as my little inflexible one is going through a tough time right now.

Two problems we have:

Me: So you don't want to____. What's up? Why don't you?
DD: I don't know.
Me: Is it because __________?
DD: No.
Me: Could it be___________?
DD: No.
Me: Can you think of a reason?
DD: I JUST DON'T WANT TO!!
Me:

Also:

Me: So you don't want to ______ because _________. The problem is, ________. Do you have any ideas about how we can solve this?
DD: No.
Me: How about we______?
DD: No. I don't like that idea.
Me: Well, then, how about we______?
DD: No. I don't like that idea either.
Me:

Um, help! For the record, though it sure doesn't sound like it in these examples. DD is an extremely verbal, creative, talkative kid.
I have found that the transition TIME is the biggest issue. DS is just not ready in his head to move on to the next thing. He has been pretty good with the timer. When he's home he doesn't want to leave. When he's out he doesn't want to come home. I just hope someday it doesn't take us an hour or more to leave the house with 10 warnings and 2 resets of the timer. We not against bribery here to avoid a meltdown. For example, we went and got Gelatto that we ate at the resturant. I had DH get some doughnut holes for the kids to have in the car. I know it's bad but the alternative it much much worse especially in the evening. BTW DS fell asleep in car. He was crazy at the resturant though. We may not go for dinner for a while. Even when we eat outside he runs around and does crazy stuff.
post #33 of 140
Quick thoughts: change up the wording, stick with the empathy step longer maybe, have several conversations (it can take lots of time), maybe just try ideas (solutions) with less talking about it directly with her (this works with my 4 year old).

Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
Two problems we have:

Me: So you don't want to____. What's up? Why don't you?
DD: I don't know.
Me: Is it because __________?
DD: No.
Me: Could it be___________?
DD: No.
Me: Can you think of a reason?
DD: I JUST DON'T WANT TO!!
Me: Okay, I hear you. You just don't want to. Thing is, [I really need to go to work on time in the morning]. I wonder if there's a way for us to make it so [the morning is easier for you, and I still get to work on time]. or "I hear you. You don't want to get in the car and go pick up the kids. The thing is, they'll be waiting for us and they'll be scared if we're not there when they get out of school. What might we do to make going in the car better for you, and still get to the kids on time?"


Also:

Me: So you don't want to ______ because _________. I hear you. Sometimes I feel the same way. The problem isMy concern is ________. Do you have any ideas about how we can solve this? I wonder if there's a way for you to _______ and for me to ________. Do you have any ideas?
DD: No.
Me: How about we______?
DD: No. I don't like that idea.
Me: Well, then, how about we______?
DD: No. I don't like that idea either.
Me: Hmmm. What if we [insert crazy silly idea here]? (to connect, to laugh, to lighten it up--this sometimes gets mine talking)

Um, help! For the record, though it sure doesn't sound like it in these examples. DD is an extremely verbal, creative, talkative kid.
Could she be having trouble identifying and/or articulating her emotions and/or the problem? I find that my very verbal and articulate girl has difficulty when it comes to identifying and articulating her emotions and the problem. We found that working on this helped Plan B work better for us.
I may have something around here about "troubleshooting Plan B" which I can share with you but I'll need to dig it up tomorrow. Some things that get in the way of this working: one or both parties don't have the skills to engage fully in Plan B, too much emergency Plan B, having only one concern on the table, having solutions on the table instead of concerns ("I want pizza" is a solution, not a concern...."I'm hungry" is a concern).

eta: Dr. Greene says that it can take many attempts at Plan B before a child trusts it and willingly participates in it. So I think it's normal for it not to go smoothly at first, and this was our experience as well. As time went on, it became easier for all of us. Also, it's common to not find a durable solution the first time or two you address an issue with Plan B.
post #34 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by InochiZo View Post
I have found that the transition TIME is the biggest issue. DS is just not ready in his head to move on to the next thing. He has been pretty good with the timer. When he's home he doesn't want to leave. When he's out he doesn't want to come home.
This is DS too. To get him to leave the house, I sometimes don't even give him warnings and tell him right before we leave that we have to go somewhere. This results in fewer meltdowns.

When we're somewhere, I do tell him we have to leave in a few minutes, and he sometimes will say goodbyes right away and jolts out before I'm ready. I think those times he knows he's exhausted and needs to rest even though he's having a blast.

loraxc - your conversation sounds like ours! I think being empathetic is really the key - I was able to persuade him into laying down in bed one night (he was really tired) because I tried to empathsize w/ him rather than try to "bribe him" to go to bed.

sledg - Thank you for all your suggestions. My DS is like Zoe's - if something works to get him to sleep, he'll avoid it. So I usually have to change the bedtime routine quite often. I do start our bedtime routine at least an hour before bedtime so we'd have plenty of time, but it's really hard when it's still light out at 9:30pm, and a lot of kids are out playing. If I say stuff like "if you don't get enough sleep you're cranky the next day," he'll say "but I won't be!" He really knows what to say to avoid doing things he doesn't want to.
post #35 of 140
I do think part of it is just that she is verrry slow to transition, period. A LOT of our issues are about this. We sometimes joke that all our problems stem from her excessively long attention span! Given enough time, she often will do ____without much issue. We really try to accommodate this, but sometimes even a long time is not enough, and sometimes we just can't wait.

sledg, your good ideas are definitely duly noted. Yes, she does have trouble identifiying and naming emotions. I am trying to remember to do more role-playing with her. We did some the other day where we modeled "kind" and "rude" voices to each other and she keeps saying how much she liked doing this. This sort of amazes me because I was sure she comprehended this (and after all, she modeled the two voices perfectly!) but who knows....

I also know some of it is me. It is HARD for me to be empathetic at times--I try, and often say the "right" things, but I am sure my body language speaks for me-- and for all that she seems to have trouble understanding some social cues, she certainly does pick up on it when I am getting tense.
post #36 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I also know some of it is me. It is HARD for me to be empathetic at times--I try, and often say the "right" things, but I am sure my body language speaks for me-- and for all that she seems to have trouble understanding some social cues, she certainly does pick up on it when I am getting tense.
I hear ya. I need to be in a very good mood to be empathetic the whole time DS whines and resists. If I can keep myself together, then so can he. My tone of voice sometimes doesn't match what I'm saying if I'm frustrated, so I'm sure that doesn't help either.
post #37 of 140
Subbing - can't read it all yet, need to go to bed, but definitely need to be here!!
post #38 of 140
this is great to read. i appreciate the role playing dialogues! mine is also often the "no, i don't know, etc." conversationalist about this type of thing. (except in his case there's usually also several moments of "[silence].....what did you say?" as his attention wanders -- esp since turning 6!

i also feel like my body language doesn't always match what i'm saying. i really want to start to *connect* instead of distancing myself and feeling impatient with the situation when it gets loud and dramatic. i find it tricky (i think i posted this on another thread) to address the subject and the manner at the same time; i seem to either pick problem-solving whatever's the subject of the meltdown or addressing the meltdown itself-- any ideas about that?

also (i know, i know, i should read the book ) is plan b a concept that you explain to your child? or is it just something you keep in mind as your own approach? how is it different than just general/basic communicating and negotiating to find a mutually acceptable solution? totally feel free to just tell me to go read the darn thing, but maybe someone feels like it will help them understand it to explain to someone ?
post #39 of 140
Definitely read the book. You can get a nice overview at www.thinkkids.org. In particular, if you read the blog, both the parents blog and the clinicians blog have some examples of Plan B.

These are the three plans the book talks about. They are not a ranking system (so it's *not* that you use plan A for really important things, plan B for sort of important things, and plan C for things you don't care about), they are three separate approaches to parenting/addressing concerns.:

Plan A: addresses the parent's concern, not the child's, does not reduce meltdowns, does not teach skills (aka imposing the parent's will). This is best used when there is no time for Plan B.

Plan C: addresses the child's concern, not the parents' concerns, avoids meltdowns, but does not teach skills. (aka "let it go", child gets to do what child wants) This is best used for issues that are not currently a priority OR if the parent has no concern about the issue.

Plan B: addresses BOTH the child's concern and the adult's concern in a realistic manner that is satisfactory to both parties, reduces meltdowns, teaches skills. Plan B leads to durable solutions that work for parent and child. The goal is to find a mutually satisfactory, doable, realistic solution.

"A problem is two concerns that have yet to be reconciled."

Things that I think are different about Plan B:

1) It's problem solving, not negotiating. When we "give a little" in Plan B, we're not giving up getting our concerns met--we're letting go of particular solutions we think we need in order to meet that concern. KWIM?

2) In Plan B there's an emphasis on getting at what the actual concern of each party is. Often negotiations get stuck because the parties involved are focused on the solutions they want, thinking of those solutions as their concerns. We all do this to some extent. Problem solving gets much easier when we "drill down" (Greene's words) to concerns. This is what the empathy step is all about. It's not "oh, that does sound hard." It's reflective listening and neutral questions in order to get to what the actual concern is. It's a very important step.

3) In Plan B the emphasis is on problem solving proactively. If you're doing Plan B once the problem has already begun (your child has already said "I want pizza" while you're driving to an appointment and want to be on time), that's emergency Plan B. Emergency Plan B can work, but relying on emergency Plan B too much is not going to help in the long run. It's important to be as proactive as possible. Meltdowns tend to actually be very predictable, once you start to keep track. This is good, because it allows us to sit down before a problem is happening and problem solve.

4) The idea is that "children do well if they can." Children act out when the demands of a situation outstrip their ability to respond adaptively. If a child is melting down frequently, it's not that they need more motivation, they need to learn or improve skills. There are numerous cognitive, emotional, social, and language skills that are required for any of us to handle frustration adaptively. So in order to help our kids have fewer meltdowns, we need to help them learn these skills. Plan B goes a very long way toward helping them learn these skills, they learn them as we engage in Plan B with them and model those skills. *example: My child needed to learn to be more aware of, better identify, and better communicate her emotions in order to be less aggressive. Part of Plan B was figuring this out, by talking to her and observing her, then finding ways of helping her learn these skills. This was very proactive work, not something we just did when she started fighting with her siblings. This was "hey, she can't communicate this stuff well, we're going to work all day every day on helping her learn to do this."

5) The more important the problem, the more it needs to be addressed with Plan B. A lot of parenting approaches are some version of picking your battles, and when it comes to safety issues it's all about mom and dad imposing their will. But Dr. Greene, and I agree with him, thinks that safety issues are so very important that if they are at all likely to come up again, they need to be addressed with Plan B. Plan B is what gets you durable solutions. So yes, I need to use Plan A when my child is about to run into the road, but if there's any possibility that might happen again we need to address this issue with Plan B.

That is my brief take on what makes Plan B different, and so wonderful. (I feel I should say that although I love Plan B, and have been to workshops to learn it better, and have gotten better at it, I still feel like I suck at it too often: it's not super easy to learn to do, mainly because it really is a very different way of viewing kids and parenting than what most of us were raised with. Even just getting in the habit of getting to concerns rather than solutions can be a lot harder than it sounds. And this, apparently, is a very common experience of parents trying to learn Plan B.)

I don't know if I actually explained all this to my explosive child. I think I just said something like "I've noticed......I'd like to work this out together with you, because your feelings and what you need matter to me a lot" as a preface to trying to problem solve the first several times. She was, I think, 7 when we started this in earnest. I have used this approach with my other children, too, (it's how I strive to parent, I think it's a great approach for all kids) but have never formally explained it to them. Just jumped in. I might sometimes remind them "I want to work this out with you" or "I want to help you."

Staying calm and really being present with them to do this is a challenge for me, when we're trying to address an issue as it's occurring or about to occur. And they do sense when I'm impatient/too frustrated/too angry and not really letting go of my agenda in order to listen. This is why Plan B is best as a proactive approach, outside that frustrating moment. And sometimes, you do just have to decide to talk about it later because now is not a good time for whatever reason for whichever person.

eat I've totally rambled, but this has been so good for me. I needed the reminder. Thanks.
post #40 of 140
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Originally Posted by honeysesame View Post
i also feel like my body language doesn't always match what i'm saying. i really want to start to *connect* instead of distancing myself and feeling impatient with the situation when it gets loud and dramatic. i find it tricky (i think i posted this on another thread) to address the subject and the manner at the same time; i seem to either pick problem-solving whatever's the subject of the meltdown or addressing the meltdown itself-- any ideas about that?
My DS tends to reflect any angry feels, frustration, or anxiety 2-3 fold. So I find that I have to be super calm with all my interactions. It I am too directive he have this ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) reaction so it is best to not critisize what he is doing in the moment. I think modulating our feelings and staying calm is very important and difficult at least for me. I tend to hit a limit sometimes and go over the edge myself.
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