The Explosive Child - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 12 Old 11-06-2008, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
ann_of_loxley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gloucestershire, UK
Posts: 5,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Has anyone here read this book?
What did you think?

I have just started the book. It was lent to me by a friend from our home ed group. I am only on chapter five...but I have to say...So far it is looking like a book for us. A lot of the children in the book describe DS and his frustrations and outburts...his explosivness! - so well! I am looking forward to reading more and getting down to the good stuff! hehe
But wanted to hear from people who have read it!

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
ann_of_loxley is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 12 Old 11-06-2008, 08:04 PM
 
storychick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 678
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I liked it... okay. I read the whole thing waiting for "the good stuff" and never quite felt like I got there! I mean, the bits about the "baskets" was useful -- we were doing that, to some extent anyway, but it was good to have it defined for us why and helped us clarify what was an "A" issue at any given time -- but it didn't give me what I really hoped for, which was how to deal with the rage while it was happening.

Its been a few years, though, so maybe I am mis-remembering?

I hope its useful for you!
storychick is offline  
#3 of 12 Old 11-06-2008, 08:04 PM
 
2boyzmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dayton, Oh WPAFB
Posts: 5,911
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No, but I've read Raising Your Spirited Child, I think written by the same people, and it was extremely helpful for us!!! I always recommend it to other parents. I'm glad you like Explosive Child!

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
2boyzmama is offline  
#4 of 12 Old 11-07-2008, 12:39 PM
 
MoMaria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2boyzmama View Post
No, but I've read Raising Your Spirited Child, I think written by the same people, and it was extremely helpful for us!!! I always recommend it to other parents. I'm glad you like Explosive Child!
I have read both, and LOVED raising your spirited child! I still pull it out here and there as my kids get older, (when I first read it my oldest was 4, and my dd was 2 ish.) We were just begining our jounrey to discover that my son has Aspergers Syndrome.. We got through the rough stuff, and used suggestions and insight from both books.. Now he is 8 and is beautifully eccentric, and super smart. He is also my mellow kid, whod have thought!
~Maria~ (needs to make a siggy!)
MoMaria is offline  
#5 of 12 Old 11-07-2008, 01:33 PM
 
Magella's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,445
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've read it and love it. It's helped us enormously.
Magella is offline  
#6 of 12 Old 11-07-2008, 06:03 PM
 
Miss Information's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: in my imagination
Posts: 2,469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm reading the book too, after I got this link from another board.

Here is a link of a care-giver handout to summarize and help implement the text. I hope it helps.

http://www.fcbcsupport.org/pdf/caregiverhandout.pdf

To me, it makes a whole lot of sense, to take care of potential problems when they are small and not implement traditional behavioral modifications that only induce meltdowns (even knowing that they don't work).

With my dd2 (the one with an anxiety disorder and selective mutism), time-outs, spankings, behavioral rewards/punishments never worked for dd. I only found out through this book why. In the middle of her meltdowns, she has no capacity to remember what she may have learned from the last time she got punished. Those types of behavioral modifications only drove a wedge between us and instilled hatred in her for me.

I have the daunting task of helping her with her emotions, turning down her intensity, and helping her reach mutually agreeable solutions.

Yes, I think it's a wonderful book, and I'm not even done with it yet.

I thought the Spirited Child book was too much info about trying to figure out what the child's issues are. I didn't find it very helpful, but I also gave up before I got to the end. Maybe they are there, but I haven't revisited the book in a long time.

But, I do like her other book, Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles. That was more of a how-to be an emotional coach than an intimidator. Still need to work more on that book in conjunction with the Explosive Child.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
Miss Information is offline  
#7 of 12 Old 11-07-2008, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
ann_of_loxley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gloucestershire, UK
Posts: 5,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for that link!...I know see what 'baskets' is hehe

I have never read the spirited child book. I do not think that fits DS at all. The highly sensitive child is much more him. But he has some serious frustration issues and these bursts, in these many mini meltdowns..he just seems so angry! And then its over. And its clear he had no control at all over what just happened.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book. But right now I have to say I am feeling really helpless. The book seems to come at a place where we already are. (so I sort of feel I am already at the end of the tunnel, but am still seeing no light iykwim) I did not start off with your 'mainstream' parenting of punishments/rewards/time-outs/etc. (I wont even go there - I know it wont 'help' either for more than one reason!) We live, try our best at least!, consensually.

I think the problem actually tends to be more with me. My patience surprises me but its like...it builds up and up and up and then I just cant take it anymore and end up shouting or something and its like we are back to square one. Its hard to have empathy during one of his meltdowns. But I know that this is my issue and not his. I am also reading 'Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves' which seems to cover some of this.

I guess my fault is that I am trying to find a way to fix this. To help his meltdowns eventually cease. I guess this is not possible? I dont know. I feel like I do everything right and then he comes out with something like kicking and hitting me and I am like wtf! - where did he get this from?! Why is he so angry!

Ugh...can you tell we had a bad day? lol

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
ann_of_loxley is offline  
#8 of 12 Old 11-07-2008, 08:33 PM
 
Magella's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2,445
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You can work with him to reduce meltdowns.

Try this website about The Explosive Child: www.thinkkids.org The link MissInformation gave you is good also, and there is a message board on that website (and there are a couple of people there who give very helpful advice and support).

I think an excellent place to start is by observing when his meltdowns happen, because they do tend to be predictable--and being proactive, addressing problems before they're happening, is the key. I find this Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems to be very helpful as I think about triggers and what skills my child needs in order to do better. (And as a side note, really they made some refinements to the approach at some point and the latest version of the book is better--I think the date on the newest book is 2005? I read an older version, and the newest makes more sense overall).

Also, I have found that there are a few ways in which Plan B "goes wrong." One is to be doing "emergency" Plan B too often--waiting until a problem is already happening to try to engage in Plan B (example: child has just said "I'm hungry" while riding in the car. The problem has begun. Now we are in emergency Plan B). Sometimes it's unavoidable/unexpected, but since triggers tend to be predictable it's better to be proactive (so, for example my dd has difficulty with transitions. I know this, so we can address this before a transition is upon us). This is my most common difficulty with the collaborative problem solving approach. There are other ways that Plan B can get derailed, but those are also in the book so I won't go off on that tangent.

One thing to keep in mind is that often meltdowns can't be stopped once begun. I found that with my dd, any attempts at talking or empathy were often just too much for her once she began to really melt down. There would be this point, sometimes, when I could engage her thinking brain (by, say, asking her to do some math or commenting on some interesting subject/object), pulling her out of her emotional state enough to prevent a complete meltdown. Empathy would send her further into meltdown, particularly if it was very wordy empathy. Many times, however, it happened too fast to pull her into her thinking brain. Once she was in full meltdown I would just stay nearby quietly and as calmly as I could, and we'd ride it out.

I found that with my dd, one of her triggers was frustration/conflict in sibling interactions. They were predictable in the sense that we knew these always happened when a sibling did not do something she wanted them to do, and in the sense that there would often be a change in the tone of her voice that told us she was getting frustrated. Now, there was only so much we could do in terms of facilitating problem solving between the kids--and doing this once we knew there was a problem was emergency plan b, and we got stuck there with no progress for quite awhile. (eta We then tried to be proactive, and focused on problem solving with dd about ways in which she could handle conflict with her siblings without becoming aggressive or melting down (invitation: "I wonder if there's a way that you can tell your siblings you're angry/frustrated and solve the problem, and everyone can be safe..."). Despite a lot of effort, this approach didn't work either.) We found that we had to get much more proactive and creative in this case, and dd wasn't able to come up with solutions. The solution we eventually came to was to sort of go back to basics in helping her learn emotional skills and coping skills-how to recognize her feelings (starting with the good ones), what to call them, what helps her feel good/how to calm herself: all outside the moment of sibling conflict. Then eventually we'd say "oh, you just got home from school. Maybe now is a good time to take a break instead of playing with your siblings right away." Later we'd hear that tone creep into her voice and suggest "hey, how about a break right now? You sound frustrated." And at about this time if she did start to meltdown, we'd empathize with literally one word ("angry." pause "you're angry.") said with some feeling/tone to it that sort of reflected (but did not mock) what she was feeling. And so on. I'm happy to say that she rarely melts down now, and aggression is also rare (where it was once a huge problem). And now we can facilitate Plan B amongst the siblings more successfully. She just had to learn some skills first. So all this to say: sometimes you have to think very far outside the box, get very creative, and seek ideas from others (we worked with a family therapist, who gave us lots of positive, proactive ideas). Sometimes Plan B doesn't work because a child lacks sufficient skills for it to work, and those skills need to be learned first.

A good companion book to The Explosive Child, imo, is Raising A Thinking Child which focuses on ways of helping a child develop the skills they need to handle frustration and conflict. And developing skills is really what the approach in The Explosive Child is all about. The collaborative problem solving approach is a great way to teach skills, but sometimes a child needs more than that too. Sometimes those skills need a little direct (and creative) teaching.

Try not to get too discouraged. It is possible for things to get better. You can do it. Also, from your sig it looks like he's 3. 3 is hard. It will very likely get better. Maturity can do wonders.
Magella is offline  
#9 of 12 Old 11-08-2008, 04:01 PM
 
HomeBirthMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Dingoland
Posts: 4,765
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just finished reading it. Wow! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from me just knowing that I'm not alone in parenting an explosive child. We have just put dd (almost 9) in counseling and we're really hoping this approach helps bring some peace to our family. We have a lot of changes to make (especially dh, who is a "punishment" person).

Question: Do you think we need to contact the school about using this approach if she's never had any problems there? They know she's having trouble b/c of her not doing her homework, etc., but she's never had any blow-ups there.

Paige, mama to three girls, (10), (8) and (3)
HomeBirthMommy is offline  
#10 of 12 Old 11-08-2008, 04:47 PM
 
Miss Information's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: in my imagination
Posts: 2,469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ann_of_loxley View Post
Thanks for that link!...I know see what 'baskets' is hehe

I have never read the spirited child book. I do not think that fits DS at all. The highly sensitive child is much more him. But he has some serious frustration issues and these bursts, in these many mini meltdowns..he just seems so angry! And then its over. And its clear he had no control at all over what just happened.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book. But right now I have to say I am feeling really helpless. The book seems to come at a place where we already are. (so I sort of feel I am already at the end of the tunnel, but am still seeing no light iykwim) I did not start off with your 'mainstream' parenting of punishments/rewards/time-outs/etc. (I wont even go there - I know it wont 'help' either for more than one reason!) We live, try our best at least!, consensually.

I think the problem actually tends to be more with me. My patience surprises me but its like...it builds up and up and up and then I just cant take it anymore and end up shouting or something and its like we are back to square one. Its hard to have empathy during one of his meltdowns. But I know that this is my issue and not his. I am also reading 'Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves' which seems to cover some of this.

I guess my fault is that I am trying to find a way to fix this. To help his meltdowns eventually cease. I guess this is not possible? I dont know. I feel like I do everything right and then he comes out with something like kicking and hitting me and I am like wtf! - where did he get this from?! Why is he so angry!

Ugh...can you tell we had a bad day? lol
I did not start off with mainstream parenting. I discovered AP with my first child. Only when my second child who was having meltdowns every single day starting at about 3 was I falling into a trap of using traditional methods, partly because I was beyond hope to get her to stop her tantrums and meltdowns.

Things that were AP and intuitive with dd1 worked like a charm. She turned from a high needs baby into a very agreeable toddler and preschooler. After APing my second as an infant, she continued to have high needs and turned into a very unhappy/difficult/clingy/unmanageable toddler and preschooler. Unfortunately, I had zero energy to meet her needs because I had my third child by then.

Everything that I learned with dd1 (as far as APing an infant and toddler went), didn't work with dd2 because her needs became more complex, not less over time.

I became angry and resentful at dd2, at myself for not figuring it out how to get through to her. Her intensity, her negativism, her clinginess, her chronic meltdowns is what made me turn punitive for a while. I was at my wit's end, and even went on antidepressants for a while, because there was a rage building inside me (partly due to hormones too because I was still breastfeeding my then 2 year old who was having her own issues - her speech delay caused her to scream at me often because I did not understand what she wanted half the time). A rage started to build in me because no one had to see or deal with some of the things she did. Where opening up a granola bar package the wrong way sent dd into a 15 minute meltdown complete with tears and wails. Where walking two blocks ended up in a wailing meltdown and a refusal to walk any further until I picked her up when she was almost 4. A rage built up in me because I gave up my successful career in science only to be an absolute failure in parenting.

Over time, it was like nails scraping on a blackboard to me. I had to find help. I read book after book, with no real direction. I understood, but I could not implement things in the books I read.

I actually turned to the school system for help. I had her screened at the state early intervention preschool program. Only she would not participate (only found out months later why she wouldn't participate). Her meltdowns never went away. Some days we went without incident, but most days she was falling apart about something.

When I still needed help, I quite by accident was tipped off by my mother of all people about selective mutism. I was about to brush it off when I realized that what I read about it fit many aspects of dd, including her bossiness, rigidity and tantrums/meltdowns(in addition to her not speaking at school). She was additionally diagnosed with generalized anxiety and separation anxiety. Something that still plagues her at 5 years old. She still begs me to lay down with her until she falls asleep because she is afraid of dreaming of monsters.

But even having a diagnosis in hand isn't good enough until you can work on the problem.

For some children, emotional self-regulation is a natural extension of there development. For others, they need to be taught good emotional awareness and problem solving skills to deal with conflict. And this, I'm finding out is a long, slow process.

As I see it, we need to teach them when they are not in the heat of the moments and help them through the heated moments. Eventually, the goal is to head things off at the beginning because things are easier to deal with when they are small. In time, there should be less and less issues as the child assimilates emotional self-regulation.

Same thing with your own feelings. Letting things build and build and ignoring your own stress cues (the headache, the shaky feeling of "here we go again" and I'm not in the mood for it, the butterflies in your stomach because you can see something brewing in your child) cause you to blow up (not necessarily you personally, but the general you).

So what, does one do about it?

Out of all the books and things I've read, this is a distillation of what will work.

1. Help the child properly identify feelings. Using books, social stories, puppets, pictures from magazines, to give the child "words" to describe situations he has been in the past. Without a feelings vocabulary, the child can't articulate what's wrong.

2. Identifying stress signals in your child. Ask them how their bodies feel when they are mad/frustrated/scared/happy/calm. One conversation with dd led her to tell me that when she was frustrated, she felt like hitting someone (though, it's been years since she actually did that).

3. Reflect the feelings of the child. Acknowledging that something hurts/frustrates/makes them mad etc.

4. Give them some tools to help them calm down so they can think straight what to do next. That might be deep breathing, listening to music, being held, rocked, or actually left alone if that's what they prefer. Make a picture choice card of things they can do. Pull out the picture card to remind them.

5. Give them options to defuse their feelings if normal calming techniques don't work. Running, jumping jacks, jumping on an excercise ball, primal screaming (only if you aren't sensitive to noise), acting silly, bear hugs, etc. Gross motor movement helps diffuse the intensity. Make a picture choice card of things they can do. Pull out the picture card to remind them.

6. Once they are calm, tell them you will help them figure out solutions that are agreeable to them and to you or to the other child if they want you to.

For instance, taking turns, using a timer, sharing toys would be viable options for sharing issues. Hitting, yelling, hurting another persons feelings are not.

Over time, however long as it takes, the child will internalize the lessons. But, the key to the Explosive child (and this is common sense) is to get to the child before things get too far gone in the meantime.

Here is a Kid's Problem Solving Binder I've been putting together for the past few weeks. I can pm you links to things I've found if you are interested.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
Miss Information is offline  
#11 of 12 Old 11-08-2008, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
ann_of_loxley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gloucestershire, UK
Posts: 5,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
I became angry and resentful at dd2, at myself for not figuring it out how to get through to her. Her intensity, her negativism, her clinginess, her chronic meltdowns is what made me turn punitive for a while. I was at my wit's end, and even went on antidepressants for a while, because there was a rage building inside me (partly due to hormones too because I was still breastfeeding my then 2 year old who was having her own issues - her speech delay caused her to scream at me often because I did not understand what she wanted half the time). A rage started to build in me because no one had to see or deal with some of the things she did. Where opening up a granola bar package the wrong way sent dd into a 15 minute meltdown complete with tears and wails. Where walking two blocks ended up in a wailing meltdown and a refusal to walk any further until I picked her up when she was almost 4.
Thank you for that. This is exactly how I am beginning to feel and I do not want to get myself in a downward spiral from here! You have been very helpful.

I am liking your problem solving binder. I can see that be more useful for DS when he is older though. However, this is the second time flash cards have been mentioned to me this week. (DS also has a hard time with transitions - someone suggested I make him flash cards of things so he knows what is coming next, especially if a transition has to happen quicker than expected/unexpectedly.)... But where can I get the pictures for these things? and feelings? Some of the pictures I see you have in your problem solving binder look really good! Where did you get those?

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
ann_of_loxley is offline  
#12 of 12 Old 11-08-2008, 10:06 PM
 
Miss Information's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: in my imagination
Posts: 2,469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://www.clipsahoy.com/ for some of the pictures for calming strategies (look under leisure), and household chores, school and personal care pictures.

http: //www.speakingofspeech.com/Materials_Exchange.html (cut and paste to a new browser window, click on social pragmatics for free social stories with pictures. take out the space btw http: and //, because I don't want it directly linked back to MDC since their materials, while free, still have copyrights on them. You can use them only for your "case load", which, to me, means professional use and not necessarily parents. So, I don't know if there is any problem with that. At that website, I got the "I feel Frustrated When..." emotions stuff, and the "Tantrums don't help me solve a problem" social story.


http://www.vanderbilt.edu/csefel/pra...trategies.html (the "I can use my words" social story is toward the top of the page, the soultion kit pictures is down further).

http://www.setbc.org/pictureset/ (more free printables PECs)

Dd2 is very visually oriented. She loves the book.

HTH

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
Miss Information is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off