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“A kid shouldn't need a diagnosis to access help.”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
“The long-term answer to a kid not caring about your concerns is to care more about his.”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
“The reality is that well-behaved students aren’t behaving themselves because of the school discipline program. They’re behaving themselves because they have the skills to handle life’s challenges in an adaptive fashion.”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
“We all want our own way; some of us have the skills to get our own way adaptively, and some of us don’t.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Behaviorally challenging kids are challenging because they’re lacking the skills to not be challenging.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“If the only time a child looks as if he has bipolar disorder is when he’s frustrated, that’s not bipolar disorder; that’s a learning disability in the domains of flexibility and frustration tolerance.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“It’s time to stop blaming parents for challenging behavior that occurs at school. While it is true that some behaviorally challenging kids go home to family situations that are not ideal, it is also true that many well-behaved students come from family situations that are not ideal. Blaming parents is a counterproductive dead end, and it makes it much harder for school staff to focus on the things they can actually do something about: unsolved problems and lagging skills. Parents of behaviorally challenging kids get much more blame than they deserve for their kids’ difficulties, just as parents of well-behaved kids get much more credit than they deserve for their kids’ positive attributes.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child
“The essential function of challenging behavior is to communicate to adults that a kid doesn’t possess the skills to handle certain demands in certain situations.”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
“An explosive outburst—like other forms of maladaptive behavior—occurs when the cognitive demands being placed upon a person outstrip that person’s capacity to respond adaptively.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“vast majority of challenging kids already know how we want them to behave. They know they’re supposed to do what they’re told. They know they’re not supposed to disrupt the learning of their classmates or run out of the school when they’re upset or embarrassed. And they know they’re not supposed to hit people, swear, or call out in class. So they don’t need us to put lots of effort into teaching them how we want them to behave. And while this may be hard to believe, most challenging kids already want to behave the right way. They don’t need us to continue giving them stickers, depriving them of recess, or suspending them from school; they’re already motivated. They need something else from us.”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
“It’s crucial to go beyond merely concluding that a student’s challenging behavior gets him something he wants (for example, attention), allows him to escape and avoid tasks and situations that are difficult, uncomfortable, tedious, or scary, and is therefore “working.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Most people can’t imagine how humiliating it is to be scared of your own daughter,” says Debbie. “People who don’t have a child like Jennifer don’t have a clue about what it’s like to live like this. Believe me, this is not what I envisioned when I dreamed of having children. This is a nightmare. “You can’t imagine the embarrassment of having Jennifer ‘lose it’ around people who don’t know her. I feel like telling them, ‘I have another kid at home who doesn’t act like this—I really am a good parent!’ “I know people are thinking, ‘What wimpy parents she must have . . . what that kid really needs is a good thrashing.’ Believe me, we’ve tried everything with her. But nobody’s been able to tell us how to help her. No one’s really been able to tell us what’s the matter with her! “I used to think of myself as a kind, patient, sympathetic person. But Jennifer has caused me to act in ways in which I never thought myself capable. I’m emotionally spent. I can’t keep living like this. “Each time I start to get my hopes up, each time I have a pleasant interaction with Jennifer, I let myself become a little optimistic and start to like her again . . . and then it all comes crashing down with her next outburst. I’m ashamed to say it, but a lot of the time I really don’t like her, and I definitely don’t like what she’s doing to our family. We are in a constant state of crisis. “I know a lot of other parents whose kids give them a little trouble sometimes . . . you know, like my son. But Jennifer is in a completely different league! It makes me feel very alone.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Illusions are the truths we live by until we know better. —NANCY GIBBS”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Diagnoses —such as ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, an autism spectrum disorder, reactive attachment disorder, the newly coined disruptive mood regulation disorder, or any other disorder—can be helpful in some ways. They “validate” that there’s something different about your kid, for example. But they can also be counterproductive in that they can cause caregivers to focus more on a child’s challenging behaviors rather than on the lagging skills and unsolved problems giving rise to those behaviors. Also, diagnoses suggest that the problem resides within the child and that it’s the child who needs to be fixed. The reality is that it takes two to tango. Let there be no doubt, there’s something different about your child. But you are part of the mix as well. How you understand and respond to the hand you’ve been dealt is essential to helping your child.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Solving problems together? Yes, indeed. You and your child are going to be allies, not adversaries. Partners, not enemies.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Challenging kids are lacking the skills of flexibility, adaptability, frustration tolerance, and problem solving, skills most of us take for granted.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Half of teachers leave the profession within their first four years, and kids with behaviour challenges and their parents are cited as one of the major reasons.”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
“Whether a kid is sulking, pouting, whining, withdrawing, refusing to talk, crying, spitting, screaming, swearing, running out of the classroom, kicking, hitting, destroying property, or worse, you won’t know what to do about the challenging behavior until you understand why it’s occurring (lagging skills) and pinpoint the specific situations in which it occurs (unsolved problems). Lagging skills are the why of challenging behavior. Unsolved problems tell us when the behavior is occurring.”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
“In the CPS model, holding a kid accountable means that the kid is participating in a process in which he’s identifying and articulating his own concerns or perspectives, taking yours into account, and working toward a realistic and mutually satisfactory solution”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
“Still other parents may embark on a behavior management program with an initial burst of enthusiasm, energy, and vigilance but become less enthusiastic, energetic, and vigilant over time. These parents often return to their old, familiar patterns of parenting.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“QUESTION: Isn’t it the parents’ job to make their child behave at school? ANSWER: Helping a child deal more adaptively with frustration is everyone’s job. The parents aren’t there when the child has challenging episodes at school.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“The reason reward and punishment strategies haven’t helped is because they won’t teach your child the skills he’s lacking or solve the problems that are contributing to challenging episodes.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Your energy can be devoted far more productively to collaborating with your child on solutions to the problems that are causing challenging episodes than in sticking with strategies that may actually have made things worse and haven’t led to durable improvement.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Challenging behavior occurs when the demands being placed upon a child outstrip the skills he has to respond adaptively to those demands.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“thought than emotion, and that’s good. Children whose skills in this domain are lacking tend to respond to problems or frustrations with less thought and more emotion, and that’s not good at all. They may actually feel themselves “heating up” but often are unable to stem the emotional tide until later, when the emotions have subsided and rational thought has kicked back in. Then they’re often remorseful for what happened when they were upset. They may even have the knowledge to deal successfully with problems and can actually demonstrate such knowledge under calmer circumstances. But when they’re frustrated, their powerful emotions prevent them from accessing and using what they know.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“If you respond to a child who’s having difficulty putting his emotions aside so as to think through solutions by imposing your will more intensively and “teaching him who’s the boss,” you probably won’t help him manage his emotions. Quite the opposite, in fact.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“See, guys, I have a little problem. Actually, it’s turning into a big problem. I’m not very good at being flexible, handling frustration, and solving problems. And you—and lots of other people—expect me to handle changes in plans, being told what to do, and things not going the way I thought they would as well as other kids. When you expect these things, I start to get frustrated, and then I have trouble thinking clearly, and then I get even more frustrated. Then you guys get frustrated, and that just makes things worse. Then I start doing things I wish I didn’t do and saying things I wish I didn’t say. Then you sometimes do things you wish you didn’t do and say things you wish you didn’t say. Then you punish me, and it gets really messy. After the dust settles—you know, when I start thinking clearly again—I end up being really sorry for the things I did and said. I know this isn’t fun for you, but rest assured, I’m not having any fun either.”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Our overview of lagging skills is now complete. Of course, that was just a sampling. Here’s a more complete, though hardly exhaustive, list, including those we just reviewed: > Difficulty handling transitions, shifting from one mind-set or task to another > Difficulty doing things in a logical sequence or prescribed order > Difficulty persisting on challenging or tedious tasks > Poor sense of time > Difficulty maintaining focus > Difficulty considering the likely outcomes or consequences of actions (impulsive) > Difficulty considering a range of solutions to a problem > Difficulty expressing concerns, needs, or thoughts in words > Difficulty understanding what is being said > Difficulty managing emotional response to frustration so as to think rationally > Chronic irritability and/or anxiety significantly impede capacity for problem-solving or heighten frustration > Difficulty seeing the “grays”/concrete, literal, black-and-white thinking > Difficulty deviating from rules, routine > Difficulty handling unpredictability, ambiguity, uncertainty, novelty > Difficulty shifting from original idea, plan, or solution > Difficulty taking into account situational factors that would suggest the need to adjust a plan of action > Inflexible, inaccurate interpretations/cognitive distortions or biases (e.g., “Everyone’s out to get me,” “Nobody likes me,” “You always blame me,” “It’s not fair,” “I’m stupid”) > Difficulty attending to or accurately interpreting social cues/poor perception of social nuances > Difficulty starting conversations, entering groups, connecting with people/lacking basic social skills > Difficulty seeking attention in appropriate ways > Difficulty appreciating how his/her behavior is affecting other people > Difficulty empathizing with others, appreciating another person’s perspective or point of view > Difficulty appreciating how s/he is coming across or being perceived by others > Sensory/motor difficulties”
Ross W. Greene, The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
“Does the way we’re disciplining kids in our schools address the actual factors that set the stage for kids’ social, emotional, and behavioral challenges?”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them
“Challenging behavior occurs when the demands and expectations being placed upon a child outstrip the skills he has to respond adaptively.”
Ross W. Greene, Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them

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