Explosive Child - any negative opinions?


Trying to save the day.
I have ordered this book but have not received it, so obviously I haven't read it yet. I have seen so much support and positive reviews of the book, so I'm just wondering, is there anyone on this forum who does not like it or who disagrees with it? Or should I say, anyone brave enough to admit it among so many supporters? :wink: I have no opinion since I haven't read it yet, but I really like to hear both sides when it comes to issues like this.

I'm sure we could have 100's of supporters respond to this thread within minutes, so please only respond if you are not a supporter and tell me why. Thanks!


Well-Known Member
Ok...I will be the first to admit you cannot work on all issues at the same time which is basically what baskets is about but I am not going to say I agree with this book fully either.

Nope...Im too authoritative to sit down for a compromise talk about certain things. At some point things are going to be done simply because Im the parent, they are the kids and guess what...I said so. And yes I whipped their behinds when they needed it. Maybe I should have continued it much longer with the youngest...lol.

The older two are perfectly fine, upstanding citizens. They know how to obey the law...in fact the middle one is THE LAW! They learned to listen to authority because their are rules in society and to be successful you have to follow those rules. It started in our home. Why the youngest cant get with the program is anyones guess.


Active Member
I agree that the techniques in the book made our house much calmer and that kids don't set out to be "bad". We never made any progress forward in our house with the baskets, however. So while I agree with the basic premise in the book, I am not as much of a fan as most on this board. I will admit, it might not have been possible to make any forward progress without fixing the cause of difficult child's ODD.


New Member
I found some useful stuff in this book, but it sure wasn't a cure-all. In particular, it suggested that I should be able to identify triggers that set off tantrums, etc., by careful observation. Neither I, nor my husband, nor my difficult child's teachers were able to find any consistent predictors. (There were a few things, but we already knew about those before the book...) But there is plenty of good stuff in the book--that's for sure.


Well-Known Member
Okay, I'll bite. (Just don't bite back. :eek:)

You're supposed to re-do your thinking so you figure out solutions to problems with-your difficult child, rather than just commanding over and over.
The assumptions are that A) You're never in a rush, or have never gotten sick and still had to run a household, B) Your difficult child will tell you what is truly bothering him so you will actually have a handle on the whole thing (versus one who, even in the best of moods, refuses to participate or cannot even recall the incident!), C) a difficult child who never changes his mind and is always consistent (such as my difficult child, who hates to swallow pills and actually chews his Adderal (ew!) and makes a big deal out of it, so I make an appointment. with-the pediatrician to get a scrip for a skin patch for a similar medication, (remember difficult child told us he hates to chew/swallow his pill and we've come up with-a mutually agreed upon solution) and then has a hissy fit in the dr's ofc because even looking at the photo of the skin patch is awful, is sticky like a BandAid and will slow down his running during baseball), D) You have the time and patience to change your plan ea time it doesn't work, and go back to Square 1, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

At it's worst, and on it's face, it can strike one as a hand-holding, coddling, "What-do-you-want-for-breakfast-Perfect-King-on-a-Throne-Your-Majesty-I'll-make-you-anything-you-want-incl-a-Martha-Stewart-souffle-at-5 a.m.-as-long-as-you-can-put-it-into-words" apologist tome.
:grin: :wink: (Wow, I should get a job as a poison pen writer!)

Despite all of that, the book is very helpful. (Oops, I'm not supposed to say that! ;)) Mostly, I like the idea that some kids, my difficult child incl, have brains with-areas that haven't developed simultaneously nor developmentally. They are lagging behind emotionally, just as some kids lag behind in math. They have not developed coping skills and verbal skills to express fear, anger and frustration. They must be taught, step by step. That insight alone is worth the cover price.

Sorry, I tried to keep it all negative. I tried. I really did.


Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I really like the book and we use the baskets a lot-I really can't have everything be a battle with difficult child-it has been a huge help. difficult child's neuropsychologist, whom I really like and we have been meeting with isn't a huge fan though. He is more a Barkley fan with a twist of Explosive child thrown in.


Well-Known Member
I felt the hardest part was getting all the caregivers on the same page. I found that actually writing out what was what helped.


New Member
I agree with Janet and Terry.

I don't have the book; I have the DVD. I get the idea of the baskets. I have tried to do a lot of Basket B - some if not much of it has worked well. This is when life is fairly predictable :bravo: When it is not, it's Basket A baby (the authoritative "because-I'm-the-mom-and-you're-the-kid" parent) :warrior:

I have actually learned to use some Basket C too (the "let it go" decision). :wink:

The stuff we're dealing with now: A)difficult child is too bossy with classmates ... B)If something is difficult to learn - difficult child digs in his heels and wants to do it "his way". This can create an argument with his teacher - beside his parents. In these situations, Basket B doesn't work very well; like, if difficult child refuses to wear a glove to play baseball for instance; or decides that using his hands in soccer *should* be allowed. Sorry, ain't no compromise there. :frown:


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Oksy, I'll admit it. I didn't like the book either. It struck me as too namby pamby ~ I liked Terry's "king on the throne" comment.

I much prefer Dr. John Rosemond's approach to parenting. I wish that I had read his books when my girls were younger.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I took what I could use out of that book & utilized it to fit into our home & our situation. I've also used a couple of other books & combined various ideas to fit the tweedles needs.


Active Member
It's not a cure, it never can be. All I found is that it helps us manage things much, much better. And then we began to do well enough to get into a positive feedback loop and things REALLY began to improve.

The criticisms expressed - I agree with them. You need time, sometimes, which we haven't got. You can't always (and sometimes never) see the triggers early enough to prevent them, all you can do is try. And you don't do nearly as well if you haven't got all caregivers on the same page.

I know Janna said that it didn't help her, she used to get really angry when people kept sending her back to the book. I believe she really gave it a good try, it's just that I think there may be a rare few kids for whom this simply won't work, and from what Janna's shared with us about her difficult child 2, he sounds like one of them. The thing is, with a kid like that there really isn't ANYTHING that helps much.

One thing I like - you customise it to suit your own situation, and this can happen almost on automatic pilot. You take on board what works and 'bleep' over the stuff that doesn't.



New Member
<span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #006600"> while it is the first book i always recommend it's not for everyone.

it gave me a great sense of relief by giving me permission to NOT tackle every issue all the time. i was trying to fit myself into the Authoritative Parent model & truthfully that ws so not me which made me a great greene fan.

now truthfully i've always viewed behavior plans from a chinese menu point of view. you read the books. pick what will work for your family from each philosophy & develop your own plan. a one from column A, one from column C....with-just a dash of D.

i've never viewed behavior plans as an all or nothing thing.

one thing about green tho is it does take a lot of the storm out of your home.

okay not so negative lol.

</span> </span> </span>


I really need to have my son read that book. difficult child drives him crazy and then he, in turn, drives me crazy. It's getting to where I have more conflict with him than difficult child because he's always on me about what I should be making difficult child do. He doesn't cut her a break for one second and he seems to have a hard time remembering that I'm the parent, not him. I remind him daily. Sigh...both of my kids are so incredibly stubborn and bossy. NO idea where they get that from. :wink: He told me once that when he's a parent his kids are going to walk the line. They're going to listen. He didn't like it when I laughed so hard I could hardly breathe. :rofl: I think I'm going to be at his house a lot when he's an adult so I can witness this. :smile:

Anyway, easy child thinks EVERYTHING is a basket A issue. I let a lot of things slide because 1) some things difficult child just can't help (memory issues, non-verbal stuff, etc), 2) we're only working on one thing at a time with difficult child and 3) it's just not worth it a lot of the time. In other words, I pick my battles.

So, my feelings on the book is that it is helpful with picking your battles, but I've found that with a difficult child the battles I'm letting slide vary according to how well she's doing. And somedays they vary according to with how much I'm able to enforce them. I know that sounds bad, but when you're sick or just absolutely exhausted, you do what you have to.


Active Member
While I recommend the book, I don't follow it 100% completely as he suggests. It did help me to take a step back and talk things out with my difficult child and find myself able to differentiate between the things that were worth battling over and things that weren't so important. Finding my difficult child's triggers are sometimes nigh to impossible. He could have a meltdown, and later talking to him and working it back it could have been something like the tag on his shirt bugging his neck. The tag would bug him, but he wouldn't connect that to being allowed to cut it off, so it would keep bugging and then everything would bug him until everything was too much. By the time he'd start to get antsy, and you tried talking to him, so many things were wrong you couldn't work through anything to avert a meltdown, and talking to him made it worse. So while techniques in the book are helpful in some ways, they don't always work for everything

I'm one who doesn't believe that ANY of these parenting techniques are completely 100% the way to go. Nothing works all the time in every situation, you sometimes have to adapt. I tend to read the books, pick out what I feel will work for our family, and work it into all the other things I've learned and advice I've been given - what works for US.


Former desparate mom
<span style='font-size: 11pt'>I'm with kris on this topic. I find what works for my son and my personality. I like the idea of not making the difficult child the bad guy. They don't want to be ugly but they have all this emotion and/or thinking difficulties.

Many of our kids have different sources of their oppositional thinking. I believe my son to have a neuropsychiatric cause that all the tough love in the world won't fix. I still have to teach him right from wrong but I prefer to not set our home up as an advesarial environment. I want difficult child to have some good and positive memories to draw on later in life.

I'm also a no nonsense sort of mom who is direct but everything I do is based on the welfare of my child and my family. It's about helping them all grow to be independent, law abiding, tax paying citizens with a decent life of their own. </span>


Well-Known Member
Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.

Albert Schweitzer

That is one of my all-time favorite quotes. :smile:


New Member
I read the book, and the only thing that I really liked about it is the idea of only focusing on most important things first. I starting thinking to myself before making an issue out of having macaroni and cheese for breakfast, etc. by saying "now what's the big deal really if she wants mac and cheese?" Aside from that, I didn't really care for the book. Maybe because my daughter is only 3 and alot of it didn't seem to apply to her.


Active Member
The basis of the book like other ' working with problem solving approaches ' as opposed to ' doing to approaches is that teaching how to think impacts on behavior and also very important the reasons behind that behavior. Ross Greene says that Kid's of 3 have enough vocab to be taught problem solving. He has worked with 3 yo who are better than 17yo


Booklady Clara

New Member
Dear Mighty,
I have the book and have many underlined passages. You can use it like you can any other book. Read it and spit out the bones. No book is going to have all the answers. If something works with my difficult child I add it to my repitoire (sp), but it doesn't mean it will work the next time with her, it probably won't she's smarter than all of us. So...the author has some good ideas, but he doesn't have all the answers. I wish someone did, but they don't. I have 5 children and they're all different. Try it with your difficult child and good luck.