Parenting tips on how to explain your kid's outbursts

Learn about: Parenting tips on how to explain your kid's outbursts from Ross W. Greene, PhD,...
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Parenting tips on how to explain your kid's outbursts

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You know, it's pretty important for the behaviorally challenging child to be understood by everybody who's coming into contact with him, because all it really takes is one unenlightened adult imposing their will and being unilateral to cause the kid to blow. So it is often very important for caregivers, parents, to explain their child, now that they know what's getting in their child's way, to other people. And among the most common candidates who require explanation are grandma and grandpa, who were often raised on an old school mentality and are often giving advice, and that's wonderful for grandma and grandpa to do, but not if grandma and grandpa don't really understand what's getting in the child's way. So grandma and grandpa might tell you how they would have handled things in the good old days. And a lot of those things we would have done in the good old days will get you reported to the authorities now. And that's actually a good thing. It is a good thing that things people used to get away with in the good old days will get you reported to the authorities now. But it's also going to be very important for us to explain to grandma and grandpa, soccer coach, hockey coach, you name it. Siblings. I just did this in my office the other night. I had to explain to an older brother why his younger sister, why there was a double standard in the household. Why the sister was being treated differently. And the explanation was the same that I give everybody, whether it's grandma and grandpa, sibling, you name it. The child we're talking about right now is lacking some very important skills - flexibility, adaptability, frustration tolerance, problem-solving. And here was a big thing that I said to the brother the other night. Making things worse isn't going to make things better. Your parents used to punish your sister, and it only made things worse. They used to lower the boom. It only made things worse. And the reason that makes things worse is because lowering the boom, punishment, adult-imposed consequences don't solve the problems that are caused by challenging episodes and aren't going to teach your sister the skills she's lacking.

Learn about: Parenting tips on how to explain your kid's outbursts from Ross W. Greene, PhD,...

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Ross W. Greene, PhD

Psychologist, Author & Researcher

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the author of the well-known books The Explosive Child and Lost at School, and the originator of a model of care (now known as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions) emphasizing collaboration between kids and adults in resolving the problems contributing to children’s behavioral challenges.  He is also associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, on the professional staff at the Cambridge Hospital, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech, and senior lecturer in the graduate program in school psychology in the Department of Education at Tufts University.  Dr. Greene founded the non-profit Lives in the Balance to provide free, web-based resources on his model and to advocate on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers.  He lectures widely throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two kids.

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