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Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone
J.K. Rowling
The Skillful Teacher: Building Your Teaching Skills
Jon Saphier, Robert Gower
Dan Simmons
The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children - Ross W. Greene The book is billed as "a new approach for understanding and parenting easily frustrated, chronically inflexible children". I don't know if it's new - it seemed logical and simple enough, but I think the author's presentation is so clear that you will benefit from the book even if you are already trying to solve problems with your child collaboratively. A few reviewers seemed to feel that the author was negative, but I completely disagree. I thought he was extraordinarily understanding toward children and parents. His starting premise is that children will do well if they can. Sometimes, it is hard to keep that in mind, or to believe it, when a child "explodes" frequently. It is hard not to feel the child is being manipulative or something like that, but the author works hard to remind you that it is more complicated than that, and that is a good thing, because it makes his approach possible. The method is simple, in a way, but it is systematic and requires work. The author does not split hairs trying to define what an explosive child is, but there are a large number of transcripts that show them in action. You do not need a diagnosis to get started. As a matter of fact, I liked the way he downplayed the importance and value of a diagnosis almost entirely.

After chapters that give a rationale for why collaborative problem solving is the best solution, after a detailed explanation of your three basic options, one of which you probably fall back on unconsciously, even if you try to explain your thinking to your child, the last six or so chapters elaborate on the basic approach. It is not exhaustive, but it gave a very distinct sense that you can not just try the method once or twice, but that you need to practice it so that it will become a habit, so that it evolves in a way that fits your family. Basically, all you are doing is talking to the child proactively. The author demonstrates that your child's explosions are probably predictable. You have to sit down and find the patterns, the situations. You have to sit down with him or her and create a solution. Sounds simple enough, may sound impossible, depending on your child, but the transcripts are very illuminating. As a teacher, I was very interested in the chapter about schools. I will probably pick up his book about schools if it looks like it elaborates on his ideas and gives more examples of dealing with explosive children. A classroom teacher probably could not implement his approach without support though. I also liked how the method could be adapted for solving problems between siblings and/or students and for teaching skills.