By Trina Epstein, Psy.D., and Ross Greene, Ph.D. (Woodbine House)
In Ross Greene's first book, The Explosive Child, he introduced a paradigm for understanding children with ADHD, sensory processing challenges, oppositional defiant disorder, and similar conditions: When children misbehave, it's often because the demands of the situation exceed what they are developmentally able to handle. To help these "inflexible" kids, Greene developed Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS), a parenting method in which parents and kids solve problems together.
It isn't easy to master a new parenting method, or to bring a challenging child along as you do. Greene's new children's book, written with Trina Epstein, a child and adolescent psychologist, is designed to help parents, teachers, and children put CPS into practice.
Epstein and Greene start by explaining CPS. Three stories about the main character, Stretch More, written for children ages eight to 13, follow. In one, Stretch's sensory challenges ruin breakfast. In the next, his difficulty with transitions and changes in plans makes for a challenging weekend. In the third, Stretch's need for stimulation and movement creates roadblocks at school.
Stretch's parents and teacher use CPS to work with him to solve each story's central problem. At crucial junctures in each story, readers are invited to choose from a list of possible responses, and see where their decision leads. Parents and children can read the stories over and over, following different paths to different outcomes, learning something new from each scenario.
Reviewed by Kay Marner, the mother of two children. Follow Kay’s ADDitudeMag.com parenting blog.