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Books on Challenging Behaviors: NRC Staff Favorites

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The staff of the National Resource Center on ADHD has compiled a list of favorite books written for parents of children and teens with ADHD who display challenging behaviors. More detailed information on each title, as well as additional books and periodicals written for parents of children and teens with ADHD are available from the NRC Library's online database.
  • Your Defiant Child
    Russell A. Barkley and Christine M. Benton
    Publisher: Guilford Press (New York, NY, 1998), 239 pages
    Summary: This is an 8-step guide on managing the behavior of defiant children, with an emphasis on consistency. It is useful for children with or without ADHD, and those with coexisting disorders. 
  • Your Defiant Teen
    Russell A. Barkley, Arthur L. Robin and Christine M. Benton
    Publisher: Guilford Press (New York, NY, 2008), 326 pages
    Summary: This book maps out a step-by-step approach for parents with rebellious adolescents to regain control while respecting their teenager's needs. It is useful for children with or without ADHD and can be helpful even if the child is not severely defiant. The book profiles cases of defiant teens and how their parents negotiated to get the desired behaviors and see their teenager succeed.
  • The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
    Also available in audio format
    Author: Ross W. Greene
    Publisher: Harper Perennial (New York, NY, 2010), 336 pages
    Summary: This book discusses explosive-inflexible behavior in children which may be associated with ADHD, oppositional-defiant disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or other psychiatric disorders. The book describes case studies of children with these behaviors, analyzes what is going on and describes ways to head off explosive behavior at the pass.
  • 10 days to a Less Defiant Child: The Breakthrough Program for Overcoming your Child's Difficult Behavior
    Jeffrey Bernstein
    Publisher: Marlowe & Company (New York, NY, 2006), 304 pages
    Summary: The book explains what causes defiance in kids, why it's so destructive to the family, and shows parents step-by-step how they can end the behavior.
  • 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12
    Also available in audio format
    Author: Thomas W. Phelan
    Publisher: ParentMagic, Inc. (Glen Ellyn, IL, 2004), 224 pages
    Summary: This book presents three steps for disciplining children: controlling obnoxious behavior, encouraging good behavior, and strengthening the relationship with the child. The author also explains how to manage the six kinds of testing and manipulation, how to handle misbehavior in public, and how to avoid the talk-persuade-argue-yell-hit syndrome.
  • The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School - How Parents and Teachers can Help Break the Cycle of Violence
    Barbara Coloroso
    Publisher: Collins Living (New York, NY, 2004), 240 pages
    Summary: The author helps readers recognize the characteristic triad of bullying: the bully who perpetrates the harm; the bullied who is the target and the bystander. Readers learn what bullying is and what it isn't, how to read the subtle clues that a child is being bullied, steps to take if your child is a bully, as well as ways to protect your child from succumbing to a bully.
  • Pennington Positive Parenting
    Yvonne V. Pennington
    Publisher: Yvonne V. Pennington (2007), 236 pages
    Summary: The author analyzes ways in which parents can effect positive changes in their children's behavior. It has tips for implementing successful behavior modification plans. It also analyzes what to do about the physical, social and psychological underpinnings of ADHD, how to listen to children, and how to manage stress.

Page updated August, 2012

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