Friday, January 18, 2008

Raising Your Spirited Child
A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic

by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Available in paperback, audiobook or Kindle. Accompanying workbook also available (paperback). Harper Paperbacks, revised ed., 2006. ISBN: 0060739665; 496 pages.

This book has been a lifeline. Rick and I thought we were great parents. We had a gorgeous little girl who was obedient and sweet. Everyone loved her and praised us for doing such a great job. Then we had our son. Everything that "worked" with Ellie caused the opposite effect in Zach. On the verge of defeat and insanity, I found this book. I cannot tell you how much help it has been; how much it has changed our household, improved our relationships and our confidence.

Raising Your Spirited Child is based on past studies of temperaments, but it's much more than that. The author includes tests to help parents identify their children's temperaments (and their own) and then offers practical, effective strategies for dealing with these strong, innate traits.

Much of the text is direct dialog or interaction from the support groups the author leads for parents of spirited children. Real situations are discussed. The book teaches parents to find the root, the triggers, rather than just addressing the behavior. If your child throws a tantrum for no apparent reason, don't just punish them; stop to find out what caused the tantrum so you can prevent it in the future. Then show your child a better way of handling the problem.

Final Thoughts: This is a must-read for all parents. It has been an enormous help to us in understanding our kids -- both of them! I understand better what they need and what environments help them thrive. I also understand better what drives them crazy. I understand myself better, too. All around: the information and suggestions in this book have improved our home. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

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