This is a very helpful book for honestly any child that is misbehaving or going through a rough time. I used it for my first son who was pretty "spirited". It was a lifesaver. My younger son is a year old and WOW this kid is going to give me gray hairs. He cries and whines constantly and over the smallest things, and he's so naughty. He rarely sleeps. My life for the parst year has been so hard. The other day I remembered this book and got it out. I've started reading it again and I am hopeful it will help me enjoy my child more.
This is a wonderful book for those of us with kids who are 'more'. The first thing that strikes you is the descriptions of the characteristics of 'more-ness': to see things that you assumed were peculiar to your child fit a pattern is very heartening! One of the very best things about this book (and there are many wonderful things)is a fresh take on language, and the importance of the language we use. As we change the vocabulary that we (and even more to the point, others) use in describing our spirited children, we begin to see the good parts of those traits. And the reminder that many of the things that are so difficult with a spirited child are the very things that we value in adults- that these challenging characteristics are really diamonds in the rough, and we can help our child refine them into the strengths that they should be is so heartening. This was one of my 2 favorite 'be a better mom' books (along with the fabulous Marguerite Kelly's Mother's Almanac) until Kurcinka wrote Parents, Kids & Power Struggles, which is overall even better! But- if you have a Spirited Child, start here and start early. You will appreciate it!
When my oldest daughter was just a baby, we knew that she was a force to be reckoned with. She wasn't collicky - she was just overwhelmingly emotional at times. Among other things, we had a horrible time getting her to go to sleep and stay asleep (naptime AND at night). Sometimes (before she was old enough to talk) she would get upset and simply cry for an hour or more before we could help her calm down. I read books about attachment parenting and how to get children to sleep but the techniques simply didn't work for us and the whole thing left me feeling like a terrible mother. I felt horribly guilty (not to mention exhausted). At the point where I thought I couldn't last one more day, a friend recommended this book. At the risk of sounding overly emotional - I have to say that this book saved my sanity. Kurcinka understands that for certain kids, the standard techniques simply don't work. Some kids are so intense and strong-willed that you can't put them in a crib and let them "cry it out." This book helped me accept my daughter for who she is and to work with her instead of against her. This is a great book for parents of intense children but it's also a good book for parents of more mellow kids. Most parents will be able to see their kids in one or more of her categories and will get some good ideas on how to work with their children's temperaments.
This book was very good in helping me determine if our child is a spirited child. But what I enjoyed most about this book was that it helped me determine if my husband and I are spirited adults. Much to my surprise we are! This book helped to point out things that we do as parents that will directly impact reactions in our sprited child. It speaks the truth as to how a spirited child will not cry out a tantrum, or how eating is a major obstacle. I knew our child was spirited before he was born, and since his birth his actions and reactions have proven such. Our child is only 10-months old, but I can tell that I will be refering back to this book many times throughout his developmental years.
This book was so wonderful to read. If you have a "spirited child", you really should read this. It'll open your eyes and help you understand your child better. It also helped me realize I was not alone. I'm so thankful someone referred me to this book. Plus, you can grab one really cheap!
"Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic"
That title really sums it up nicely. If your child has spunk and ambition beyond explanation, and you need to get a grasp on how to handle this strong-willed, sensitive kid, just read it. It brought tears to my eyes to read what others had been thru...I was no longer the only one going thru this. I had gone to a counselor with my daughter when she was 3 and they said perhaps she was bipolar. I just knew that was inaccurate...it didn't really make sense as I researched that disease. When I read this book, it was my ah-ha moment. Then, I learned how to handle her. I learned not to 'love-her' thru moments, but be strict. I'm like a drill sergeant with her...very strict and firm. I don't have to be that way with my other kids. It works. Find what works and use it.
So, there were 3 big things for me that changed our relationship. 1) reading this book 2) using 1-2-3 Magic. 3) being firm and strict with her