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Suggested Reading

Here are some books that many parents raising spirited children have found helpful.

Raising Your Spirited Child~The spirited child--often called "difficult" or "strong-willed"--
can easily overwhelm parents, leaving them feeling frustrated and inadequate. Spirited kids are, in fact, simply "more"--by temperament, they are more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and uncomfortable with change than the average child. Through vivid examples and a refreshingly positive viewpoint, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka offers parents emotional support and proven strategies for handling their spirited child. Raising Your Spirited Child will help you:

Understand your child's--and your own--temperamental traitsPlan for success with a simple four-step programDiscover the power of positive--rather than negative--labelsCope with tantrums and blowups when they do occurDevelop strategies for handling mealtimes, bedtimes, holidays, school and many other situations

Filled with personal insight and authorative advice, Raising Your Spirited Child can help make parenting the joy it should be, rather than the trial it can be.

Click to see next pageThe Out of Sync Child"Difficult." "Picky." "Oversensitive." "Clumsy." "Unpredictable." "Inattentive." Children who have been labeled with words like these may actually be suffering from Sensory Integration Disorder-a very common, but frequently misdiagnosed, condition that can manifest itself in excessively high or low activity levels, problems with motor coordination, oversensitivity or undersensitivity to sensations and movements, and other symptoms. This guide, written by an expert in the field, explains how SI Dysfunction can be confused with ADD, learning disabilities, and other problems, tells how parents can recognize the problem-and offers a drug-free treatment approach for children who need help.

Does your child constantly misbehave and ignore or refuse your requests for proper behavior? Is your relationship with your child based on conflict instead of mutual respect and cooperation? With the help of this groundbreaking book, you can create a positive, respectful, and rewarding relationship with your child.

Inside are proven techniques and procedures that provide a refreshing alternative to the ineffective extremes of punishment and permissiveness. Parents and teachers alike will discover how to effectively motivate the strong-willed child and achieve proper conduct. You will learn how to:
Understand and empathize without giving in
Hold your ground without threatening
Remove daily power struggles between you and your child
Give clear, firm messages that your child understands and respects
And much more!

Nurture By Nature~Personality-type assessment helps parents learn about a child's individuality. Armed with knowledge of that individuality, parents can add understanding and acceptance to their unconditional love, gear their parenting to the needs of the child, and help the child develop lasting self-esteem and happiness. According to Myers and Briggs, inventors of the personality inventory scales that bear their names, there are 16 types of personality, each of which is characterized by preferences in interpersonal interaction, sorts of information noticed and remembered, methods of decision making, and degrees of structure found desirable. Tieger and Barron-Tieger offer detailed interpretations of each of the Myers-Briggs types as they flesh out personality assessment as a valuable parenting resource, stressing that how valuable will depend quite heavily on specific parents' insights, perceptiveness, and imagination. Some prior familiarity with personality-type assessment will help in making the best use of their advice, yet this remains a remarkable tool for relating to children. Kathryn Carpenter

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The Explosive Child~An explosive child who frequently exhibits severe noncompliance, temper outbursts, and verbal or physical aggression. If this sounds like your child, you're probably feeling frustrated, guilt-ridden, and overwhelmed. At last, Dr. Ross Greene offers help for you and your child. Now updated with new practical information, The Explosive Child lays out a sensitive, practical approach to helping your child at home and school, including: reducing hostility and antagonism between the child and adultsanticipating situations in which the child is most likely to explodecreating an eviornment in which explosions are less likely to occurfocusing less on reward and punishment and more on communication and calloborating problem solvinghelping your child develop the skills to be more flexible and handle frustration more adaptively

In The Explosive Child, you'll find ways to regain and optimism and to handle your child's difficulties competently and with compassion. With Dr. Green's realistic, expert advice, you and your child will discover a relationship you can both feel good about.

Living With the Active Alert Child~Bright, controlling, fearful, and highly energetic, active alert children are frequently misdiagnosed as hyperactive or learning disabled. This book shows parents and teachers how to raise, teach, and enjoy active alerts by offering:

-a clear description of common characteristics

-day-to-day parenting strategies with real case histories

-information on how active alerts learn and what school situations work best

-descriptions of active alerts as adults, and as parents themselves


Dreamers, Discoverers and Dynamos : How to Help the Child Who Is Bright, Bored and Having Problems in school
Psychologist Lucy Jo Palladino claims that 20 percent of children have what she calls the Edison trait: "dazzling intelligence, an active imagination, a free-spirited approach to life, and the ability to drive everyone around them crazy." She named the trait after Thomas Edison, who flunked out of school despite his obvious brilliance. Palladino says that Edison-trait children think divergently, while the routines and structure of schools are more geared toward convergent thinking, or focusing on one idea at a time. The incompatible school environment, she says, usually leads divergent-thinking children to act out, receive poor grades, and often be labeled as strong-willed and disruptive.

These symptoms may sound similar to those of ADD, but Palladino says that's an overused term often mistakenly applied to Edison-trait children. "In most cases," she says, "ADD behavior patterns are comparable to but more extreme than the typical patterns of an Edison-trait child who does not have ADD." A diagnosis of ADD does not take into consideration factors such as "intelligence, perceptiveness, sensitivity, creativity, and wit."

With many references to scientific studies, Palladino helps you decide whether your child is one of the three types of Edison-trait children: dreamer, discoverer, or dynamo. She also gives pointed, practical advice regarding such controversial topics as diet, neurofeedback treatment, and psychological testing. For frustrated parents and educators, Dreamers, Discoverers, and Dynamos will be a rich source of both help and hope.