Posted by: ad65shorty | October 18, 2009

Parenting Book


As you know, I normally share children’s picture books with you. I try to stay away from my own opinions and such on parenting on this blog. But today, I wanted to share a fabulous book I read a couple of months ago that has helped us in our home in raising our children. I share it with the hopes that it may help one of you!

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

Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka


Summary taken from back of book:

Newly revised, featuring the most up-to-date research, effective strategies, and real-life stories

The spirited child—often called “difficult” or “strong-willed”—possesses traits we value in adults yet find challenging in children. Research shows that spirited kids are wired to be “more”—by temperament, they are more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and uncomfortable with change than the average child. In this revised edition of the award-winning classic, voted one of the top twenty books for parents, Kurcinka provides vivid examples and a refreshingly positive viewpoint. Raising Your Spirited Child will help you:

  • understand your child’s­—and your own—temperamental traits
  • discover the power of positive—rather than negative—labels
  • cope with the tantrums and power struggles when they do occur
  • plan for success with a simple four-step program
  • develop strategies for handling mealtimes, sibling rivalry, bedtimes, holidays, and school, among other situations

My review:

I have a very passionate daughter. Ever since she was born, she has been high maintenance. Her cries are louder, more intense. She has some food intolerances. As an infant, she always had to be held. Bedtimes are difficult. She loves to be the center of attention. She fights me on every whim. She is very active–more like a boy than a girl. She is a doll, and of course, I love her to death, but she has definitely brought some challenges into our lives. Heck, I majored in Early Childhood Education and thus studied child development. I have dealt with many personalities in my years of teaching and felt pretty confident in my parenting skills. And then, along came my Sweet Pea, who has tested every theory I have ever had.

In talking with an acquaintance one day about my little one, she recommended this book. I thought, “Why not? I can use all the help I can get!” So, I put it on hold at the library. I loved it! It offered a lot of advice and more than anything, understanding about my child’s temperament and personality traits. I like that the author focuses on the positive aspects of “spirited child.” We have always called our daughter “passionate” instead of “high maintenance,” and I loved that the author had the same view.

Near the beginning, there is a little quiz you take with scenarios and reactions of children. You base your answers on how your child reacts and then get a score. Based on their scores, you can see how “spirited” your children are. Both my children (and myself) placed very high on the scale! At the end of each chapter is a summary of all that was discussed in that particular chapter, which brings it all back together (and if you own the book, would be a great reference). The author also gives specific ideas for different situations that are difficult, such as meals and bedtime.

While I didn’t agree with every philosophy in the book, I did get some new good ideas. And like I said previously, more than anything, this book helped me understand my child and her temperament better. If you have a more difficult child, I highly, highly, highly recommend this book!

As a side note, I realized that I am very spirited and my husband is very not. This has even helped improve our marriage, due to this new understanding of our temperaments! 🙂

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