The Bottom Line
By Mary Sheedy Kurcinka; 302 pages. Subtitle: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic
Sometimes, changing your attitude toward your child’s behavior is far easier than actually changing that behavior. And in fact, sometimes changing your attitude changes the behavior, too. Appreciating the good qualities in our kids that often appear to be bad qualities is what this book is all about. Your own particular qualities will factor in, too.
- Offers a positive approach to negative behavior.
- Frames kids' challenges as personality traits, not character flaws.
- Considers problems with sensory integration, attention, transitions, anger management.
- Leads parents to consider how their own personalities may be part of the problem.
- Quizzes and summaries help you identify your child's type, and your own.
- May seem to some like a great way to raise a brat.
- Approach will work best along with more specific therapy for special needs.
- Long, dialog-heavy case studies may be distracting.
- Kids in stories come around a lot more easily than yours probably will.
- There may be kids for whom this approach will be ineffective or even harmful.
- Part One: Understanding Spirit
- Part Two: Working with Spirit
- Part Three: Living with Spirit
- Part Four: Socializing with Spirit
- Part Five: Enjoying Spirit
Guide Review - Book Review: Raising Your Spirited Child
Where is the line between nurturing your child’s unique spirit and letting him or her get away with murder? That’s a line that may be hard for some readers to find in this book. Kurcinka’s plan falls firmly in the “change the environment instead of changing the child” category, and while that’s an immensely successful strategy with children who legitimately cannot change, it can be a fairly catastrophic one with kids who are just playing the old folks. I do believe that some children really do misbehave on purpose, to see what they can get away with. I don’t believe my personal neurologically challenged child does. Each reader will have to make that distinction for their own kids, and consider this book’s advice accordingly.
For those of us with kids who, for reasons of neurology or temperament, are really bad at being good, “Raising Your Spirited Child” is an enormous relief. Thinking of your child’s difficulties as personality traits to be nurtured in positive ways instead of squashed in negative ones can make parents feel like parents again instead of police. Understanding the ways in which your particular personality and temperament may clash against your child’s can help you find ways to compromise and feel better about yourself as well as about your child. Those are significant gifts for an author to give her readers.
The most important thing about any parenting theory is finding something that works for you. Many will find their solution here.