The Bottom Line
By Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., with Jacqueline Salmon; 318 pages. Subtitle: Understanding, Raising, and Enjoying the Five 'Difficult' Types of Children
What's really going on when a child is sensitive, self-absorbed, defiant, inattentive, active or aggressive? Dr. Stanley Greenspan, in his wonderfully reassuring way, describes the bundle of neurological, sensory, and developmental factors that combine to create those troubling types -- and how you can play your way through.
- Rather than a "one size fits all" approach, tailors strategies to specific needs and strengths.
- Includes often-overlooked factors like sensory integration, muscle tone, and emotional maturity.
- Explains both what to do and what NOT to do.
- You can easily skip chapters that don't apply to your child.
- Dr. Greenspan is well-respected, so professionals will listen if you try to apply his theories.
- May appear to some readers as making excuses for bad behavior.
- Attributes behavioral challenges to a mix of nature and nurture, which may upset some parents.
- Text-heavy format can make it hard to quickly find information you're looking for.
- Some kids overlap categories, making applying all the advice challenging.
- Chapter 1: You're Not the Cause, But You Can Be the Solution
- Chapter 2: Stages of Childhood: A New Way of Thinking About Your Child
- Chapter 3: The Highly Sensitive Child
- Chapter 4: The Self-Absorbed Child
- Chapter 5: The Defiant Child
- Chapter 6: The Inattentive Child
- Chapter 7: The Active/Aggressive Child
- Chapter 8: Environmental and Dietary Influences on Children's Behavior
- Chapter 9: Identifying Your Child's Personality Type
- Chapter 10: Meeting the Challenge
Guide Review - Book Review: The Challenging Child
It’s a valuable parenting book indeed that makes you look up after reading a passage and say, “That’s it, exactly! That’s my child!” Seeing your own observations and suppositions in print is immensely gratifying, and “The Challenging Child” is full of those moments -- most likely because it breaks challenging children into five different types rather than lumping all bad behavior under one theory. My copy is bristling with stick-on flags to mark all those spots where I saw my son.
For each of the five behavior types, Dr. Greenspan describes behavior at various developmental stages; explains how it feels to be that child; points out parenting patterns that are ineffective with that type, and how parents understandably fall into them; advises how to proceed instead; offers a lengthy case study; and finishes with “floor time” strategies for that child’s specific needs.
Many theories about child behavior these days blame it entirely on brain chemistry, and suggest medication as the only solution. Others are quick to blame parents, and suggest that if they were not so weak/distracted/indulgent their children would never have come to this. “The Challenging Child” walks the middle ground, describing the mix of nature and nurture that gets kids in trouble and making parents the solution instead of the problem. It’s not your fault that your child doesn’t respond to strategies that work just fine with other kids. But resignation really isn't a useful alternative.Discuss this book.