Mary's Books

Raising the Spirited Child by Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka - Fully Updated Edition

"New, fully updated! After 25 years helping families just like yours, I am able to give you the most empowering tools ever." 
-Dr. Mary

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Raising the Spirited Child Workbook by Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka - Fully Updated Edition

"Due to your book alone, we were able to eliminate 90% of the length of time of temper tantrums, and we are very close to preventing the tantrums completely." -Ann

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Kids, Parents and Power Struggles by Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

"I have given copies of your book to any parent that confides in me that they are at their wit's end. I tell them, 'it will change your life,' because that's what it did for me and my family." -Jennifer

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Sleepless In America by Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

"My eight-year-old is sleeping probably the best he ever has in his life."  -Cindy

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Mary Sheedy Kurcinka - Parent Child Help

Welcome, I'm Mary, a mom, author, consultant and licensed parent educator. I am your guide and a fellow parent of Spirited Children. I have been blessed to reach families across the country and the world though my books, workshops and private behavior and sleep consultations.

I am so pleased to announce the publication of my new, totally revised edition of "Raising Your Spirited Child". Earlier additions of this book have helped over one million parents and now this edition contains even more helpful information. After 25 years of working with families just like yours, doing research and learning, I have put the most supportive and empowering information into this new edition. Also check out my other books. They are in twelve languages and available in all bookstores and on

News and Information

What's New
Raising the Spirited Child by Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka - Fully Updated Edition

Newly Revised!

"Raising Your Spirited Child” has now been fully revised with even more helpful insights, stories, heartfelt support and tools to empower you.

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Parenting Tips!

Every week we post parenting tips on either our Facebook page or our blog.  Check out the latest tips on children's sleep, tantrums, power struggles, discipline, child development, temperament, spirited children and keeping your cool when your child is losing theirs.     We're always open for more suggestions, so feel free to send them our way using our Contact page.

Parent Support Group

In addition, Facebook has a group page started by and for the parents of "Spirited Children".  The group is a closed group (but still accepting new members) where parents look for advice and support from other parents.  Feel free to check it out using the link below.


Consultations & Classes
Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka Private Behavioural and Sleep Consultations

Private Behavioral and Sleep Consultations

Mary provides private consultations on both behavior and sleep issues.  A one-hour personal session, via phone or Skype, gives your family an opportunity to discuss the specific issues you are facing.  You will work with Dr. Mary to develop a plan that works for your family. 

"In just one hour on the phone, we were able to gain an entirely new perspective on the issues we were having. You gave us real tools and ideas that we could apply immediately."  -Jason

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Mary Sheedy Kurcinka - Parent Child Help

Classes, Webinars and Workshops

For 25 years Mary has provided parenting workshops and keynotes throughout the world.  She has a large number of offerings and customizes or creates each session so that it meets the specifics needs of her audience.   Dr. Mary’s speaking style brings audiences to life as they laugh and learn the essentials for effective parenting.

“Mary, I am so appreciative of how you customized your information and remarks to our audience.  You brought important information to the group with humor and poise.  The audience was mesmerized and we got excellent feedback.”  -Merri

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Blog Highlights
Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka & Lynn Jesson from Paidea Child Development Center

Parenting Questions for
Dr. Mary & Lynn

girl refusing to eat vegetables

End the Meal Time Battles

Do you dread mealtimes knowing there will be at least one meltdown during the meal?  Does your child refuse to eat what you are serving?  Are you bribing your child to take one more bite?  Is food a major source of power struggles in your home? 

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Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time 2018 Spring

Daylight Savings time is the perfect springboard into power struggles over bedtime and wake up routines because our body clock does not switch as quickly as the clock on our phone.

On Sunday, March 11 we spring forward one hour.   It is the perfect springboard into power struggles over bedtime and wake up routines because our body clock does not switch as quickly as the clock on our phone.  When you put your child to bed at 7:00 PM his body will say, “This was 6:00 PM yesterday.  I’m not ready for sleep.”  The requests for water, an opportunity to toilet, and the tussle over getting in and out of bed will begin.

Monday morning when it is time to wake up he will be dead to the world because his body clock will be telling him he has a full hour before it is time to wake.  Dragging him out of bed will provide the “spark” for a morning meltdown – not the way you want to start your day.   So how do you reduce the chaos caused by springing into daylight savings time?   

A child’s body clock requires at least a week to adjust to a one-hour time shift.   For many children the adjustment actually requires closer to three weeks.   The body clock is set by exposure to morning light and regular wake, sleep and meal times.  You can help your entire family adjust by beginning days before the official time change, to move nap, bed and wake times (and if possible mealtimes) in fifteen-minute increments. 

Here are five steps to make that shift less disruptive.

1.    Begin Sunday, February 25 by waking your child 15 minutes early.  If your child wakes at 7:00 AM, on Sunday, February 25, wake him at 6:45 AM. 

2.    Tuesday, February 27 shift meals, naps, bedtime and wake time fifteen minutes earlier.  Today your child’s wake time will be 6:30 AM. If he was napping 12-2:00 PM he is now napping 11:45-1:45 PM.  Wake him if needed. Do not let your child nap fifteen minutes longer. If bedtime was 8:00 PM it is now 7:45 PM. 

Make outside morning play time a priority.  Even if it is cold, bundle up and get outside.  Our body clock is set by exposure to light, especially morning light.  Reduce exposure to screens and electric lights in the evening. 

3.    Saturday, March 2 shift bed, nap, wake and meal times another fifteen minutes earlier.  Wake time is now 6:15 AM, naptime is 11:30 AM and sleep time is 7:30 PM.  

4.    Wednesday, March 7 shift bed, nap, wake up and meal times another fifteen minutes earlier.  Wake time is now 6:00 AM, naptime is 11:15 AM and sleep time is 7:15 PM.

5.    Sunday, March 11 complete the shift.  On this day we all will have officially sprung ahead one hour and shifted our clocks accordingly, as a result wake time is back to 7:00 AM according to the clock on the wall.  Nap is 12:00 noon and sleep time is 7:00 PM – just as it was before.   Thanks to your earlier efforts moving the times in fifteen-minute increments however, instead of losing an entire hour of sleep your child’s body will only have to adjust by fifteen minutes.  The sleep deprivation that can fuel those power struggles will be drastically reduced as a result.

6.    Monday, March 12 plan to allow your family more time to get out of the house.  Even with the proactive steps you have taken, a few extra hugs and a little more help may be needed.  Do NOT schedule yourself into any early morning commitments.  You’ll be dragging a bit too.  Expect in the next few weeks a few more meltdowns as your child’s body clock catches up with the clock on the wall.  It may take several weeks, but ultimately everyone will be back in sync. 

For more information on easing the time change and developing healthy sleep routines for your family, check out Sleepless in America:  Is Your Child Misbehaving or Missing Sleep?  



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