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Raising Your Spirited Child Workbook
Book Excerpt

Chapter One
Who Is the Spirited Child?

What You'll Need

A comfortable chair, a beverage, popcorn or other munchies (chocolates are nice), a pen or pencil and at least one spirited child. In case you need a refresher, let me give you my formal definition. Spirited kids are normal kids who are more! More intense, persistent, sensitive, perceptive, and uncomfortable with change than the average child. They are not children experiencing attention deficit disorder (ADHD); however, the information in this workbook will be extremely helpful to you if your child does have ADHD. In fact, the information in this book will be helpful to every parent.

Now let me give you my informal definition. Spirited kids are the exception to the rule, "Ignore them and they'll stop." Spirited kids can cry for hours, and if by chance they fall asleep, they'll wake up and start in again on the same issue. They are the kids who can be triggered by seemingly insignificant things such as a change in the weather, lint in a sock, the red cup instead of the expected yellow one, or a friend who looks at them the "wrong way." Relatives freely offer unsolicited advice as to how you should discipline them.

On good days, spirited kids prove to be more delightful than you ever imagined. They make you laugh, pull your attention to the bugs and bees you would have missed without them, give you an excuse to play, and encourage you to take naps. On bad days, they refuse to do anything you ask — usually in a loud and angry voice; they spit at you, kick you, and rob you of your sleep with their demands and the worries they arouse. Often they make you cry. They may also leave you feeling a little crazy, even stunned, wondering how, if it's like this now, you will ever survive adolescence.

So if you've got your munchies, writing tools, and at least one spirited child, you're ready to go. If by chance you can find a partner in parenting who will complete the exercises with you, the experience will be even more fun. And if you have the opportunity to set your chair among many and fill each with a parent of a spirited child, it can be even better.