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Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for…

Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child is More… (1991)

by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

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I thought that Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's book "Raising your Spirited Child" was pretty informative. It has good information about how kids who are high spirited are different than others and different approaches that can be taken with discipline.

I didn't get a ton of new ideas out of it because many of the tips and techniques are similar to those recommended for parenting children who have experienced trauma. However, there were a few new (to me) ideas sprinkled in. ( )
  amerynth | Jun 10, 2015 |
As the mother of a three-year-old "spunky" son, this book helped me understand more where my son is "coming from" in terms of his personality and why he is the way he is. Acceptance is a huge factor is not losing my own sanity, because spunky and spirited kids are often mis-labeled as troublemakers, ADHD, and so on.

However, I wish this book had more organization. For instance, sections for younger children and then older children would make it more easy to navigate; instead, I waded through anecdotes and information about teens that I am not necessarily concerned about at this moment.

My biggest concern with this book is that it does not offer much in the way of helpful tips in dealing with/communicating with spirited children. It's more of an explanation of why spirited children are the way they are and how their brains work. Which is all well and good, but after I have a layer of background information I would like some tips on how to, for instance, help my child navigate the world more effectively. ( )
  amandacb | Jun 4, 2014 |
Amazing book for anyone with children -- "spirited" or not. ( )
  katttg | Jul 24, 2008 |
If you're the parent of a "spirited" child (sometimes also known as "difficult"), this book may help you find the solutions to your parenting nightmare that you've been searching for.

Like most books of this type, the tone is breezy and conversational, as the author attempts to talk the frazzled, desperate parent down from the ledge and invite him or her in for a conversation on how to keep from going crazy in the future. But don't let the easy tone fool you: there's plenty of concrete, specific advice about parenting a spirited child here, backed up by solid research and years of practical experience.

Some of the book's strengths:
- There's a useful discussion of the distinction between ADHD and spirited behavior (esp. in regard to "distractibility") in Ch. 3 and elsewhere.

- The advice on "Letting go of the dream child" (in Ch. 4) is also quite useful, and is the only place I've seen this important subject addressed so frankly.

- The discussion of adaptability is very useful for distinguishing between willful disobedience and a genuine need for more transition time (e.g., more warning).

The book's weaknesses are relatively minor:
- Some of the cultural references are dated (1970s & 80s), and there's some cultural location marking as well -- midwest usages like "pop" for soda or cola, or the phrase "a scuzzy word" for a curse-word, for example. These can be a little distracting, but don't detract much from the content.

- The research isn't up to top academic standards--citing what others have said about Jung's work on personality types, for example, without ever going back to the original source (Jung). But then, this book doesn't pretend to be a rigorous academic study.

- Like most (all?) books of this type, there's a fair amount of repetition, as concepts get restated in various ways and forms (examples drawn from the author's own family, stories from parents in parenting classes, tables and questionnaires, research cited, etc.). This seems endemic to the genre, and in any case it's easy enough to skim a section if you feel you've already mastered the concept or gotten the message.

As a practical guidebook for parents of "spirited" children, this book is a good choice. It is both accessible, encouraging, informative--and most importantly--full of useful and effective advice. I would recommend it in conjunction with a book from the Positive Discipline series. Though there is some overlap between these books, repetition of some key concepts and strategies isn't necessarily a bad thing, and there's enough that's unique to each approach to make reading them both worthwhile. ( )
3 vote manque | May 29, 2008 |
A good book for suggestions on how to avoid temper tantrums and other bad behavior in children who fall on the "spirited" end of the spectrum. ( )
1 vote herebedragons | Jan 18, 2007 |
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Dedicated to:

My husband, Joseph Michael Kurcinka -- without your insight, wit, and organizational eye I couldn't have done it.

My children, Joshua Thomas and Kristina Leah Sheedy Kurcinka -- without you I wouldn't have known.

My parents, Richard and Beatrice Sheedy -- without you I wouldn't be ...
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Welcome to "Raising Your Spirited Child."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is NOT the same work as Raising Your Spirited Child Workbook. The latter is a companion volume to this one.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060923288, Paperback)

Recently, temperament traits have come to the forefront of child development theory. In Raising Your Spirited Child, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's first contribution is to redefine the "difficult child" as the "spirited" child, a child that is, as she says, MORE. Many people are leery about books that are too quick to "type" kids, but Kurcinka, a parent of a spirited child herself and a parent educator for 20 years, doesn't fall into that trap. Instead, she provides tools to understanding your own temperament as well as your child's. When you understand your temperamental matches--and your mismatches--you can better understand, work, live, socialize, and enjoy spirit in your child. By reframing challenging temperamental qualities in a positive way, and by giving readers specific tools to work with these qualities, Kurcinka has provided a book that will help all parents, especially the parents of spirited children, understand and better parent their children.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:24 -0400)

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Presents guidance and exercises for parents of "spirited" children on such topics as dealing with tantrums and power struggles, helping a child focus and adapt to change, and recognizing cues when trouble is brewing.

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