Elman, director of the Summit Center for Learning in Summit, N.J., and Kennedy-Moore, a Westfield, N.J., psychotherapist, offer a detailed examination of the different ways children interact with their peers. Often, otherwise bright and "normal" children behave in ways that cause other children, family members and teachers to label them as disruptive, unhappy or troublesome. There are nine types of children, according to the authors, including the "short-fused," "little adult," "born leader" and "different drummer." Parents will immediately be able to identify their child from the detailed descriptions included. For example, "Short-Fused Children may appear to be strong, but inside they feel vulnerable. These children are extremely sensitive. They often believe that the whole world is against them. Because they feel threatened, they respond angrily, instinctively fighting to protect themselves." As they explain the various types of behaviors, the authors depict a number of scenarios to show the difficulties children can have relating to others. The challenge for the parents is to help their children learn "the Unwritten Rules" so they have fewer problems and form happier, more productive relationships. The authors provide specific sentences that both parents and children can use to change these destructive behavior patterns, but some parents will probably hope for even more specific do's and don'ts. Given that other childrearing tomes rarely cover this topic, this book is a welcome addition to the parenting library.
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