- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; 1 edition (July 3 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060923288
- ISBN-13: 978-0060923280
- Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 272 g
- Average Customer Review: 155 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent and Energetic Paperback – Jul 3 1992
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
Kurcinka's now-classic guide to raising children who are "more"—more intense, more sensitive, more persistent, etc.—gets a greatest-hits treatment in this brief audio version read by the author, a teacher and parent educator. The abridgement can be abrupt at times; in the effort to condense a 300-page book to a three hours, many memorable and useful examples, illustrations and anecdotes have been excised in favor of general principles and descriptions of the basic traits common to spirited children. Helpfully, though, each CD is imprinted with track titles and time signatures, a great boon to parents who want to retrieve specific information quickly. Kurcinka's voice can sometimes be a problem; it tends to trail off to such a low end-of-sentence volume that listeners may have to strain to catch what she is saying. Kurcinka never really achieves a deep or comfortable vocal resonance even at the best of times, though she does exhibit a quiet dramatic intensity despite the brittle, high tones. In all, it's difficult to justify the additional $10 this audio costs over the far meatier trade paperback version, which offers considerably more bang for the buck. HarperCollins paperback. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I found quite a few helpful pieces of information to help me with my spirited 8 year old son, And even a few helpful things for raising a teenager as well.
Detail and Insight
Within the pages of Raising Your Spirited Child, author Mary Kurcinka assists the reader toward understanding what 'Spirited' looks like, and gives us tools to work with children whom fall within this spectrum. She brings to this publication professional and personal experience, explaining that the premise was birthed due to her own parental experience. In addition to writing this publication, Mary has helped numerous parents and educators via seminars, classes and additional publications.
The term "Spirited Children" can be credited to Mary Kurcinka finding an appropriate word to explain, and in my case take the place of, the all too typical labels of: difficult, strong willed, stubborn, and so forth. Prior to reading this publication I used the word strong-willed, but grasped adoration for the word spirited, allowing it to become a positive replacement. This book is one that I initially devoured and continue to return for more indulgence. Quite simply, I gleaned much insight and greatly benefited from the read. My only regret is that I didn't hear about it earlier.
In one section of this book we are encouraged to evaluate our child with regard to his/her nine different temperamental traits. These coping traits are placed onto a continuum from 'a mild reaction' to 'a strong reaction' or from high to low. She assists the reader toward embracing the fact that each person is unique, and that all character traits have positive aspects as well as negative. The content helps us to glean understanding of our child's natural reactions to situations, allowing us to become able to predict his/her reaction(s), and guide them toward exhibiting positive actions/reactions. In my view, this section, like the rest of the book, was extremely beneficial.
Additionally the reader is encouraged to accentuate the positive in all children. One manner that this can occur is by putting aside negative labels. By putting a positive name onto a previously viewed negative label, you can modify how you and others perceive your child. This will enhance your child's strengths. Content within Raising Your Spirited Child assists you toward doing this and more. Instead of being picky, your child becomes selective. Instead of explosive, your child it dramatic. What about being perceptive instead of distractible?
Mary provides wonderful techniques for diffusing intense reactions. She teaches us how to aid our children in learning to control their level of intensity. In Raising Your Spirited Child, we learn that the very persistence that fuels your child's ability to insist on wearing a swimsuit on a cold December day, can later be the weaponry for refusing drugs. Admire your child's persistence and choose your battles cautiously. Persistent children are committed, decisive, assertive, independent, capable, and achievers. The key here is finding your parental balance in the arena of authority. I firmly believe that children need to be respectful and well mannered. No child deserves to be controlled!
We also learn that spirited kids are incredible perceivers. You are likely to be amazed by their funny antics, have heard intellectual statements from them, and been literally amazed at their observations. Very frequently the perceptive spirited kid can tell you that you are experiencing a bad day long before you would have realized this.
Mary Kurcinka states, Spirited kids are like roses - they need special care. And sometimes you have to get past the thorns to truly enjoy their beauty."
A most perfect epilogue!
Many of the techniques Mary discusses are ones that we were implementing prior to reading this book. We knew there was something different about our daughter's temperaments. We also realized our parenting methods were not traditional. If only I had this book 12 years ago! Not only did this book confirm methods we were implementing, it gave us new strategies, and most profoundly: it allowed me to adapt a recommended motto - PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION. Both of my daughters are spirited children. It presents itself differently in both and is most obvious in my youngest.
Mary states, "Being a parent, building a healthy relationship with a child is a never-ending process. There are good days and there are lousy days. With progress our goal we don't have to wait for an obscure finale." She further reminds us to rejoice in the times of peace and forgive ourselves for the times of frustration.
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