Problem Child or Quirky Kid?: A Commonsense Guide

Overview

Drawing on their years as counselors and teachers, authors Rita and John Sommers-Flanagan consider what's "normal" and what's not. They cover common and not-so-common childhood problems -- fears and worries; trouble sleeping or eating; problems with attention and hyperactivity; up-and-down moods; sexual development issues; getting along with others; childhood stress and trauma; resistance, disobedience, and anger; aggressive and destructive behaviors; suicidal tendencies; alcohol and drug use; and many more. They...
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Overview

Drawing on their years as counselors and teachers, authors Rita and John Sommers-Flanagan consider what's "normal" and what's not. They cover common and not-so-common childhood problems -- fears and worries; trouble sleeping or eating; problems with attention and hyperactivity; up-and-down moods; sexual development issues; getting along with others; childhood stress and trauma; resistance, disobedience, and anger; aggressive and destructive behaviors; suicidal tendencies; alcohol and drug use; and many more. They explain each problem in clear, non-jargony language, give examples, list warning signs to watch for, offer helpful hints you can try at home, and suggest ways to decide if it's time to seek professional help. What if it is? They guide you through the process, from gathering information to making the call. Rita and John are parents, too. They know from their own experience that parenting takes more than love. It also takes patience, courage, and a willingness to learn new things. This book won't give you a Ph.D. in parenting. It will give you strategies, insights, and solid information. Read it, think about it, try the ideas, and learn more from the resources described in the "Check It Out" sections at the end of each chapter. Instead of asking, "Is my child normal?" you'll know how to help your child live well.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Written by a counselor and clinical psychologist, this helpful guide assures parents and teachers that quirkiness among children is not necessarily abnormal. Using everyday language and a conversational tone, the book reinforces that every child is unique despite parents' and teachers' efforts to funnel them into a narrow view of what is "normal." The book defines character and behavior traits that could be cause for concern, while describing normal developmental characteristics that are common to various age levels. Anxiety, fears, worries, troubles with bodily functions such as sleeping or toileting, mood problems, attention problems, problems with social or sexual development and stress and trauma are all matter-of-factly discussed, helpful hints on handling the situation outlined and clues given to when a parent should seek professional help. There is a chapter on problems that should definitely not be ignored as well as how to seek the right professional advice or counseling. Steps for the family to take in handling these delicate situations are outlined so that the whole family negotiates the problem without serious repercussions. Throughout the book, helpful hints or signs of serious problems are highlighted and plenty of additional resources are included. Parents should find this a reassuring resource as they support their children in becoming healthy adults. 2002, Free Spirit Publishing,
— Meredith Kiger
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575421216
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2002
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Chapter 1 What's Normal, What's Not? 8
Your Child's Development: What's Normal? 11
Your Child's Temperament 11
Determining What's Normal 15
Classifying and Diagnosing Your Child's Problems 21
More Things You Can Do to Help Your Child 23
Chapter 2 Things That Go BUMP in the Night: Fears and Worries 25
What Are Fear and Anxiety? 27
Types of Anxiety 30
What About Medication for Children with Anxiety Problems? 41
Summing It Up 42
Chapter 3 Troubles with Bodies: Sleeping, Eating, and Toileting 44
Troubles with Toileting 47
Troubles with Sleeping 53
Troubles with Body Image and Eating 59
Summing It Up 61
Chapter 4 Problems with Attention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity 64
What Is ADHD? 66
Does Your Child Have ADHD? 66
Maybe It's Not ADHD 69
What Causes ADHD? 70
"But He's Not Always Like That" 73
Summing It Up 76
Chapter 5 Ups & Downs: Problems with Moods 78
What Is Mood? 80
Understanding Depression 80
Understanding Mania 89
Suicidal or Self-Destructive Impulses 90
Summing It Up 93
Chapter 6 Getting Along: Problems with Sexual Development and Social Skills 95
Is What's Considered "Normal" Okay for Your Child? 97
Social Skills 99
Sexual Matters 106
Summing It Up 113
Chapter 7 When Tough Things Happen to Nice Kids: Stress and Trauma 115
Troubles with Stress 117
Severe Trauma: Experiences Outside of the Normal Realm 126
Summing It Up 130
Chapter 8 Button-Pushing & Button-Pushers: Problems with Resistance, Disobedience, and Anger 132
What Is Oppositional-Defiant Behavior? 134
Does Your Child Have a Problem with Oppositional-Defiant Behavior? 135
Summing It Up 145
Chapter 9 Here Comes Trouble: Problems with Aggression, Destructiveness, and Other Serious Behavioral Difficulties 147
What Is Conduct Disorder? 149
Oppositional-Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder: Which Is It? 151
How Conduct Disorder Develops 153
Summing It Up 158
Chapter 10 Unusual & Severe: Other Problems Requiring Professional Help 159
Unusual Language, Movement, and Social Difficulties 159
Learning Disabilities 161
Severe Eating Difficulties 163
Tics 164
Hallucinations 165
Tendendies Toward Violence 165
Impulse Control Problems 167
Panic Attacks 168
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 169
Alcohol and Drugs 169
Getting Professional Help 173
Summing It Up 173
Chapter 11 The Wide World of Professional Help 175
Gathering Information About Different Professionals and Their Services 176
Figuring Out How to Pay for Services 186
Deciding Exactly Who to Go See 189
What Do Mental Health Professionals Actually Do? 192
Summing It Up 196
Chapter 12 Here You Go! 199
Making the Decision to Get Help 199
What If Your Child Asks for Help? 202
What If Your Child Doesn't Ask (But You Wish He Would)? 202
Reassure Your Child 208
Confidentiality 208
An Act of Love and Hope 209
Appendix 211
Index 217
About the Authors 224
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