Raising Your Spirited Child Workbook

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The Essential Companion Workbook To The National Bestseller Raising Your Spirited Child,

In this companion workbook, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka brings readers into her world-famous workshops, where she offers parents and educators insights, emotional support and proven strategies for dealing with spirited children. The key word that distinguishes spirited children from other children is "more" -- more intense, more persistent, more sensitive and more uncomfortable with change. Through...

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The Essential Companion Workbook To The National Bestseller Raising Your Spirited Child,

In this companion workbook, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka brings readers into her world-famous workshops, where she offers parents and educators insights, emotional support and proven strategies for dealing with spirited children. The key word that distinguishes spirited children from other children is "more" -- more intense, more persistent, more sensitive and more uncomfortable with change. Through exercises, observations and dialogue from actual groups, Kurcinka helps readers learn to identify the triggers that lead to tantrums and challenging behaviors. Included are

  • clues to help you identify the little things that can make or break a day
  • tips for profiling your child's temperament and your own
  • cues that indicate intensity is rising
  • successful strategies for reducing and eliminating power struggles

By combining the intuition and compassion gained from parenting a spirited child with the wisdom of an expert who has worked with thousands of families, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka helps parents and educators view their unique challenge with perseverance, flexibility, sensitivity, and, most of all, enjoyment.

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Editorial Reviews

James Cameron
Through excellent examples and easy-to-read text, this book provides parents with a pathway to understanding their child's temperament and to a place where parents can balance the needs of their child's unique temperament with their own needs and those of their family.
Louise Bates Ames
The book will prove to be a real lifesaver.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060952402
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 255,887
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, M.A., is an award-winning educator in Minnesota's Early Childhood Family Education Program, and founder of the Spirited Child and Power Struggles workshops. She is the bestselling author of Sleepless in America and Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles, and she lives with her family in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Read an 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 do 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 theyarouse. 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.

Why Spirited?

If you've read Raising Your Spirited Child, you know that spirited child is a term I coined. In 1979 when my son, Joshua, was born, there weren't any spirited-child classes or books. In fact, the only information I could find that described a kid like him used terms such as difficult, strong-willed, stubborn, mother killer, or Dennis the Menace. It was the good days that made me seek a better way to describe him, and as I searched, I began to realize that on those good days Joshua was just like his father, whom I love dearly. In fact, spirited children possess traits "in the raw" that are truly valued in adults but challenging to live with in a young child. It was this realization that brought me to the word spirited, which means lively, creative, keen, eager, full of energy and courage, and having a strong, assertive personality. So life with spirited children is really a love story, as we recognize their potential and help them to develop the skills they need to manage their temperament well and be successful. The designation "spirited child" is used as a tool for understanding. It is never an excuse for poor behavior.

What's New?

I suspect you'd like to know how Raising Your Spirited Child Workbook is different from Raising Your Spirited Child. I've listened to what parents have told me they needed, and as a result, you'll get more

  • help actually applying the strategies to your own everyday situations
  • examples and stories about all age groups, infants to adolescents, to allow your skills to grow with your child
  • insights and tips for working together as a family
  • new and revised parent-tested strategies for those times you get stuck
  • help managing your own intensity
  • support and encouragement for the things you're already doing well
How The Chapters Work

I've developed a variety of techniques and strategies that I hope will offer something for just about everyone. In each chapter you will find the following features:

  1. In Preparation
I'll ask that you read Raising Your Spirited Child along with completing this companion book. That way you'll have the information we're going to focus on applying to your specific situation. I'll also update this information, especially for your older children, adding more stories and strategies gleaned over the last few years. If reading two books at the same time seems overwhelming, don't panic! I'll give you enough information in this workbook so you'll be able to do all the exercises. You'll just have more data if you're able to complete the additional reading.I'll also ask you to gather materials for the various exercises in the chapter. You should be able to find all of the supplies in your cupboards. These exercises are not just gimmicks. They are specifically planned to help you gain new insights — and they're fun too. Every exercise and strategy in this book is parent-tested.
  1. Chapter Highlights
For those of you who like to cut to the chase, I'll let you know the key points of each chapter.
  1. Things To Observe
Children never tell us that they're intense or that change is difficult for them. They simply act it out. Learning to read your spirited child's behavior cues is an essential skill for parents. If you are unaware of the signals your child is sending you, you can't respond appropriately or prevent potential problems. In this section I'll include hints to enhance your observation skills. Success depends upon a keen eye and ear and a sensitive heart.
  1. A New Point Of View
Each spirited child is unique, yet there are similarities among them. Compared with the "average" child, most are more
intense They feel every emotion deeply and powerfully.
persistent They are committed to their goals.
sensitive They are keenly aware of sights, sounds, tastes, smells, textures, and sometimesemotions; they feel what others do not.
perceptive They are visually attuned to the world around them; they may not "hear" directions.
slow to adapt They hate surprises and find it challenging to shift from one thing to another.

Many but not all spirited kids are also
irregular Figuring out when they will need to sleep, eat, or eliminate is a daily puzzle.
energetic They're on the move. If they're not climbing or running, they're pacing, fidgeting, or taking things apart.
cautious in
new situations
A quick withdrawal from anything new is very typical.
serious They're analytical, they tend to see what needs to be fixed, and they're reserved with their smiles.
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2007

    Great Book!!

    I bought this to help with my spirited son and it really helped a lot!

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    Posted October 20, 2009

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    Posted October 25, 2010

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