Raising Difficult Children: Kids Who Are “More” of Everything

Is your child stubborn, grumpy, sensitive, angry, wild or just plain difficult?

When my highly active firstborn was 1 year old, we were visiting a friend who had a toddler the same age. When this mother commanded “No” at the edge of a flower bed, her child stopped short.

“Yours listens? And stops?” I asked incredulously. That’s when I knew for sure that my energetic and persistent child really wasn’t quite like most other kids.

As every parent knows, some children are harder to handle than others. Variously referred to by experts as difficult, sensitive, challenging, quirky or spirited, children with atypical temperaments can become much easier to manage when you learn just how broad the range of “normal” is. Your child may scream, “You’re not the boss of me!,” but what he’s really telling you is “I’m not you,” and it’s sometimes done in ways that leave you at a loss. By learning more about what to expect, you can keep both you and your child from toppling off the developmental roller coaster.

Label Me Not

Labels have a lot of power. That’s why Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic, prefers the word “spirited” for lively, eager, intense and assertive children.

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