Surviving with a Spirited Child
How to help your child manage his or her "spirited" behavior and what you can do to diffuse problems or avoid them
Giving Them Their Words
It’s also important to use “emotion coaching”—helping give your child words to the things that she is feeling. “You can’t manage emotions if you can’t name them,” Kurcinka says. “Kids need to learn to tell adults what they need. We need to give them the words to describe what is happening to their bodies and what emotion is inside them.”
But is this simply giving in to the whims of the child? Kurcinka says no. “Coaching is not giving a kid what they want. It’s allowing kids to be to successful and get the help that’s needed,” she says.
Neville agrees that giving kids an understanding of their temperament is key. She explains, “Instead of them saying, ‘No! I won’t do it,’ they can learn to say, ‘I’m not ready. I need more time.’ They’ll find an acceptable way to do things.”
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