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The Challenging Child: Understanding, Raising, and Enjoying the Five "Difficult" Types of Children Paperback – September 10, 1996


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The Challenging Child: Understanding, Raising, and Enjoying the Five "Difficult" Types of Children + The Difficult Child: Expanded and Revised Edition + The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1 edition (September 10, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201441934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201441932
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In his latest book, Greenspan (psychiatry, behavioral science, and pediatrics, George Washington Univ. Medical Sch.) proposes methods for dealing with challenging children that focus on using both "nature" (the inborn temperament of the child) and "nurture" (the impact of the child's environment). Following an opening discussion of stages of child development, Greenspan devotes subsequent chapters to each of five types of special children: the highly sensitive, the self-absorbed, the defiant, the inattentive, and the active/ aggressive. Through use of case examples, he helps parents to identify and understand problem behaviors, to develop a plan to deal with that behavior, and to find the keys to help a difficult child cope. Both those who work with difficult children and their parents and any parent seeking to enhance his or her relationship with a child will find much useful advice here. Recommended for parenting collections in public and undergraduate libraries.?Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, Md.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., author of the widely used and praised books The Challenging Child and (with Serena Wieder, Ph.D.) Engaging Autism, is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School and lives in Bethesda, Maryland. Jacqueline Salmon, a staff writer on the Washington Post, is the mother of two young children and has lived the very issues outlined in this book.

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Customer Reviews

If you can get behind their eyes you can support them so much better when things get hairy.
Karen Baker
I started dog-earing the pages as I read the book so I could go back to the parts most on spot for my daughter.
Jude Anne
This book should be required reading for anyone who is mentoring, teaching or parenting a special needs child.
Bernadette A. Moyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

137 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Karen Baker VINE VOICE on December 31, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I took this book out of the library because of my high-energy, aggressive 2 year old, and am now here to buy it because I need to have it by my bed until I memorize it!! Only half kidding...it has been enormously helpful in thinking about his behavior. But the surprise is, all of my other kids are in here too, as well as me and my husband! Anyone with a strong personality was probably a difficult child, at least in some ways (ask your mom!!), and this book gives you insight into how you got the way you are, and how your personality might intersect with your child's to cause trouble understanding each other.
My favorite thing about this book is the way Greenspan includes a section on "what it feels like" to be each of the types of challenging children, so you can understand that your child often really, truly, doesn't see the world at all the way you do. They are not just trying to drive you nuts, they genuinely sometimes see black when you see white! If you can get behind their eyes you can support them so much better when things get hairy.
I would agree with the other reviewers that there isn't much in this book about special needs per se-- if you're looking for a book on ADD or another issue of that sort you may not find what you need here in terms of specific information. But for garden-variety behavior issues, plain old intense kids, and parent-child communication troubles, this book is fantastic.
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141 of 155 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1997
Format: Paperback
Parents are often at a loss as to how a child "acts like this when it's not how he was raised". This book describes the unique, in-born personality and behavior traits which our children have, making some of them more challenging to deal with. With more understanding of their make-up and some specific strategies to try as parents and teachers, adults can feel more in control of the situation and children's unique needs can be met more readily.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Bernadette A. Moyer on August 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This title was recommended during a teacher orientation and it is easy to see why. This book should be required reading for anyone who is mentoring, teaching or parenting a special needs child.
Feel the calm as you learn new techniques. Many of which are totally out of line as to what you may have been taught was normal or proper. Insightful, thoughtful and necessary.
Emotional intellegence has never before been so clearly addressed.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By S. Wu on January 10, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I went into a bookstore in search of a different book but purchased this one instead after browsing through the chapter I identified as my 2 year old daughter, a highly sensitive child. I agreed with everything the author described in regard to this character, and I even found myself in the book. As a teacher and parent, I believe this is the best book I have seen in recognizing and nurturing the five different "challenging" children. Even my husband, who is always a bit skeptical with parenting books, was amazed at how on-target this one is. I highly recommend this book for anyone not only wishing to identify with a "challenging" child but also desiring to assist that child as he/she deals with the daily struggles that face that particular temperment.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jude Anne on June 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended to me by my daughter's (she's 3 now) neurological developmental pediatrician at Children's Hospital. I only regret that I just now read it. The highly sensitive child chapter outlines my daughter's life from birth through today, as well as many of the frustrating feelings I've had as a loving, yet confused parent. The book helps show how to best parent each of the five different types of children. The book states that you (the parent) are not the cause, but you can help be part of the solution via your parenting style. I started dog-earing the pages as I read the book so I could go back to the parts most on spot for my daughter. By the end of the chapter I realized that I had dog-eared almost every page. A must have for the parent of a challenging child (mine being the highly sensitive child).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. F. Robison on June 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The thing I like most about this book is that it allows busy parents and caregivers to focus specifically on the types and behaviors that they see in their child, without having to read the entire book. We've read lots of books and this was the first one that described our son so clearly and specifically. Thank you Dr. Greenspan!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Lai on September 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
A must have for the parents who have been during with a cranky child on a daily-basis - in order to lower your blood pressure! This book provides you with the knowledge that you need to deal with a challenging child.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Harrison on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not just for parents with VERY challenging children, but for ANY parent with ANY child. Who among us hasn't come up against a behavior or problem with our child, and felt as if we had tried everything we know of, with no result? It doesn't have to be a huge pattern of difficult behaviors to drive you crazy; it can just be that One Thing that you fight over, every day...

I love that Dr. Greenspan emphasizes the point of view of the child, to help frustrated parents understand that the kid isn't being deliberately, willfully difficult. I have two friends with VERY stubborn, almost 2 year olds, and I wish they would just crack the chapter on The Stubborn Child. They seem so frustrated, and sometimes I see them making the exact parenting missteps that Dr. Greenspan outlines. I must admit that it is hard to read the book and see yourself there, in the mistakes you've made and the things you've thought and tried. But, as I tell my son, kids don't come with an instruction booklet attached, and parents make mistakes sometimes, too.

This book is full of kind and sound advice and really helped our family. I wish the title was somewhat different, because at first blush it seems as though it was written only for the parents of that Kid Throwing the Huge Tantrum in the middle of the restaurant; you know, THE CHALLENGING CHILD. But, it is a great book for all of us, who want to understand our kids more and become better, more confident parents, and raise happy and loving children. I'd give it as a shower gift but I'm sure it would offend!!
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