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The Challenging Child: Understanding, Raising, and Enjoying the Five "Difficult" Types of Children

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  131 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Most children fall into five basic personality types that stem from inborn physical characteristics: the sensitive child, the self-absorbed child, the defiant child, the inattentive child, and the active/aggressive child. Stanley Greenspan, M.D., is the first to show parents how to match their parenting to the challenges of their particular child. He identifies and vividly ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 10th 1996 by Da Capo Press (first published 1995)
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Nov 22, 2010 Lesli rated it really liked it
This book was very long and boring, I thought it should have been half as long. But it was extremely helpful and informative. It was one of the few helpful parenting books in my opinion, and I've read a lot of parenting books. It has five different personalities, and explains how to help those personalities become more well-adjusted. It was great to read because it turns out my daughter is Highly Sensitive child, and boy is she hard to care for because everything results in screaming. We can do ...more
Beth Trapani
May 30, 2011 Beth Trapani rated it really liked it
This book was very helpful. While my own child didn't fit most of the 'types' laid out in this book, I could see elements of his strong personality in some of the types. What made this book so helpful was the way Greenspan used a case study for each type, laying out specifics of how he encouraged the parents to work with the child to change behaviors. From that I could glean a lot of tips to use with my own son. He was very direct yet encouraging and offered reassurance that your challenging ...more
Mar 31, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Greenspan is one of my heroes. He's done some amazing, groundbreaking work on autism and PDDs, and this book is a remarkable guide to understanding kids who might not get a diagnosis, or may get many conflicting diagnoses. He has such a human approach to kids that others have often wanted to treat as rats to be trained with the right system of rewards and punishments. How can you go wrong with a guy who suggests that humor is a crucial tool to work with explosive kids? He has boundless empathy ...more
Courtney Clark
Sep 24, 2015 Courtney Clark rated it liked it
Shelves: homeschooling, 2015
Even though I couldn't fit my (current) difficult child into any of his groupings I found it helpful to reframe the entire situation as a "teaching moment". Which I suppose was in itself worth the read. And I'll admit my perfectly typecast "Sensitive child" was hit right on, and I wish I had read it when I was still learning to navigate HIM.

I'll suggest if you have a kiddo that you feel will really fit one of these 5 types, but if you have a kinda innatentive, kinda over-active, kinda defiant c
May 28, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
"As we grow with our children through the daily trials, tribulations, joys, and pleasures of life, we can only make one simple demand of ourselves: to learn from our experiences. We need to recognize that our powerful emotions, which are the basis of many of our mistakes, are, at the same time, also the foundation of our triumphs."
Feb 21, 2014 chippyvale rated it it was amazing
I'd borrowed this book from the library in hopes that it will be applicable to my work scope as a teacher, and I wasn't disappointed. I tried out some tactics on a passive/aggressive student and he's now slowly opening up his heart to me. It is an amazing and helpful book; I strongly encourage parents/parents-to-be/teachers to give this book a try :)
Ruth Ann
Jun 26, 2010 Ruth Ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting, own
Practical, helpful, and encouraging! This book helps you understand your child's difficult behavior and gives concrete suggestions on changing your own parenting behaviors to provide a nurturing, healing environment. First come to understand the behavior and what message the child is trying to convey. Only then will you know how to proceed.
Jun 22, 2015 Jude rated it it was amazing
I found this an immensely helpful book to read for work, although it's aimed more at parents than teachers. I wish a knew a paediatrician as thoughtful and thorough as this man to refer to in Melbourne! His recommendations for floor work with both parents and the child were very illuminating.
Feb 21, 2012 Lisa added it
The Challenging Child: Understanding, Raising, and Enjoying the Five "Difficult" Types of Children by Stanley I. Greenspan (1996)
Mar 14, 2010 Stacy added it
Shelves: parenting
Attributes most behaviors to the sensory way the child experiences the world. Good suggestions for play and discipline.
Karen Gareis
Mar 22, 2014 Karen Gareis rated it really liked it
Wish I could find a therapist like him in Virginia.... Becoming desperate. But this provided specific and useful information and insight that will definitely be applied in my household.
Deb Mccollister
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Nov 19, 2009 Kirsten rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, medical
my daughter has traits of 4 out of 5 of these "difficult" types...still learning.
Danna rated it really liked it
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Jessica Bloomquist
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