I saw this book a while back and wondered what it might contain. I get a little weary of experts labeling children as strong-willed. Why would we want to strap our small children with the burden of a title that makes them seem deficient. These character traits we seem to deplore in small children become the tenacity we applaud in adulthood. The difference to me is seeing the beauty in the character that has been entrusted to our children by God. Our job is not to become angry at it, but to help them cultivate their personality to the glory of God. That's one of the reasons that I enjoyed this book. It touts the positive attributes of the spirited personality. We can think we are raising a terror or we can believe that we are raising a strong, passionate adult.
The main thing I enjoyed about this book was simply how it pointed out the challenges of this personality type and how to prepare for and direct it. The child that has a spirited temperament is generally more perceptive and sensitive to their environment than other children. They can have trouble transitioning and things effect them with much more depth. This can lead to being so overstimulated by environment and to tantrums. Our natural tendency is to react to these tantrums. Part of the tactic to overcoming and redirecting these tantrums is to not have adult sized versions in retaliation.
For the most part, I enjoyed this book because it gave me some clear insight into what might be overstimulating to my daughter and ways to help her engage in calm activities. I saw areas where I could help her and help myself to respond appropriately to certain situations. There are some places that I would disregard completely. Some of the suggestions were to let the child have a certain amount of tantrums or try to create this environment where things would not upset them so that you do not have to deal with the issues. For me, I want to tech my children the beauty of the spiritual gift of self-control and how to react appropriately instead of avoiding everything. I would give it 4 stars. Insightful, but not a solution. With everything that is shown to us, we must pray and ask God to show us what to do with it.
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