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When the Labels Don't Fit: A New Approach to Raising a Challenging Child
Synopses & Reviews
“One of the finest and most helpful books we have ever read . . . should be the first stop for any parent trying to help a struggling child.”
—Brock Eide and Fernette Eide, authors of The Mislabeled Child
Finally, a positive approach designed around your childs traits and needs
Many children do things that seem odd, troubling, or excessive at some point in their development, and our culture is quick to attach a label to every child whos “outside the box” or hard to raise. Again and again, studies document the explosion in the number of children receiving psychiatric diagnoses for being intense, moody, or offbeat.
In this groundbreaking book, childhood development expert Barbara Probst provides a new framework for identifying the specific traits—like rigidity, curiosity, perfectionism, intensity, slow tempo, a need for novelty, or a need for control—that lie at the root of your childs challenging behavior.
When the Labels Dont Fit features a questionnaire for profiling your childs temperament and more than sixty strategies for dealing with specific kinds of behavior. Its the first comprehensive system thats not based on figuring out whats “wrong” with your child, but on helping you tap into your childs strengths so you can manage, nurture, and enjoy his or her essential nature.
"Probst, a clinical social worker and educator, argues that our society has become too quick to diagnose and label children who think or act outside the box as having a psychiatric disorder or disease. Although there are times when a diagnosis and medication are called for, Probst believes that the 'diagnosis explosion' is over the top (adding up the medical statistics, she concludes that '44 percent of all American children are pathologically depressed, anxious, defiant or hyperactive'). Probst presents fresh tactics for dealing with difficult children, using temperament as a basis for understanding and intervention. Guiding parents through a temperament questionnaire, she maps 11 core traits, including energy source, attention and sensory sensitivity. She then offers practical strategies and tools parents can use when a child's social or physical environment clashes with his temperament (for instance, a simple timer can help a child who has problems with transitions; discussing a 'backup plan' may help a child who has trouble adapting to unexpected situations.) The author encourages parents to 'reframe' their own thinking and focus on their child's strengths (i.e., a label such as 'antisocial' can be seen as 'self-sufficient,' or 'hyper' as 'lively'). Readers seeking innovative ways to handle a challenging child will be drawn to Probst's bright and benevolent approach." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Not every difference or difficulty a child has indicates a disorder that needs to be treated. Childhood development expert Probst offers a look behind the quick-to-stick labels to show how to help--not simply diagnose--a challenging child.
About the Author
BARBARA PROBST, MSW, LCSW, an educator and clinician for more than two decades, specializes in helping families with challenging children. She gives presentations throughout the country, and her articles have appeared in numerous parental and professional publications. She lives in Westchester County, New York.
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