How to Parent an Intense Child in Today’s World

Over the years I have learned a great deal about various child & parent therapies, how to parent a child with anxiety, how to parent a child with anger, and I have had many experiences with my extreme child that afford me an education that I feel I must impart.

My child is not on the spectrum and he does not take medication. I have been on the road to educate myself and to help guide him to be content in life.

This path is not the easy one but the best things in life are never easy and instead are worth fighting for…

Here are two books I’ve discovered recently…

How to Parent an Intense Child – Parenting Books

Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions by Pat Harvey & Jeanine Penzo introduces Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The authors walk parents through specific strategies to help their children & themselves in dealing with intense emotions. The techniques outlined in this book will help parents as much as they will help children with big emotions.

Related Read: Why I am Not Teaching My Compassion & Kindness

This clearly well-researched book provides insights into child development & psychology that enlighten parents trying to genuinely help their children. The authors offer various “what to do” (including validation & acknowledgment) and “what not to do” (such as dismissing & disciplining) tactics when managing a child’s emotional dysregulation.

You will bridge your understanding of your child and your ability to help your child.

Related Read: Golden Responses for the Impatient Child

Living with Intensity by Susan Daniels is insightful across a wide range of ages and developmental stages for gifted children (and their adults!). This book really spoke to me, like I wanted to give it a big hug, or maybe the authors anyway. For so many years I have felt that my child is largely misunderstood and as a parent, I have felt incredibly judged for not knowing how to handle my “overexcitable” as the authors label these children.

I love this description of “overexcitables” (there are five categories) –

Their excitement is viewed as excessive, their high energy as hyperactivity, their persistence as nagging, their imagination as not paying attention, their passion as being disruptive, their strong emotions and sensitivity as immaturity, their creativity and self-directedness as oppositional.

Related Read: The #1 Thing Parents All Do That Hurts Our Kids

The book gives descriptions of these qualities to better equip adults with the patience required to help these children. Furthermore, the book offers extensive practical strategies on how to best guide these children and how to best manage your own emotions.  I found the book hopeful as it allowed me to celebrate these big emotions and affirmed my belief that these intensities and sensitivities should be nurtured and not shut down.

Finally, the book introduced Dabrowski s Theory of Positive Disintegration, which I find both intriguing and enlightening.

Related Reads:

Other Recommended Books

The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene is a book I’ve written extensively about in the past. His collaborative problem-solving approach is accessible and helpful to managing children with extreme behaviors.

The Whole Brain Child by Dan Seigel is an extremely well-known handbook to adults understanding of the complexities of guiding a child with emotional dysregulation.

The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron is equally as well know and a terrific resource for any adult experiencing a child with big emotions.

Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

Marnie Craycroft

Marnie hails from Maine where she spent summers buried in sand and winters buried in snow. She is the daughter of a nearly four decade veteran of the public school systems. Teaching has always been a part of her life. She founded Carrots Are Orange in 2010.

Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori learning and living website for parents and teachers.

Marnie graduated from Wesleyan University in 1999 with a BA in Economics. She spent nearly a decade working in investment management. In 2006, she earned her MA in business from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999 and currently lives in Boulder with her husband and three sons. She is Montessori trained. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, Huffington Post, and Besides writing, passions include running (usually after her three sons), photography, and outdoor adventures.

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