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Managing Active Intense Child

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Parent Handouts and Info - Parent


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Managing the active, intense child

Managing the active, intense child

You may sometimes find yourself overwhelmed by a highly active child; however, it is important to find ways to help your child make the most of his or her high energy and intensity. Here are some ways to help your energetic child to shine, without leaving yourself overwhelmed.

  • Give your child safe places to be active, both inside and outside your home.
  • Enjoy quiet times, however brief, when you get them.
  • 'Choose battles' with an intense child. "In the middle of a struggle, learn to ask yourself: What is the point here? If your answer is that you are doing something important, hold on to your position. If, on the other hand, you are trying to be 'consistent' or to save face, do yourself a favor and find a graceful way to give in" (p. 99).
  • Be specific. Telling your child to "behave" does not help him learn how to do better. Instead, try to give your child specific feedback about what he cannot do, and why. For example: "I am very angry because you ran away"; "I got so scared that you would get hurt"I love you very much and I don't want anything to happen to you"(p. 97).
  • You may need to match your child's energy level. When reprimanding, do not threaten your child; however, letting her know that you are angry can be an important way of helping her get the message.

Adapted from Lieberman, A.F. (1993). The emotional life of the toddler. New York: Free Press.

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