Characteristics of a difficult child
About 10 percent of children are born with difficult temperaments. Each difficult child is unique, but difficult children, by definition, are strong-willed, intense, irritable, negative, demanding, and fussy. They cry a lot, and their cry can be a loud, piercing wail. They tend to have irregular sleeping and eating habits, and they don’t usually react well to new experiences or changes in their routines. The innate factors that lead to that behavior don’t change with time.
What Can You Do About Your Difficult Child?
1. Try a unique spin. Notice the difficult factors—you can’t avoid them! Thinking of your child positively rather than difficult, impossible, or bad can help you find a way to focus on their strengths, rather than all the challenges of raising them. When you think of your difficult child as unique, you and your child can better see the world of exciting possibilities they contain.
2. Be kind and loving. The more difficult your child—and degree of difficulty happens on a spectrum, like virtually all human factors—the more important it is that they experience unconditional positive regard, bathed in your affection and warmth.
3. Choose your battles. Say “Yes!” whenever possible, putting a positive spin on any suggestions or reprimands you feel you must make. “Yes! You can have a cookie. As soon as dinner is over,” instead of “No, you cannot have a cookie. Eat your dinner, now!” Same answer, but a totally different spin and feeling and almost certainly a totally different response from your unique child.
God bless you.