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Caring for the High Maintenance Child
By Kate Andersen.

Coping with High Maintenance Traits. March, 2018.
Dear Kate:
Derek, is now two and has always been a "crybaby". As an infant, he would not nap unless someone held him......
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Coping with High Maintenance Traits: Shifting to a Positive Focus

Every Temperament Trait Has Its Good Side

One of the most exciting aspects of temperament research is how it has revealed the traits that parents find 'difficult' at one stage of a child's development may later turn out to be assets. While you are waiting for that magical happening, reframing traits can help your child along on the journey towards the positive shift. Here are a few suggestions. Try to write a couple more of your own beneath each trait:

HIGH ACTIVITY LEVEL -lots of energy
LOW ACTIVITY LEVEL -relaxing to be around

SLOWLY ADAPTABLE -cautious and careful
VERY ADAPTABLE -easy to take places



NEGATIVE MOOD -can be serious

NON PERSISTENT -can make changes easily
VERY PERSISTENT -knows what he or she wants

REGULAR -predictable
IRREGULAR -can live without a schedule

VERY DISTRACTIBLE -notices little things
NON DISTRACTIBLE -can stick to things

HIGHLY SENSITIVE -could be artistic

Tips for Parents - Respectful Ways to Talk to a Child

If you call your child names like 'difficult' or 'brat' it hurts feelings and can affect self-esteem. If you need to talk about your child's behavior to your child, separate the behavior from the person. Say "I don't like running in the house" instead of "you are bad for running in the house". Better yet, suggest running in the yard instead. All parents get angry with their children from time to time. If you get angry and say something you later feel sorry about, tell your child you are sorry and you love him or her. Getting angry once in a while does not harm children but if you are angry with your child all the time your child will feel very bad about him or herself. The child's self-esteem will be damaged. Your child may show how bad he or she feels about him or herself by crying a lot, fighting with other children, defying you, damaging things or by being sad or angry all the time.

Support Groups or Counseling Can Help

If you are feeling angry with your child all the time joining a support group or going for adult counseling is a good idea. You will feel better and will be more patient with your child.

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