Monday, October 02, 2006

Intense children not the problem, their treatment is

[1 October 2006 - Providence Journal] “Do other people consider you intense?” inquires Howard Glasser, psychologist, author and keynote speaker to the large audience at Bradley Hospital’s annual conference called “Parenting Matters.” He’s clearly intense himself. “Do any of you have a child who’s considered intense?” Besides some teachers, psychologists and daycare providers, the audience is overwhelmingly parents, and they immediately murmur irate answers to this question, with a few shouts of "You bet." All parents who happen to have high-energy, high-strung children have been dragged into fights with and for those kids unwillingly and all too often. Glasser continues, “Intensity is a gift. But the world acts as though intensity is the enemy. So we find labels; we get unnerved; we have to find a cure. And the first approach is medication.” His audience is totally with him. All parents have kids who are intense in some way, at some times. But kids who are powered-up all the time can be mighty troublesome. Glasser barks, “The message to the kids is that there’s something wrong with your intensity. We can’t handle it, and neither can anyone else. We need to make it go away.” This hits home with me. Some of the smartest, most creative and exciting people I’ve known were, well, intense – and it seems like someone was always trying to intimidate or shame them into cowed compliance. More


  1. Anonymous9:28 PM

    My 3 yr. old has been intense since birth. However I've never knew about intense children before. Where do I draw the line?

  2. Anonymous6:59 PM

    My son is 16 but was (and still is) an extreme child. From the time he was born, leaving the house produced intense crying until he was brought home. When I returned to work when he was 6 months, he refused to have any part of me for about a year. It has just gone from there. Now I am trying to cope with the teen years and here we go again. Is he intense? I am so confused here.