Book Review: Fire Child, Water Child

Fire Child, Water Child is a revolutionary guide to parenting a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that does not rely on “quick fix” medication or pathologizing your child’s challenges.  In his many years working with children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), my dear friend, Stephen Cowan (who was also our daughter, Alison’s Pediatrician), has discovered that one size does not fit all kids. What helps one child focus his or her attention may not benefit another. Utilizing the wisdom of Chinese medicine, he describes five distinct ways children adapt to their environment – fire, wood, earth, metal, water and presents specific ways to support each of their strengths. There are five distinct ways children focus, presented for the first time in Fire Child, Water Child.

The Wood child is the adventurous explorer, always on the move and gets frustrated easily when constrained.

The Fire child is the charismatic leader, outgoing and funny but can be prone to mood swings and impulsive actions.

The Earth child is the cooperative peacemaker who can feel worried and indecisive when stressed.

The Metal child is comforted by routine and finds it difficult to shift attention from task to task.

The Water child is the imaginative dreamer, deeply introspective, who struggles to keep track of time.

This guide to parenting children with ADHD helps parents identify their child’s focusing style and use the appropriate skills and parenting techniques to reduce ADHD symptoms. For example, while children with metal focusing styles thrive with rules, regulation, and structure, and like knowing what is going to happen next, “fire” children seek explosive excitement and adventure.

For the first time in Fire Child, Water Child, parents are given a customized guide to reducing the stress that contributes to ADHD symptoms. Through this personalized approach, you will discover long lasting solutions that help your child become more confident and less impulsive and in so doing master the powers of attention. This holistic guide gives parents a chance to see the big picture of their child’s life and utilize all the forces that support a particular child’s nature. Dr. Cowan offers practical skills and activities that parents can use everyday to cultivate their child’s innate character strengths and develop the ability to focus calmly and effectively. I highly recommend this great book to anyone with young kids.

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