My niece is definitely what you would call a "highly spirited" 3 year old. Her parents differ a lot from us in all of their parenting approaches, and I know that some of their choices have made things a bit more difficult for them at this point. Examples of her behavior include typical 3 year old behaviors, but perhaps quite a bit more intense and extreme. She will bolt away from the parents and run off (has crossed a street in doing so), she throws a bit fit when she doesn't get what she wants, etc. These are normal behaviors, and I don't think she necessarily has any sensory disorder or anything, but they are indeed more extreme than I have witnessed in my own kids or friends' kids. At the preschool, she wouldn't follow instructions and did her own thing. She was given a time out, and then was required to sit instead of going to recess. She tried to bite the caregiver.
Overall, she seems a little less developed than my friend's kids, either she hasn't been given the nurturing and opportunities for learning, or perhaps she is a bit slow (I suspect it is the lack of nurturing, though). This is sad to me.
She was basically asked to leave this highly rigid, structured "preschool" program (religious based), so the parents are kindof open to new ideas. (Luckily, they may be putting her into a good montessori instead) I am trying to compile a list of books/resources for them. So far I have come up with the following. Any other books I have missed?
Raising your Spirited Child, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
Sleepless in America, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka (after all, a lot of it is sleep!)
Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, Adele Faber
Redirecting Children's Behavior, Kathryn Kvols
The Explosive Child, Ross Greene
I never finished the Explosive Child, so I'm not sure how helpful it is. But, I really loved all of the other ones on that list. Any other thoughts?