Sulky, Rowdy, Rude?

Why kids really act out and what to do about it

Authors: Bo Hejlskov Elvén and Tina Wiman

The book, Sulky, Rowdy, Rude? is primarily written for parents, using the lens of the Low Arousal Approach. It flows easily using common language instead of scientific terms. Each chapter begins with a scenario between a child and parent, followed by an analysis of what went wrong and how it can be improved. The book is divided into 3 parts. The first part goes through 13 principles that are necessary to understand what the Low Arousal Approach is. Part 2 describes case scenarios with action plans. Part 3 gives extra study material.

I encourage educators to read Sulky, Rowdy, Rude? because the principles of Low Arousal certainly apply to childcare. Low Arousal refers to an approach that is preventative in nature. The aim is to understand the phases of escalation in order to de-escalate an individual before they have a meltdown. If this happens, the aim of Low Arousal is to manage the situation so that no one gets hurt. It is mainly a hands-off approach.

When the CISS Resource Library first purchased Sulky, Rowdy, Rude? I was the first person to take it out. I was looking for a resource on the Low Arousal Approach as I wanted to understand more about it. Six months later the CISS Training and Resource Coordinator asked me if I was done reading the book. I replied that I had read it several times and just could not part with it. She suggested I purchase my own copy so that others may have a chance to read it. The book is back in the Library. I hope many readers will borrow this book. My favourite part is the list of de-briefing questions in part 3, that we can ask ourselves after a particularly challenging and/or aggressive conflict. These self-reflection questions are essential if we don’t want those extremely challenging behaviours to repeat themselves.

Borrow this book from the CISS Resource Library today!

Pina Giovannitti, RECE, BA Psych, BST, FNS Practitioner
CISS Behaviour Consultant