(Will appear in the April 2008 issue of Community News)
A restive person is resistant to being controlled. It can also mean that the person is impatient or unhappy when an attempt is made to control or restrict him. The word comes from the French word rester - which used to have the meaning to resist. Restive is a nifty word, but it's easy to confuse with restless, which has nothing to do with being controlled and comes from an entirely different root - the old Germanic word rasta. One could lead to the other, though. For example, parents whose restive child refuses to go to bed will end up restless. Both will probably get whiney, which comes from another Old English word.
I'm collecting all of these at: http://www.dvorkin.com/davidsdefs.html