When it comes to raising a Spirited Child, it takes more than just learning how to deal with their behavior. It takes special skills as a parent to raise these unique individuals.
When most of us grew up, parenting was very cut and dry. Parents laid down the law and kids were expected to behave a certain way. No one even knew what “spirited” was, let alone the parenting skills you need for raising a spirited child.
As the world has progressed and different personalities in kids started to emerge, we realized there is a lot more to parenting than just following a generic parenting guidebook.
Things like autism, ADHD, and oppositional defiance order are now being diagnosed in kids more than ever. Is it because these traits are multiplying? No. It’s because we are realizing not every kid fits into the same mold.
Spirited (Strong-willed) Kids are the same way. It’s not their fault they were born with the personality they were born with. And it’s not your fault as a parent that they turned out this way.
Just like every kid is different, so are most parents. We don’t fit into the perfect parne4int mold either. And please don’t tell our kids this… but most of the time we have no idea what we are doing!
So stop worrying about being the perfect parent or the “typical” mom. Learn what makes YOUR kid tick and parent them the way THEY need.
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Parenting Skills you Need to Have with a spirited child
You don’t need to change every single little thing about the way you raise a strong-willed kid. But it doesn’t hurt to learn these skills. After all, we can’t expect our kids to change… they’re kids! But we can learn how to be the best parents for our kids and raising a spirited child is no different.
If you have a spirited kid, you will need patience… and lots of it! They will push your buttons and they will test your every move. You will have the urge to yell and scream right back at them.
But losing your cool and yelling back at a spirited kid will just intensify the fight inside of them. Making the situation worse for both of you.
Keep your cool. Be Patient. This is probably the hardest partoft raising a spirited kid. But it is by far the most important quality to have as a parent.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, spirited kids need routine. They thrive for it. And they meltdown when they don’t have it. Setting a routine has saved this mom from many meltdowns.
I’m not just talking about a daily routine, but actually giving spirited kids a heads up on any activities, plans, or changes. My daughter comes home from school and expects to do homework and then go play. If I (even nicely) ask her to do something out of her routine… help with chores, run an errand) she gets super grouchy. But if I tell her about it the day before, she easily goes along with the flow.
This is where lists come in very handy! Because they love their routines, we even have a morning routine list on her bedroom door. Simple things like: wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, brush hair, brush teeth, feed the guinea pig. As long as she knows in advance what her duties are, she will do them without any complaining.
Parents of spirited kids will go a long way if they have empathy. If you have a spirited child then you know how much they have to say about a certain topic. Chances are they are not always going to be right about their complaints. Most spirited kids don’t need to be corrected, they just need to be heard.
If you can empathize with your kids about what happened in school, or why a friend was mean to them (even if it was deserved) then you will get a whole lot more out of them then if you were to try to lecture them.
Learn everything you can
The minute you finally realize you have a spirited child, you better start learning as much as you can about the topic. Find books, websites, chat groups, even a counselor if you need one.
There are some really great resources out there that will help you understand what spirited means, how to recognize if your kid is strong-willed, and even what personality traits to expect if you do have a spirited child.
Start researching and implementing Positive Parenting. It will be the best thing you can do for you and your child. Two of my favorite reads about raising a spirited child are this book and this book.
Learn how to have a thick skin
This comes in two parts. First, have a thick skin around your kid. your spirited child will say things to you that will hurt. And you will want to say things that hurt them right back. These kids fight hard but they love hard also. So toughen up during the hard times, and know that the intense loving times are soon to come.
Whenever my daughter and I have our worst fights, I always know that afterward are the best moments. Like she knows it and strives to be the best kid she can for a while. Have thick skin through the tough times to get yourself to the good times.
But also, you absolutely must have thick skin around other parents. Using positive parenting is not easy at first. Especially those moments where you are in public or even around family and your kid has a meltdown.
Those other judgy moms will think you’re crazy when you stay calm and talk to your hysterical kid in a passive voice. You for sure will get stares when you offer your angry child options instead of punishments. And you most certainly will get lots of parenting advice from people who don’t have spirited kids.
Moms who think they know better because their kid doesn’t act that way. Parenting who think you just need to be more strict. Screw those people. they don’t live in your shoes. They don’t deal with your child on a daily basis. And most importantly, you are doing what’s best for your child, not the people around you. Always remember that.
celebrate them and love them
Spirited kids more than anything, need you to love them. They feel more than the average kid their age. They need more reassurance then other children they play with.
Find the positives in your Spirited Child and pump that up every day of their lives. And during their worst darkest moments… love them. And make sure they know it.
So when my daughter is yelling at me, telling me to go away, saying that she hates her life… the best thing I can do for her is there waiting for her. Knowing when she needs extra love.
My daughter is strong, intelligent, creative, and is a natural born leader. She has taught me that not all people are made the same, and how to adapt to different personalities. She made me a strong mom and she loves me fiercely. And for all of this, I am lucky to be her mom, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Do you have a spirited child?
It takes a special person to be a parent. It takes a strong person to raise a spirited child. So just when it seems like your kid is out of control and all hope is lost, remember one thing. You will succeed if you can learn how to be the parent they need you to be.
What special mom-skills do you have that help with your spirited child? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!
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