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Parents of "spirited" children... anyone out there? - Page 2

post #21 of 112
I don't have advice for the potty training We got lucky in our process and my 2 yr old was out of diapers before 2, so we used a different strategy (I can still explain it if it would be helpful?)

I'm having a tough time with the "ants in his pants" syndrome & eating. He constantly has to be moving/standing (as you all are used to I'm sure) For activities it's not such a big deal, since I just work standing/moving into it (e.g allowed to stand for arts/crafts, more dramatic activities etc.)
Like others I've given up on story time for now. DS just can't sit for it at all - he wants to stand right in front of the book and excitedly talk about what he sees!!!
Where my trouble comes in is for eating times. We have always had a "sit to eat" structure, but it's becoming increasingly more difficult for him to sit. He squirms, wants to leave, wants to stand etc. It's not that he's not hungry - he will inhale and stuff his cheeks so he can get up & try to get away. While at home, he is still willing to sit in his high chair for dinner, so that works. For whatever reason he only wants to eat snacks/lunch/breakfast at his kids table or the big table - which is fine, except for the constant movement.
Telling him if he leaves the food is gone doesn't work - he doesn't love food that much, then melts down in an hour b/c he's hungry.

It's 10 times harder when we're out b/c he is so interested in the new place that he can't sit to eat for more than 10 seconds even when he's really hungry. He spilled two lunches at a picnic the other day b/c he kept trying to get up and run. We can be eating with a group of 2 year olds for a meal, and he is the only one with this issue, so he clearly stands out! I usually resort to spending time letting him eat in his carseat before we drive away.

How does everyone else do meal times & movement needs?
Does anyone else have a child that can't eat when their out b/c they're so interested in where they are? How do you manage?
post #22 of 112
Our second DS is a spirited child. He is described as intense many times. He is very verbal 5 to 7 word sentences already and doesn't really stop moving. He can have had no nap, been up since 6am and will be jumping on the bed at 7pm. Go, go, go, he is very exhausting for me.

I need to check the book out from the library and read it again. I think my DD may fit some, but she has down syndrome so who knows with her.

As for the eating...I'm not sure how old your DS is. Mine eats lots of small snacks during the day. He is always done before everyone else. I don't push him to stay at the table. I just let the boy graze.
post #23 of 112
nak
I needed to find this thread today.
I have a highly spirited 3 yr old DS.
He is my best buddy usually as we are both extraverts living abroad and love to see new things and make friends. Neither of us like being indoors so we're always out doing something.

However....3 weeks ago I gave birth to DD and it would seem like I am now Public Enemy #1.
When he's melting down right now (multiple times per day) his anger is directed at me, 'I don't want you Mummy', finger pointing, hitting me, not listening to anything I say.
It is breaking my heart and I'm not coping well. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that we came home from overseas for me to have the baby in mid May and DH only joined us when DD was born. We are staying with the in-laws too so my parenting is really under the microscope.
DS's world has been turned upside down in so many ways

I adore DD but I'm questioning already whether we should've had a 2nd child and also whether I'll be able to nurse DD for as long as DS (26 mos).

Thanks for listening!
post #24 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrfath View Post
Our second DS is a spirited child. He is described as intense many times. He is very verbal 5 to 7 word sentences already and doesn't really stop moving. He can have had no nap, been up since 6am and will be jumping on the bed at 7pm. Go, go, go, he is very exhausting for me.

I need to check the book out from the library and read it again. I think my DD may fit some, but she has down syndrome so who knows with her.
Your DS sounds like my DD, honestly the less sleep she has the more ramped up she gets. When she's exhausted she gets louder, crazier and much more apt to hurt herself. When/if she she naps(which I have to coerce her with a drive in the car) she's better.

That book does go into the fact that children with downs can be spirited also. My friend has a son who has downs and he may very well be spirited, for him it didn't appear until recently when he turned 3, but now it seems he's ramping up and being more difficult for her, maybe I should suggest the book to her.
post #25 of 112
Oh thank you! I am so glad this post is here.

Mom to a spirited 4.5 year old, and I am struggling. No sleep, no peace, some days I want to hang it up! Lately, with no summer camp or swimming lessons and the weather close to unbearable, my oldest is melting down. Mommy needs a break!
post #26 of 112
Thread Starter 
Oh yay!

I am feeling the MDC love right now. I just knew you other mamas of spirited kids were out there, I just had to find you. I've been away from MDC for a couple days but plan to read through all these posts and comment. Just reading all your descriptions of your kids really keeps me sane. Since I don't know anyone IRL who has a child like this, it helps me get my head on straight to read that there ARE others out there.

I haven't even finished RYSC, but I plan to very soon. And then I want to read it again right away! Looks like I need to get me a copy of Playful Parenting too.

Thanks everyone for responding!
post #27 of 112
Yep, I'm here! My ds is 4 and fits the definition of spirited to a tee. He has so. much. energy. And is so very loud. Most days I really feel like . He just goes goes goes from the minute he wakes up, is rough with his sister(though she loves it most of the time!), always has to be the center of attention, NEEDS outside time everyday, and does NOT seem to know when to stop sometimes, even when I have been patient and given him extra leeway. This year has been particularly hard because not only am I adjusting to life with two kids, but this past winter was extremely cold and now this summer has been EXTREMELY hot, with temperatures around 100 degrees...both of which have meant limited outside time for ds, which is NOT GOOD for our relationship. I have yelled so much, and have done other mean things in the heat of anger.... He just makes me so MAD sometimes, I just don't know what to do! Things were definitely more intense during the winter months, we seemed to be locked into a pattern where I was angry with him for weeks on end - thankfully it is not like that now. And he is starting pre-K in less than two weeks, which will definitely help. He is very social and I know he will enjoy the time with kids, and I need the time to regroup a little bit.

I'm actually reading Playful Parenting right now and it has helped some. He really seems to respond well to playfulness, and not as well to anger or threats(I really try not to threaten, but...that's not been so easy with him!). It seems sometimes that the angrier I get, the more it eggs him on to make a game out of it, which makes me even angrier! I'm getting --a little-- better at stopping that mid-cycle, and initiating making a game of things. Anger certainly does not seem to help these situations, that's for sure.

Anyway, hope to keep chatting with you all, I've been wondering if there was a thread or a tribe like this!!
post #28 of 112
wish i had time to post and respond to all that has been written. However at 4:42am I am finally tired enough to go to sleep. THe things I've been dealing with from my spirited almost 6yr old have been keeping me up late with exhaustion lol.

I am sad (a little depressed) over the strain on our relationship and it is also affecting my relationship with my DH (not like oh we are heading towards divorce, just very stressful).

I am up to extravert/introvert section so Im hoping to learn more helpful tips to come and I am going to make an appt with her ped to just check out other avenues and make sure all is well.
post #29 of 112
A book that has made dealing with my spirited child MUCH easier is
"How to talk to kids will listen and how to listen so kids will talk"
http://www.amazon.com/How-Talk-Kids-.../dp/0380811960

These communication techniques have become like second nature and take all the struggle and 'fight' out of dealing with my boy, especially when there's a problem or an issue we have to work through. He's sweeter, calmer, more helpful and kinder to his brothers.

Sometimes I wonder about the labels we give our children, could thier 'spirited' behaviour, or some of it, be a result of how they are treated and their environment.

One thing is for sure, my son has unlimited energy, and will bounce off the walls alot of the time. But its the negative side of his 'spiritedness', like being stubborn, complaining, meltdowns etc that I wonder about. Its very easy to label children and not do anything about it, especially looking at the way WE deal with them. I know in our situation, adjusting the way I talk and react to my child has bought a huge change in his behaviour.
Just thinking out loud here, not pointing any fingers.
post #30 of 112
mamapisces, I could have typed that post word-for-word. What a relief to read that someone else is dealing with it. This summer has been really tough, even with a pool to play in. It was too hot for the pool recently, and there as a lot of running in the house and yelling mama.

School starts shortly, and it will be a nice break for all of us.
post #31 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by welsh View Post
However....3 weeks ago I gave birth to DD and it would seem like I am now Public Enemy #1.
When he's melting down right now (multiple times per day) his anger is directed at me, 'I don't want you Mummy', finger pointing, hitting me, not listening to anything I say.
It is breaking my heart and I'm not coping well. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that we came home from overseas for me to have the baby in mid May and DH only joined us when DD was born. We are staying with the in-laws too so my parenting is really under the microscope.
DS's world has been turned upside down in so many ways

I adore DD but I'm questioning already whether we should've had a 2nd child and also whether I'll be able to nurse DD for as long as DS (26 mos).

Thanks for listening!
Having a second child is tough. Period. End of sentence. It doesn't matter if a child is spirited or not, adjusting to a new sibling and not being the sole recipient of mom's attention is just tough. That said, yes, I think a spirited child has a more difficult time expressing his emotions, processing his emotions, and eventually adjusting to his emotions.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to nurse my daughter very much either but we've made it 17 mos. so far. It was so, so freaking difficult the first six months. I can't lie - it is horrible (mine are only 20 months apart, so that added an extra layer). But once the new baby starts moving, she will become so much more interesting and seen as a playmate by your older child.

If you are still with family/have help, pass the newborn off after nursing a few times a day and just focus on your son. He needs to know that you are still there, you are still mommy, you are still his best buddy. I allowed my son to show his anger but tried to help him have appropriate outlets, i.e. not hitting me but hitting his stuffed animal or the floor. He was only 20 months, so he didn't understand a lot of what I said but he understood how I said it, he understood the hugs when he was angry and crying.

You'll get there. You will. One day at a time. Once you feel able, get out to a park or somewhere your son can run around and play, where you can wear the baby or push a stroller behind him. Cabin fever will not do anyone any good in this situation.

post #32 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by ariatrance View Post
Having a second child is tough. Period. End of sentence. It doesn't matter if a child is spirited or not, adjusting to a new sibling and not being the sole recipient of mom's attention is just tough. That said, yes, I think a spirited child has a more difficult time expressing his emotions, processing his emotions, and eventually adjusting to his emotions.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to nurse my daughter very much either but we've made it 17 mos. so far. It was so, so freaking difficult the first six months. I can't lie - it is horrible (mine are only 20 months apart, so that added an extra layer). But once the new baby starts moving, she will become so much more interesting and seen as a playmate by your older child.

If you are still with family/have help, pass the newborn off after nursing a few times a day and just focus on your son. He needs to know that you are still there, you are still mommy, you are still his best buddy. I allowed my son to show his anger but tried to help him have appropriate outlets, i.e. not hitting me but hitting his stuffed animal or the floor. He was only 20 months, so he didn't understand a lot of what I said but he understood how I said it, he understood the hugs when he was angry and crying.

You'll get there. You will. One day at a time. Once you feel able, get out to a park or somewhere your son can run around and play, where you can wear the baby or push a stroller behind him. Cabin fever will not do anyone any good in this situation.

Bolded ^^ is very, VERY good advice. Spending one on one time with your older child if at all possible will be crucial to maintaining relationship, and that should in turn(hopefully??) keep things from spiraling out of control. Connection is key. I was not so lucky as to have family around when dd was a newborn: my MIL picked a fight with me not a week after dd was born, it snowballed into this huge mess and we ended up not talking for three months(she is the only family we really have nearby). My mom came for a few days, but besides that I was on my own, with my DH working 60 hours a week. It was truly the hardest time I've had in my life.
post #33 of 112
I really like the idea of getting outside FIRST thing in the morning and letting him burn off energy(plus, it's not so hot then). Maybe then he would actually take a nap too! That's another issue we have, I try to implement quiet time every day to encourage him to take a nap or at least REST at around 1:00, at the latest 2:00. Yeah, right. Rarely happens unless we happen to be driving somewhere, in which case he falls asleep...but if he has no nap/quiet time, then comes "I'm so tiiiiired" at 4 or 5, which is hardly an ok time for a nap, and then I have to deal with grumpiness and fits for the next three hours....that's another reason why I'm ok with him going to pre-k, because they have quiet time every day, where he will have a choice to either sleep or play *quietly* on his mat. For....ready for this? An hour. How on earth they will get MY ds to sit on his mat for an hour everyday is beyond me.
post #34 of 112
I'm starting to think that I've been ahem "blessed" with another spirited. My DS is 10 months and is exhibiting much of the same behavior that started when DD was this age. He has sooooooo much energy compared to other babies I know his age. I'm not sure if he is learning it from his sister or it's just DH and I make one type of kid-CRAZY

Today he is just refusing to nap, he is 10 months, crawling 100 miles an hour since 7 months, cruising the same week, and has been going non-stop since he could move. Yet he's had some don't put down moments throw in there. He cries when he sees big kids running, his legs go a million miles and hour watching them run. Now that he's taking steps it's like his brain is too busy to sleep, ugh. Today I am feeling slightly insane from the 2 of them, plus I am getting ready for a trip so I'm trying to do stuff for that. I just wish they'd friggin take a nap!
post #35 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
crawling 100 miles an hour since 7 months, cruising the same week, and has been going non-stop since he could move.
My ds was just like this too....
post #36 of 112
He is in driving-me-crazy mode, right now. This kid does not know when to stop! And might I add that he spent 2 and a half hours this morning playing outside. We were both in a great mood, and it was a marvelous start to the day. I don't know what happened since then, but I need it to be bedtime, like now.

Ugh, I hate to sound so negative about him so much. I of course love him, he's my baby. But he really is difficult to get along with sometimes.
post #37 of 112
We just went to pick-up the Spirited child book from the library. I know it will apply to both of my younger ones. DS is just at a very trying age, don't want to be pinning a label on him. More looking for tools to help me cope.

Everyone is usally up before 6 and I am with them all until bedtime. Thank God they go to bed at or around 7pm. I am exhaused by then.
post #38 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama*pisces View Post
My ds was just like this too....
My DD was too, ugh.....that's why I'm starting to think I may have another on my hands. At least he finally caved into napping today.
post #39 of 112
How does everyone do grocery shopping? With my older child alone it's fine. With my spirited dd it's very challenging. Both of them together? Total nightmare.

I have tried several things: making dd her own list and having her help looking for things. Getting her involved in placing things in and out of the cart. They work for about 5 minutes. She's 4, and hasn't ridden in a cart in a long time. She won't even ride in those play car type ones.

What I've been doing is my bulk shopping at night by myself, or when both kids are in school or camp. However, that's not always possible. Peapod doesn't deliver in my area or I'd totally do that. Any suggestions?
post #40 of 112
Natalie12,
Is this all grocery stores, or do you only go to one? I ask this bc there is one grocery store in my area with harsher lighting, louder music, etc. We CAN NOT go to this store. We can go to another one a bit farther away, which has much more natural lighting, softer music piped in, etc. And then we only go for a few things at a time, if possible, otherwise I expect it to be rough.
For the big weekly shop, we usually take two cars to church on Sunday, and then my DH and DD2 go to the store, while I take DD1 home for some one-on-one time.
~maddymama
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