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Parents of "spirited" children... anyone out there? - Page 4

post #61 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatermom View Post
MamaPisces,

Okay, so we homeschool and always have -- just want to get that bias out there right now. :-) However, I have a ton of friends who use brick and mortar schools for their kiddos, and I can guarantee that each and every one of them would agree with me -- that school day is MUCH too long for a 4 year, especially a 4 year old spirited boy. That's a long time to be away from home (i.e. the familiar and comfortable), it's a long time to be on someone else's schedule, and if he is the least bit introverted, that's a long time to be expected to interact civilly with others. We would never expect a child his age to work those kind of hours, and yet for many children his age, it definitely can start to feel like work.
I would keep looking. He's not happy, you're not happy. There's no reason to rush, and it's okay to change one's mind about something like this (you won't be losing face or setting a bad example). There have to be some half days programs somewhere around you; alternatively, find some activities and schedule 2 or 3 days around those (drop off programs at the Y, or something like that).

As for homeschooling, it's not as difficult as you might think. :-) Really, with very, very few exceptions, the vast majority of parents are capable of educating their own children. There are many statistics to back this up. Homeschooling doesn't happen in one particular way, either -- it can look like what you (and your children) want it to look like. :-) And it might be worth checking into the homeschooling group, even if it looks cliquish. Looks can be deceiving, and the information and experience you can tap into can be invaluable.

GL!!
Thank you....I read the bolded part and started nodding my head. Although he is not the least bit introverted. Part of me feels like we haven't given it enough of a chance, but the other part of me is screaming: Get him out, now!!! How much can he possibly learn if he is miserable all day? Although it seems that he is ok and happy while he is there, unless they are not letting on that he is unhappy/acting out/whatever and then saving his real feelings for me. Gah, I am open to the idea of homeschooling, or at least letting him be FOUR for a year before we possibly consider kindergarten...but my dh does not see how it is possible for us to homeschool, and ds is so bouncing-off-the-walls/rough with his sister/does not seem to know when to stop -- that if I insist that he stay with me I don't think DH will be supportive of it, for those reasons.

I just started looking up charter schools...there appear to be none near us, and I really don't think there are any other half day options that are free or cheap enough that we can afford right now. I will definitely do more research on homeschooling and perhaps find more out about the LLL hs co-op. Maybe if I find other possibilities that can work I can give this school the boot after *this* week, not next. That thought makes me really happy, but at the same time, the thought of having him with me all day makes me think: "What am I going to doooo?"

Thanks, theatermom. And thank you, Ariatrance, for your input also, but I might really go crazy if we wait 6 weeks to see different results. Sigh...for now, I need to try to sleep, as today is my dd's first birthday and we are having friends over later to celebrate with us. I really appreciate the support!

ETA: Funny thing is, he's fine in the mornings. He just got dressed without any protest and without much reminding , and waved happily to me and dd as DH drove him off. We'll see what happens later... although DH is picking him up early today, whether they like it or not. Heh.
post #62 of 112
Well, we survived the first week, and are tentatively keeping him in, for now. I hate how long the day is. But as the week went on he started adjusting more and more, not to say that everything is perfect by any means, but he seems to like it and is not having fits for hours (or even in the car, at all) after I pick him up. I think he realized he needed to nap at school, and once he started doing that things have been a little smoother. I don't see us keeping him in the whole year; we are just taking it day by day for now, and given that he continues to like it we will reassess things after we move in less than a month. For now, I have a house to pack up, pretty much by myself.

How is everyone else doing? I didn't kill the thread, did I?
post #63 of 112
I just feel like pulling my hair out. DS2 is driving me nuts. Really, he won't stop talking and he has to do everything "BY MYSELF!!" If he doesn't get to he melts to the floor screaming and crying.

He was to be the ringbearer at a wedding yesterday that was pretty much a disaster. No one really expected him to co-operate. I didn't think he would sit on my lap the whole service talking loudly about how he wanted to go inside and he didn't want his pillow and wanted to be naked.

DD took had an adventure this week and let herself out of the yard. She was missing for about a half hour. We were all terrified, the police were called and everything. She opened the gate we thought she couldn't open and later told us she was "trick or treating" with her very limited language skills.

Add a 8 week old puppy to the mix and pregnancy and I feel like the world is closing in on me.

I really just don't know how to deal with DS2 most of the time. Yesterday I put him a baseball shirt and said he looked like he could play baseball. We spent the next 2 hours listening to him ask when he was going to his baseball game. He was going to the wedding...he is 2...DS1 finally took him outside and threw the ball a couple times for him. I have to be SOOOOOO careful what I say to him.

Sorry for the massive vent. I am just feeling very overwhelmed. Today DH is gone and DS1 has to go for his soccer pictures which means I will have to take all the kids. We may just take a movie and sit in the van until he is done.

Maybe I should just send them all off to school.
post #64 of 112
My oldest DD is already telling me she isn't going back to school. The past month has been rough, I didn't want to overschedule, so our 'summer' activities ended about three weeks ago. Mistake. I originally enrolled DD in 5 days morning preschool, then changed her to 3 days. The change was made, but not in the records, so we found out at orientation that she's in a 5 day class, and all the other classes are full.

I tried to explain the her the difference, and she seems okay, but we'll see.
post #65 of 112
hey mamas and papas. I'm dying here. DS has been teething all week with fever, snotty nose, the whole shebang. He had a 103 degree all weekend, almost no sleeping and is super miserable. When this is over I think I'm checking into the nearest psych ward for a vacation.
post #66 of 112
I'm just about at the end of my rope with my almost 7 year old spirited DS. He starts school again in 2 days but I'm worried I may not make it even that long. I am so tired of the disrespect, constant arguing, screaming and arguing. He's so exhausting. Emotionally and physically exhausting. I feel like it's everything I can do to not become that screaming, yelling, tyrant that I know I'm inches away from sometimes. I just feel like I have totally failed at parenting with him most days. My DD is so easy and laid back comparatively. She is 23003249230494 easier then he has ever been. I feel like I have been completely successful with raising her... but somewhere, somehow I am lacking with DS and I worry about when he is a teenager. I already feel completely out of control with him... I can't imagine when he's bigger then I am (he already comes to my shoulder and only weighs 1 size smaller in shoes then I do) I fear the day he realizes he is stronger then I am. I'm just so tired of fighting with him. I want to have a loving, easy relationship with him like I do my daughter but some days, I have trouble even being around him.
post #67 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama*pisces View Post
Oh, also a good thing to do if you do end up grocery shopping with the kids is to go over your family's "grocery store rules of the day" --if they change, mine are usually flexible and change according to what store we go to. As we're pulling in to the parking spot I'll say "what are the grocery store rules?" and he'll repeat whatever we've already agreed upon, usually it's that he will walk right next to me or ride on the end of the cart, and that if he has trouble staying next to me that he then needs to ride IN the cart. Usually if we go over the rules beforehand there are no problems, at the grocery store, anyway!



This idea is a great one! We do something similar for many different situations, not just the grocery store. I often forget this jewel of advice - but nothing compares to prepping BEFORE entering a situation. These are the rules, these are the consequences.

DD does MUCH better if she knows exactly what to expect and what is expected of her. Whether that's on an excursion she has regularly (grocery store) or something new and different (birthday party etc).
post #68 of 112
OK I belong in this group. I just realized that everyone else's kids are not, in fact, on vicodin.
post #69 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama*pisces View Post
Well, we survived the first week, and are tentatively keeping him in, for now. I hate how long the day is. But as the week went on he started adjusting more and more, not to say that everything is perfect by any means, but he seems to like it and is not having fits for hours (or even in the car, at all) after I pick him up. I think he realized he needed to nap at school, and once he started doing that things have been a little smoother. I don't see us keeping him in the whole year; we are just taking it day by day for now, and given that he continues to like it we will reassess things after we move in less than a month. For now, I have a house to pack up, pretty much by myself.
Mam*pisces - how have things been the second week? Sorry I didn't have the chance to respond before this. We've been out of town so my MDC time cut way back :-)

When DD started school it was a similar situation. We did two things that may or may not even be an option for you, but I'll put them out there. 1. we cut her back to three days a week and 2. we asked to pick her up early. The school is small and flexible so it worked for us, but maybe it is worth asking, if you haven't already?

I know how you feel. I always thought homeschooling sounded perfect for us. But the reality is that it wouldn't be an option. I just cannot provide the amount of energy and attention DD requires 24/7. And I have found it to be very important for her to have a second set of people/rules/schedule to learn how to mesh with. We have no family nearby so DD doesn't ever spend time away from me. Other than school, she has *zero* experience in getting along with others. (If that makes sense.)
post #70 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached2Elijah View Post
I'm just about at the end of my rope with my almost 7 year old spirited DS. He starts school again in 2 days but I'm worried I may not make it even that long. I am so tired of the disrespect, constant arguing, screaming and arguing. He's so exhausting. Emotionally and physically exhausting. I feel like it's everything I can do to not become that screaming, yelling, tyrant that I know I'm inches away from sometimes. I just feel like I have totally failed at parenting with him most days. My DD is so easy and laid back comparatively. She is 23003249230494 easier then he has ever been. I feel like I have been completely successful with raising her... but somewhere, somehow I am lacking with DS and I worry about when he is a teenager. I already feel completely out of control with him... I can't imagine when he's bigger then I am (he already comes to my shoulder and only weighs 1 size smaller in shoes then I do) I fear the day he realizes he is stronger then I am. I'm just so tired of fighting with him. I want to have a loving, easy relationship with him like I do my daughter but some days, I have trouble even being around him.
Wow - I could have written this post several times in the last two weeks about my DD1, who is 5 years old.

It is ALL I can do most days to keep it together and not totally lose it. Scratch that. I DO lose it most days. Ugh! This morning she had a screaming fit before DH even left for work. I sat her down, looked her right in the eye and said (very lovingly) "I don't want today to go like our other recent days. I want us to be kind and loving to each other, ok?" By some miracle she actually sat still and listened to those two sentences, her normal reaction would be to look elsewhere, squirm away and give me some flip answer. But this morning she nodded in agreement and gave me a huge hug. She seemed relieved! And within TWO minutes she was at it again - whining, screaming, hitting, pushing her sister.....

I know she doesn't like it being this way, but I cannot figure out how to help her. And aside from the draining, soul crushing frustration of the every day toughness, I worry about what happens when she gets older. How will I handle it when she has friends who drive cars and she starts sneaking out her window at night to get away from us? And what about when she's all grown up and she can't manage her emotions? I need to find a way to help her navigate her intense emotions.

For now I'm going to focus on enough sleep, food, and activity for her. And I'm going to read Raising your Spirited Child every free moment I have.
post #71 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
Mam*pisces - how have things been the second week? Sorry I didn't have the chance to respond before this. We've been out of town so my MDC time cut way back :-)

When DD started school it was a similar situation. We did two things that may or may not even be an option for you, but I'll put them out there. 1. we cut her back to three days a week and 2. we asked to pick her up early. The school is small and flexible so it worked for us, but maybe it is worth asking, if you haven't already?

I know how you feel. I always thought homeschooling sounded perfect for us. But the reality is that it wouldn't be an option. I just cannot provide the amount of energy and attention DD requires 24/7. And I have found it to be very important for her to have a second set of people/rules/schedule to learn how to mesh with. We have no family nearby so DD doesn't ever spend time away from me. Other than school, she has *zero* experience in getting along with others. (If that makes sense.)
Thanks for asking. He is tolerating it pretty well, but the way the schedule is seems to cause a lot of stress in our daily routine. BUT...this past week I found out about this wonderful program at the local high school. They have a preschool (I'm guessing for 3 and 4 year olds, two of my friends with 3 year olds have signed up), taught by highschoolers attending that school that have interest in pursuing a teaching degree, but it is overseen by an experienced teacher - the hs students make up daily lesson plans but everything has to be approved by the teacher running it. There are only 15 slots(and we barely got in b/c I found out about it at the very last minute), and the daily schedule is somewhat similar to what he has now, EXCEPT that the hours are...ready for this? It's Tuesday through Friday, half day 9-12 or full day 9-2. So not only is the "full" day just about 2 hours less than what he is required to do now, we have the option of a half day, and we can switch from half to full day if we so desire. Now, we do have to pay for this, and his pre-k now is free. BUT it is a very reasonable price per month, considerably less than we have ever paid for a pre-school prior to this. Which makes sense, since it is, in essence, a training program for the highschool students. Oh, and another thing I like about it is that there is a 1:1 or 1:2 teacher/student ratio. They have a lot of group time, free play, outside time, lunch, a short nap, and then once or twice a day they have the one on one time with a highschooler, and they work on whatever the kids' individual needs are: phonics, numbers, whatever, and it's done in 15 minute intervals. Which I think is a perfectly suited learning environment for ds - one on one, or at least one to two, in a small class with two of his buddies, and learning new concepts in a relaxed atmosphere from a "big kid".

All I have to say is: It starts the 21st and I will be sure to come in here to update.

ETA: Those are great suggestions Hokulele, I've already hinted at the school admin that I wanted to pick him up early, and all I got in reply was that if he misses a certain amount of time/days, he loses his spot in the school. That was one of the many reasons for my frustration, the school is very UNflexible. And as far as homeschooling, I'm still keeping it as an option for kindergarten(as I don't agree with a full day for kindy either, and that all that "seems" to be offered around here), but I kinda feel the same way as you. Ds has sooo much energy and is so quick to frustrate me, that it's hard for me to imagine having him all day and being able to teach him effectively. But I'm working on possibly finding or forming a co-op, which I think could really help.
post #72 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached2Elijah View Post
I'm just about at the end of my rope with my almost 7 year old spirited DS. He starts school again in 2 days but I'm worried I may not make it even that long. I am so tired of the disrespect, constant arguing, screaming and arguing. He's so exhausting. Emotionally and physically exhausting. I feel like it's everything I can do to not become that screaming, yelling, tyrant that I know I'm inches away from sometimes. I just feel like I have totally failed at parenting with him most days. My DD is so easy and laid back comparatively. She is 23003249230494 easier then he has ever been. I feel like I have been completely successful with raising her... but somewhere, somehow I am lacking with DS and I worry about when he is a teenager. I already feel completely out of control with him... I can't imagine when he's bigger then I am (he already comes to my shoulder and only weighs 1 size smaller in shoes then I do) I fear the day he realizes he is stronger then I am. I'm just so tired of fighting with him. I want to have a loving, easy relationship with him like I do my daughter but some days, I have trouble even being around him.
-- I felt like this for almost the entire time ds was 3. It certainly didn't help that I had a newborn and my hormones were all out of whack. I really hope that things are getting better for you!
post #73 of 112
I guess I belong here!
I've heard about "spirited children" but I didn't realize that I had one. I've always described him as "intense" but thought that spirited children were those that are out of control or hyperactive.
I'm in the middle of reading "Taming the spirited child" and it describes DS1 to the letter. Scarily so!

There is a definite difference between a "spirited child" and a normal busy, outgoing child.
I have one of each (and a very mellow baby!) and the difference is so clear. Both are very much boys, but one does not need nearly as much correction as the other and is not nearly as persistent or dramatic.

I am blessed, they are excellent siblings. Of course they have their minor disagreements, but they share *everything*, they are kind to eachother, they love eachother and show affection easily. Now DH and I need to work on being more friendly and less harsh because that obviously doesn't work
post #74 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
OK I belong in this group. I just realized that everyone else's kids are not, in fact, on vicodin.
Haha (I think)

My middle child, age 5 DD, definitely fits this category. The best word to describe her is intense...emotions, reactions, feelings, stubbornness, energy, sweetness, empathy, intellegence, etc. She also just started K and is doing well academically, but struggling to keep good behavior all day (7 hours, no 1/2 day options here). She is crazy when she gets home, and was on red 3 days last week at school. I am trying to decide how to handle it at home, what consequences for her behavior, and suggestions for her teacher to work with her. Any ideas?
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post #75 of 112
HI Jillmama,
Personally, I think the red/yellow/green light concept doesn't work with little kids, and really doesn't work with spirited children. They need more immediate feedback when something is going well, and something more concrete than "moving their card" when something isn't going well.... so I'd talk to the teacher about setting up a different positive behavior system with your child (at least).
Also.... we (try) to go to the playground a few days a week afterschool on our way home or on our way to an activity.... even if it's for 10 minutes.... it seems to help my DD transition/let out her emotions, etc.
Good luck!
~maddymama
post #76 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post
OK I belong in this group. I just realized that everyone else's kids are not, in fact, on vicodin.
Amen!
post #77 of 112
Just wondering how other spirited kids are in the car. We live in a rural town and have to drive 20 minutes or more to get to a lot of places. My dd does not do well in the car, as she gets bored easily and it's hard to sit still that long. We do give her stuff to do in the car, and talk to her a lot. Just wondering if other spirited kids are like this
post #78 of 112
My son is a spirited child. Everything about him is intense, in your face, to the max. Emotions were as intense as you could imagine. When he was younger, he needed constant stimulation- mental, physical, sound, etc. He was always on the go, never stopped, could not sit still to save his life. And his imagination... wow! Now that he's 15, he's toned it down a bit, and I'm pregnant with another spirited little boy. This, I'm getting nervous about- when I had my son, I was 19, so much younger, so much more energy. When I think of the things my first son used to do, especially in his toddler and preschool years- climbing out the second story window, dumping everything in the fridge all over his toys in his playroom to make it "rain", stealing a screwdriver to unscrew the screws on the electrical sockets- and I never left him alone at that age for more than 10 minutes at a time to go to the bathroom!!! I'm not sure if I have the energy to go through all that again, with my little son- every doctor's appointment, different doctors, different nurses, they all tell me I've got a wild one in there, that I'd better be ready when he's born, that I'd better have alot of patience, for this one, etc! I can feel him as I type- he rarely stops moving, he's literally bouncing off the walls in there!
post #79 of 112
Hi there! Can I join in? I don't have a lot of time now (I'm at work and should be working) but I just had post quickly. My DS is not quite 1 and he is DEFINITELY a spirited child. The book was recommended to me before DS was even born so I read it then. DH is a spirited guy and needed some coping mechanisms so I read it to help him. Well, lo and behold, DS is just like his father. They are exhausting!

Like I said, DS is not quite 1 and already we are getting frustrated with teaching him. He screams to communicate, wants to do everything on his own.... he's soooo strong-willed. He's also a very loveable kid and can be sweet. It is just difficult knowing how to meet his needs. He obviously wants something but we can't figure out what since he is still learning how to talk. And my attempt to teach him to sign died immediately. He won't keep still!

Anyway, I look forward to reading and learning from you all!
post #80 of 112
Joining in!

I have a 2 1/2 year old DS who is just on the spirited scale. My husband and I were/are BOTH spirited and also diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as children. I do not believe that will be the case for my son, but his being spirited does create challenges for us just the same.

He is more of an extrovert for sure (like his mommy) and the most willful child ever! I find myself loosing my temper and patience a lot lately...and I rely on Attachment Parenting and the "Raising your spirited child" book for my own grounding. It can be so hard to keep cool when you are under stress and have a HIGH energy HIGH demand child.

I'm glad we can talk to each other! So many people just don't get it.

Peace,
Annette
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