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Raising your spirited child... - Page 3

post #41 of 114
I just happened to stumble upon this thread and I think this is definitely my ds. I'm not too sure what you mean by spirited child, if someone would like to explain it to me that would be great. I think I may have heard the term once or twice, but that's really all. My ds is out of control, literally, some days I just cry because I don't know what to do. He is a very caring, loving boy, and smart too, he just does whatever he wants when he wants, hits me, hits his head on everything when he gets mad or I'm not paying attention to him. Its all so completely different from dd, you would have never known she was in the room when she was his age. I'm worried that things will only get worse with him, and we have #3 coming in March so I'd like to try to start figuring out what to do, if anyone could help, or point me in the right direction if he isn't spirited I would be so grateful.
post #42 of 114
Here's a good link to give you the basics on spirited-ness:

post #43 of 114
Thank you. The site is very informative.
post #44 of 114
Popping late at night but had to reply here.

Isn't it just the best when you discover your child is NOT the ONLY one out there that is NOT like the others!

My son who will be 4 in a few weeks is a "crazy out of control".........I mean energetic and flexible boy!

He drains me on most days and I have had to throw out ( thought I still revert back on occasion) my "instinctual responses and parenting tactics out the window. As they just don't apply to him or work either. He is the equivilent of two kids! He is not only and extrovert and highly energetic but he is also quite gifted. So the body and brain DO NOT STOP EVER. Even when he sleeps his brain is going ( hence the night terrors and nightmares my poor kid has) He is also AMAZING and I love watching him learn and do things. He notices EVETHING, Hears EVERYTHING. He is loving and sensitive to others, he is aware of others emotions.

As a PP said all these things that drive us looney are the qualities we WANT them to have, as they will get them far in this life.

One of the things I have made myself aware of is that it isn't just about learning how to manage them but it's also about teaching them \how to recognize and manage themselves make them aware of their behavior then show them ways to deal with it. When my son is having a moment for whatever reason lately it's because of a lack of sleep, but when it happens I have him breathe with me, Deep breathes in and out and when he calms I ask why he is frustrated, angry sad? Of course it doesn't always work but atleast it reminds me to breathe!!!

Sorry this got soooooo long, I ob. have a lot to say on this topic.
post #45 of 114
Wahoooo! Just found you women!! DD is 7 - You may also check out Living with the Active Alert by Linda Budd. Saved our sanity and marriage!! DD has a fantastic imagination - which is a blessing and a curse. She can be a bull in a china shop and then a passing butterfly will scare/panic her. She just started tantrums!!! We try to stay organic/natural - which helps - sometimes!! Patience, Patience, Patience!!! Active Alerts are usually okay in public but save the (okay say this positive!) "interesting" behavoir for home. She is all or nothing - Makes us crazy!! I don't want to change her spirit but am trying to teach her to self control. Do your kids have trouble going to sleep? Started the yoga relaxation technique this summer and have had good results - so far! We weren't sure if her behavoir was just because she wasn't getting enough sleep or if she was just bipolar! Just kidding! DH stayed home with DS (10) and her so major problems didn't arrive until she hit first grade and DH went back to work. I have always worked full time - not happy about it - just worked out that way. We try to give DS extra attention - divide and conquer! He is very patient and sometimes he is the only one who can reach her when she is "loudly expressing her opinion." Thank you, thank you for starting this "thread"! Sorry, I'm relatively new and still getting the lingo. This may be a post - WHATEVER!! Thank you!
post #46 of 114
I sometimes wonder if DS's challenges don't come from being chronically over-tired. He's had difficulty sleeping since birth and still rarely naps for longer than 1 1/2 hours at a time. He's so happy when he wakes after the rare 2+ hour nap. I have yet to see a full night's sleep, so can't say what that might do for him.

I just put a hold on Living With The Active Alert Child. Looking forward to it and hoping I have a spare minute to read it after plowing thru Raising Your Spirited Child, Playful Parenting and Unconditional Parenting in all my "spare time"
post #47 of 114
[QUOTE=Inanna_Mama;9245250]I sometimes wonder if DS's challenges don't come from being chronically over-tired.

My son's behavior is very much directly related to the amount of sleep he gets. He has always been a not so great sleeper always had trouble settling down at naps and at night. TO help with this he gets a cup of Nighty-Night tea during his bedtime routine. It has been amazing for him. There are also tablets from Hylands that are similar. I think Sleep overall is a major factor in all kids, not just the "spirited" ones. "Our" children (meaning "our" as a society are most definitely sleep deprived in my opinion. There are times when my son has gone to bed and fallen asleep at 6pm to try and get him caught up.

Spritesmom: where did you learn the relax techniques. I have been wanting to start doing some yoga with my son?
post #48 of 114
Most school districts have a night school program- I used to try and get a course in every fall. The Y's usually have a yoga class and now the "Wellness" centers have them. Basically I tell her to get in a "comfortable" position - whatever that may be for her. Take three deep breathes, hold for three and let it out. I tell her this tells her brain it's time to slow down. Then I sing song - softly - " We're going to relax and have a good nights sleep and wake up refreshed for a new day. Just relax.....(Pause) relax.....just relax. Listen to Mom's voice and relax. - Draw RELAAAX out .- When she is still I start: Relax...(pause) just relax....(Pause) relax.... relax your toes....relax your heels....relax your ankles..... relax....just relax....relax. Now - she has no idea how to relax her toes, BUT the point of this is to get her to STOP long enough so her body can sleep. Slowly and getting softer - go up the joints..knees, hips, up the back, elbows etc. She has to stay still and I don't touch her. Sometimes in the middle, if she's still scratching something - I do the deep breathing again. You just want them to STOP. Active Alerts can't turn off their "fight or flights" so they are constantly "ON". We need to teach them how to turn themselves "OFF" for the night. She slept with headphones on since she was two, because she heard the "night noises" and was too scared to sleep. Don't let your pediatrician tell you that they can't do this!!! I spent many nights trying everything to get her to sleep before I came up with the headphones. She doesn't need them, now since the yoga. She is tired, she just doesn't know how to turn off to sleep. She never had the "Night Terrors" but her dreams are very vivid. I think she is handling them better since she is sleeping more. She also has the ability to change the course of her dreams. I started this with her when she was about three and saw Jurassic Park at my IL. I was furious!!! Their TV is always on - I mean ALWAYS. Anyway - dinosaurs chased/ate her for many a long night - I finally got her to turn herself into a BIGGER dino and chase/eat the ones getting her. I was truly amazed when I woke up the next morning with her standing by my head with a big grin on her face. "Hey, Mom - I kicked their butts last night!!" (She has an older brother!) She has since made friends with "the Clicking Man" who scared her for many nights until she figured out a way to make him stop. I try to let her figure it out. Empowerment is a wonderful thing at any age!! Sorry this is sooo long. I joined this site looking for just this. These kids are being diagnosed as ADHD etc. and I'm determined mine is going to be as free to be herself as any other kid. They are too smart and imaginative to be falling in the cracks or labelled.
post #49 of 114
That's so awesome, Spritesmom! Thanks for sharing your wonderful nighttime strategy (and the cool way you helped your dd with her scary dreams). I wonder if it's pointless to start the yoga relaxation with a 10 month old? I nurse sing to him at bedtime and it's super dark so going to sleep is no problem. But staying asleep is another matter. As is going down for naps. He just knows it's daytime and wants to keep going and going and going.
post #50 of 114
Thanks! Maybe his room is too dark. If he wakes up, just a little, and finds himself in complete darkness...? My DS (and my DS (10) for that matter) both sleep with lights on. My DS won't do a night light so we have a table lamp with a low watt (25 -I think) bulb. I use to turn it off when I went to bed but he asked me to stop. DD started to sleep with the main light on so there was minimum shadows to "get her". But then she played. This was before I found "The BOOK". Now she picked out a night light - rather large orange sea horse (IKEA). Has two of the little night lights in it but it was way too bright so we took one out. Most nights we start with that and if she needs her table lamp, I'll use it until the yoga kicks in and then I turn it off. If she wakes up in the middle of the night with a bad dream, she's crawling in with DH & me anyway so (Mom, I have to tell you...but she's a furnace!!! When I wake up drenched in sweat, I know she's back. Is there any outside noises he might be hearing? Garbage trucks, sirens or even kids playing outside, squeaky floors? Maybe some kind of white noise to mask these? Or they have ocean sounds and stuff like that you could play. Have you just asked him why he woke up? I know he's 10 months, but if he says "big boom" or something - it might give you a clue. Good Luck!!! Oh, I don't think it is too early to start him with yoga, there must be someone out there who has yogaed with babies.
post #51 of 114
Thanks for the suggestions! We've tried both with and without some sort of lighting. The results seem to be the same. We just moved him over to his own mattress next to our floor bed (wow! it's nearly as big as Brad Pitt's bed now ;-) because I thought he needed his own space - he's a mover even in his sleep! But that hasn't made a difference either. We have two fans going in the room all the time, too. We'll keep trying...

I like the idea of asking him why he wakes up (although usually I'm nursing him before he's made enough of a fuss to wake himself up). He can't talk yet, but we're trying sign language with him so maybe he can sign soon.

I think we're going to have him screened for Sensory Processing Disorder, too. I have a gut feeling there's more to our daily challenges than just spirit.

Anyone else have a spirited one with SPD?
post #52 of 114
Thanks Spritesmom!! I think I'll have to try some of that the next time we are faced with a late or difficult night. So far he seems to be doing really well falling and staying asleep! woo hoo no night terrors lately either,
post #53 of 114
Maybe it's the full moon!! DD tantrums have lessened in intensity. I've been reading a little about GD - tantrums are like sneezes!! I never thought about it like that. But we were definitely trying to get her to stop. Man, oh man! I was ready to look for the duct tape!! I can't find anything about older kids having tantrums. I guess my thing was if she couldn't tell us WHY she was having them, just stop. A two year old may not have the words, but a 7 yr would have them, (yeah, right!) so was she just trying to get out of homework? I know reading scares her. She thinks she has to know all the words in a book so it makes it difficult to teach her new ones. DH & I love to read - though it's been, let's see, about 7 yrs since I have read much except child books. If she would just RELAX and TRY - she knows her phonics - DH says this is about me. I'm so busy making sure no one puts her in a box that I'm sitting on the lid. Reading is so important. If you can read well, most everything else will be easier. Okay, so she doesn't have to read well, TODAY. Even though I know she can. I need a new approach - any ideas?
post #54 of 114
Originally Posted by Spritesmom View Post
I need a new approach - any ideas?
My spirited niece learned to read when she was 7. It was interesting that she put books into two categories, ones for her to read (Dick and Jane easy readers) and ones for having others read to her. Honestly, in your situation, I would just read to her as much as she wants, letting her look at the words over my shoulder as I read so she could get comfortable with bigger words at her own pace. I know that if she is in school, it's a bit harder to be relaxed about it. My (also spirited) ds (6 yo) does not like phonics in the least. I think he is going to learn to read by having his sight words slowly increase until the whole thing suddenly clicks. If you go to the Learning at Home forum, you will find lots of support for having a late reader (not that 7 is considered late there).
post #55 of 114
there is a spirited tribe...http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=710993 it just needs people to talk in it!
post #56 of 114
Just put in my two cents... thanks for letting us know!!
post #57 of 114
My spirited boy is 2, I just wanted to throw a few tips and things that worked for us out there By worked, I mean worked to get him more sleep since he was chronically sleep deprived, and also worked to help him be a happy intense boy rather than one who was miserable, frustrated, throwing back to back tantrums. For the sleep it was dairy, he isn't a "good" sleeper now at all, and he needs a long time to wind down at night, but he was a thousand times better than he was when we cut ALL dairy. For the mood/temper it was salicylates. He can't eat them.. and it's a major pain in the ass because I have to put so much effort into cooking (I always did anyway, this is just even more work... on top of keeping him away from commercial foods that everyone else eats) but it is worth it.... it saved our family !! When a spirited child isn't happy/cheerful, no one in earshot is happy.

First of all when he's been "salicylated" nothing works, and I might as well just stay in my pjs and keep the earplugs in and shut all the windows because we're not going anywhere that day. When he is himself however, what works awesomely is a lot of "deals" and getting him to say "yes" instead of trying to hurry him or just push him into doing something which is always a disaster.

I just have to say I can't stand my neighbour now, even though she means well, because she thinks my son is just a spoiled brat and all he needs is to be locked in his room and spanked a few times to be a "good" child. Good meaning, seen and not heard, compliant and non demanding.
post #58 of 114
Thanks for the heads up on salicylates. I didn't even know what they were! I found this article really informative:

post #59 of 114
I keep harping on them but it is no exaggeration to say that changing the way my son eats has been a godsend. He is truly scary when salicylated, and when he's free of them he is like.. IMO, of course I'm biased because he's MY son, but an absolute DREAM of a spirited child and I love and admire his intense traits, rather than just keep asking myself "why" and feel like I'm in a living hell.
post #60 of 114
Why is it that most everywhere our kids go, people want to feed them? Church, Brownies, the stupid RED lollipops at the bank. I recently became our churches Sunday School Super - 1ST thing I did was to ban ALL snacks. For Pete's sake - they are only there for an hour!! I feel like the "older" members are making the sign of the cross behind my back! Hey - walk a mile in my shoes when my beautiful DD drinks your red juice and eats that chocolate cupcake with 2" of blue icing with colored sprinkles at 10:30 a.m.!!! What were they thinking? Ok - they're not, but they are NOW. Wasn't as bad of a night as we were expecting with DD's (and mine!) lack of sleep last night. She actually came to me and while writhing on the floor - whined that this was the way she was feeling. We've been trying to get her to "Use her words" and to recognise how she feels when she is close to tantruming. I asked her if she thought she could go running in our cul-du-sac and she thought she could - so she ran, and ran, and ran and ran...... AND SHE LAUGHED!! Oh, the power of laughter!!! I swear her eyes can sparkle! So can DS's! When we came inside she actually let Dh cut her hair with no fuss - she has the most beautiful head of curls - but she looks like a wild child if we don't keep them trimmed. She was about two weeks over due for a trim 'cause she just wasn't having it. So exercise and the right food may just be what we need to keep the whole family sane!! I think we can handle that. On the salicylates - isn't that one of the things to avoid with the Finegold Diet? Mine does better with organic/natural but then, I think we all do. The dairy issue is interesting. In my family we have to have our Daily Minimun Requirement of ice cream. We have it for "snack" before we go to bed. Mmmnnnn. (Ok - I know it's not a "healthy" snack but Grandma always did it when we would visit and I always said I would do it with my kids. Guess I have to rethink it - but it's going to be a hard one to change.) We had been working with a holistic program - Neuro-Emotional Technique - and had some small success - and they were against all dairy. It was $35. a week so we only did it for about a month - have to rethink that, too. Thanks - you have given us somewhere to go when we hit that wall. Hey - I'm going to go to bed before 1:00 a.m.!!! Wahooo! Thanks, Mamas!! WE CAN DO THIS! We can help each other through the tunnel to the LIGHT!! These kids are truly amazing and we can figure out how to keep them that way without the rest of us going insane!!! WE CAN DO THIS!! Patience and blessings!! Night!
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