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post #21 of 112

hello!

My six-year-old is Spirited and I'm not completely sure about his 3-year-old brother, mainly because....

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post
I sometimes fear that my child #2 is getting the short end of the stick because we spend.so.much.time and effort with #1.
I've been fortunate to have a playgroup since DS #1's birth filled with women who in addition to knowing him his whole life, also understand my challenges with him and are forgiving of any incidents that are ugly. However, now that they are in 1st grade and only two of the 6 of us are homeschooling, we don't get together much anymore and I'm desperately seeking parents of other spirited kids for my own friendship as well as for DS.

Most days I feel like we've finally reached a place where we (DH and I) can honor DS's nature and temperament and things are smooth and fun and happy, but then we'll have an AWFUL day where I lose it and say crappy things and I wonder how in the hell I'll survive motherhood and how he'll possibly turn out okay having ME as his parent. I'm not so good with the self-care and getting myself a break, obviously, and when I do get a clue and do those things it certainly makes it easier around here.

Thank you for starting this; I look forward to hearing more from the rest of you.
post #22 of 112
I think my dd1 may be a spirited child but am not sure....are there any signs I can look for or book you could recommend? If she is spirited, I would like to know how to raise her properly without destroying her spirit kwim?
Thanks
post #23 of 112
My 2 year old DS is definitely spirited. High energy, loud, extremely needy, very sensitive.

Shopping is hard for us too. DS has left sour cream, orange juice, you name it strewn across the grocery store floor. I have to pack my shopping cart so that nothing is within reach because he finds it amusing to throw things. But of course, this is if he is willing to calmly sit in the cart. Normally, he is not and there is no strap or childproofing that has been made to hold my little Houdini. He has skydived from a grocery cart twice. The first time a stranger caught him and the second time, I caught him. Now, I try to only shop with DH or leave DS home with DH while I shop. If I have to go to the store with DS alone, I try to keep it as short as possible and bring lots of snacks.
post #24 of 112
S&E, we should start a local spirited kids' playgroup! That way when one of them acts in that manner the other moms will be only sympathetic.

Grey is definitely spirited. He has a strong will and is so determined. He cannot be swayed or distracted!
I love this when it comes to trying new things or figuring something out but when his will begins to clash with mine it can be so irritating and occasionally infuriating.

Things that help him are making sure he gets at least a good hour of physical activity in the morning before we go anywhere, feeding him before we go anywhere and bringing a snack, and making sure he's well rested.

I also try to help him redirect his aggressiveness into other things like giving mommy a high five instead of pile driving his sister.

I will come back and add more thoughts later but I really should be in bed now! I have a big day tomorrow.
post #25 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by veronicalynne View Post
I think my dd1 may be a spirited child but am not sure....are there any signs I can look for or book you could recommend? If she is spirited, I would like to know how to raise her properly without destroying her spirit kwim?
Thanks

book


Reading the book Raising your spirited child changed my life.
post #26 of 112
Oh mine definitely., It's downright embarrassing taking him anywhere. He fixates on stuff and when he doesn't get his way.... look out. Most of the people that I know call him spoiled when the fact is he's anything but. They don't seem to understand why let him "get his way" Like he won't sit in the shopping cart at the store, he usually insists on walking but one day he wanted me to carry him. Well here I am pushing a cart with one hand and have a toddler over my shoulder with the other. They say "I would have made him walk" Umm, what am I suppose to do? Have him stand there and scream at the top of his lungs for an hour? Because that is precisely what he would have done. I'm hoping that when he's older he'll calm down and that a lot of this is just your typical 3 yeasr old behavior. I remember DS1 was pretty hard at 3 but never this hard.
post #27 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
S&E, we should start a local spirited kids' playgroup! That way when one of them acts in that manner the other moms will be only sympathetic.
I think I would still have a hard time with it : but I'd be willing to give it a try. Allison is much more willing than I am, which is funny considering her social anxiety is much more intense than mine.
post #28 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post

book


Reading the book Raising your spirited child changed my life.
Thank you I will look for it today
post #29 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post

book


Reading the book Raising your spirited child changed my life.
ABsolutely!!!! Totally agree with this. I don't know how things would have gone if I hadn't found this book.

My spirited one is now 13. I didn't understand he was different until I had a second child. Then thought 'hey wait a minute, this child is just like the books say she should be, so what does that mean about my firstborn?' He was 3 then. Finding that book was a godsend.

My 3rd is a mixture--kind of feisty but not spirited.

Have much to share but need to go!
post #30 of 112
When my oldest was two, I found the book Raising Your Spirited Child and was sure she'd written it about him. While he has calmed down since then, he is definately still a spirited guy.
post #31 of 112
I am pretty sure I have a spirited 16 month old, and hope you all can help me figure out if that is the case. She is so loving...hugs and kisses all day..but these are in between the tantrums and the frustrations. I am not sure how to make her happy. What works one day doesn't work the next. She won't sit in a shopping cart. She wants to be held. This week (meaning it changes every week) if she does sit in the cart she wants everything that is shaped like a ball (a pumpkin, a squash, a tomato) in the cart beside her. And she always wants a pretzel...ALWAYS. I have stayed home for weeks at a time because I don't know how she will act in public. She has tantrums where I can't touch her because it only makes it worse. So we sit together on the floor of whatever store while she cries, and I watch her and try to soothe her with my voice. People look at me like I'm crazy.
In my small town everyone knows Ruby. They say she has a huge personality. I am so in love with her, but so frustrated because I feel I just can't get it right, like I am a terrible mother. Getting her to sleep is incredibly difficult. It can take me up to two hours to get her to bed at night. And once she's down, she wakes up every 1-2 hours for constant nursing. I am exhausted. I am confused. I am exasperated. Naps can be even worse. She needs lots of nursing...So much that I am having trouble enjoying it, or seeing it as a beneficial bonding experience. When we are out with other toddlers she can nurse up to 8 times in 30 minutes, and all the other nursing toddlers don't even think about it. She has just started grabbing my legs and staring up at me and crying, so I can't walk and can't move. 100% of my attention must be focused on her at all times. I want to help her, but I have no idea how to get past all of this.
When my DH is around things are better. But he works an average of 90 hours a week so I feel as if I don't ever get a break. He is exhausted whenever he is here, and I need his help so badly.
Please don't think I am as evil as I sound...I am just having an incredibly hard time doing this all on my own. We have no family here and this doesn't seem to be getting any easier. I feel I need specific suggestions...What will help my girl? Do I need to get her in her own bed? Do I need to cut back on bfing, or just allow it to resume even though some days she is nursing as much as a newborn?? I can't put her down, and she won't allow anyone else to pick her up, only DH, who like I said, is never here. Where do I start? What will make her more comfortable here on earth? The only thing I have found thus far is a boob and some music. And sometimes her dad.
I need help. Any and all suggestions are welcome. I have always wanted three children...I don't want to stop at one just because we are going through this struggle.
Thank you for reading this far. It feels so good to vent .
post #32 of 112
peanutbuttercup my heart goes out to you. I can remember when my son was exactly 16 months--that is when I started to really wonder what was up with him. He would obsess about things like helium balloons and balls too. He was obsessed by things that were round. Once we had to leave a restaurant because they had helium balloons tied to the chairs and he was over the top trying to catch them, get close to them, push them away. Poor little guy finally melted down in a spillover tantrum. Also ceiling fans. Loved to stare at them.

He would have an hour long tantrum if his banana broke.

He nursed constantly for the first year. Still a lot the second year. Eventually we gently night weaned him and that helped some (around 26 months). He had night terrors from age one to three.

I was so relieved when I learned about temperament and figured out there were things I could do to help him.

I have an informal question I ask parents of spirited children--when your baby was first born, did s/he have that 'ancient'/wise look, an intensity, like a little sage or buddha was living in your baby? Almost every spirited child I've ever known had that look at birth and now I can pick them out just after birth; most often I'm right.

If I had it to do over and I knew then what I knew now, I would have had him evaluated by and early childhood program and an occupational therapist for sensory integration problems. I think many spirited child challenges are related to sensory integration. But temperament on its own is plenty to learn about.

I found an interesting resource that may be helpful to some.

http://www.preventiveoz.org/image.html

At this site you can fill in a questionnaire about your child and get a 'profile'. In the beginning you can fudge the 'personal' information and choose option 3 "other health care provider". I just did it for my 3rd child (who I'm still trying to figure out) and it was definitely on target. After you get a profile you can click on links to get ideas for handling things. Not sure if all the ideas are cool (didn't check them all).

Anyway, glad you joined this tribe because I think you are on the right track.
post #33 of 112
lauren (I am Lauren too!),
Thanks so much for responding. It feels so good to know that maybe there is an answer for all of this. I have already taken the questionnaire you linked me to, and found it very interesting. I can't wait to explore the site further...

As for Ruby being a sage or buddha baby...I have always thought of her as extremely wise, and as an "old soul." You can see in her big eyes that she has a connection to something most people do not. But I am afraid that it tortures her. I feel like she is not comfortable on earth. People have always been amazed by her understanding of language, and by her knowing of what is dangerous/what is not, what is right/what is wrong. I, too, am amazed by the fcat that she has always just KNOWN not to go too close to the edge of the bed, or not to go to close to the light socket. Anyway, I am rambling...

I think good words for her are strong-willed and uncomfortable. She throws tantrums, has trouble with separation and sleeping, is easily frustrated...Oh, I hope I can find a way to make things easier for her. And maybe for me too.

There is one thing I forgot to add...Ruby was born 6 weeks early with amniotic band syndrome. So she has one fully formed hand, and a little one that looks like fin. I have always felt, since the day I conceived her, that she would be different from other children. And, since her birth and the discovery that she is physically "different" from other children, I have also felt incredibly lucky that she chose me to be her mother. I want to continue to feel this way. And I know the only way to do that is to try to understand her better so she and I can peacefully work together...which is exactly what she and I were put on this earth to do.

I am such a rambler...so sorry. But like I said before, it feels so good to get this all out. I am crying.
post #34 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
I have an informal question I ask parents of spirited children--when your baby was first born, did s/he have that 'ancient'/wise look, an intensity, like a little sage or buddha was living in your baby? Almost every spirited child I've ever known had that look at birth and now I can pick them out just after birth; most often I'm right.
ok. My first child, at about two days, looked at me and did a double take, I swear! THen he stared at me in shock with a look on his face that clearly said, "YOU??!!" like total recognition but yet surprise to find me there with him, and Iremember just being a bit shocked and confused myself then I said, "who are you?" and we stared at each other then the moment passed...... never told that to anyone, afraid they would think I was a nutjob!
post #35 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
ok. My first child, at about two days, looked at me and did a double take, I swear! THen he stared at me in shock with a look on his face that clearly said, "YOU??!!" like total recognition but yet surprise to find me there with him, and Iremember just being a bit shocked and confused myself then I said, "who are you?" and we stared at each other then the moment passed...... never told that to anyone, afraid they would think I was a nutjob!

That is soooo cool! I don't think you're a nutjob!!
post #36 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglyn View Post
ok. My first child, at about two days, looked at me and did a double take, I swear! THen he stared at me in shock with a look on his face that clearly said, "YOU??!!" like total recognition but yet surprise to find me there with him, and Iremember just being a bit shocked and confused myself then I said, "who are you?" and we stared at each other then the moment passed...... never told that to anyone, afraid they would think I was a nutjob!
I have to agree with Lauren - sooooooooo cool!
post #37 of 112
hi there mamas! i need to join this tribe.

yesterday was my ds' 1st birthday. this past year has been one intense, passionate, butt kicking, fun and crazy year.

Tobias is just *more* than any child i have ever been around. i hate labels. i dislike the word "spirited". i don't know why but it bugs me. however, the descriptions that you all have written about your little ones describes my babe to a T.

my pregnancy- intense. nauseating and uncomfortable.
his birth- long and brutal. he was 10 days past due and did not want to come out. i labored for two days and then almost died from a hemmorage after giving birth.

his babyhood has been filled with laughter and tears. no in-betweens.

from the minute he came out he has wanted to see everything, touch everything, engage with everyone. and do exactly what he wants to do when he wants to do it.

he is definitely an "old soul" and not a mellow one. a really funny and fiery old soul. he is just so animated and engaging. when we're out in public people are compelled to stop and talk to him. all kinds of people are drawn into his orbit. it's crazy and scary at the same time.

i can soooo relate to this:

Quote:
In my small town everyone knows Ruby. They say she has a huge personality. I am so in love with her, but so frustrated because I feel I just can't get it right, like I am a terrible mother.


when it's just me and dh with him i'm totally fine. my husband has a ton of energy and though i'm a bit more on the shy side i have a pretty intense personality. i find Tobias' explorations and intensity amusing and fascinating and sometimes exhausting but we aren't surprised that he is the way he is. he couldn't really be anyone else. but when i'm out with him at the park or at work (he was coming to work with me for about an hour everyday over the last year) i become so aware of how different he is from other children and i feel like crying.

i don't want to change him. i love him the way he is but sometimes i have a hard time feeling the "eyes" on me. it comes from my own insecurity. my own lack of confidence as a first time mama. did i mess up by co-sleeping, nursing him down for every nap, not making him go to bed at a certain time and doing CIO, by letting him explore every nook and cranny of the house?

bottomline-if Toby doesn't want to do x, y, or z he ain't doing x, y, or z and boy will you know about it and he's only 1 so it blows people away!

i don't want my kid called a brat. i don't want to hear the tsk tsk of me not "controlling" him. i don't want to hear how so and so's kids are "good" because they are mellow and obedient and never cry or fuss in public with the implication that my child is well what "bad"? because he is not that way.
i know how other mothers talk. i hear it. it makes me want to crawl under a rock when Tobias is exerting his will in public places because i feel those same talkers watching watching.

i need to get over it, i know. and i will. i'm still processing how to be with him myself without all that scrutiny! so for those of you that cried as you wrote the descriptions of your little ones i'm right there with you. part of me is still mourning that idealized simple mellow little baby i thought i was going to have. ha! writing that last sentence was cathartic. i realize just how silly it sounds. of course this is how he was meant to be and who we were supposed to have in our life! why am i pining for a different experience when i need to accept and be with him as he is not as i wished him to be?
my husband says "f. em!" about the judgers,the talkers, the eyes. well yeah duh but, still, sometimes it gets to me.

thanks for listening!
post #38 of 112
stickywicket - Your story really hits home. Scarily, I can relate to every single thing you wrote.

Without quoting your entire post, let me write about what stuck out most in my mind...

My pregnancy, birth, and first year were anything but "normal." The first year, like Tobias's, and beyond have either laughter or tears - no in betweens. I feel like I have been scrutinized since day 1, mostly by my family and in-laws. Unfortunately my DH's brother had an "easy" baby (that's what everyone calls him) just 10 weeks after Ruby was born. So, she has always been compared to her cousin...therefore the moms are compared to each other as well...and it's just not a fair comparison...the kids are so different! And the difference between me and SIL is enormous. I mean that - we have nothing in common except that we both have a 1 year old.

Throughout Ruby's first year (and still) I doubted myself as a mother. I always thought I'd have the placid, "easy" kid...oops! I constantly wonder if co-sleeping, bfing to sleep, not CIO, have been the right decisions for us. We still do all of these things, and the latest is that it takes up to 2 HOURS to get her to bed at night, and sometimes 1 hour for nap. It is exhausting, and like I said in previous posts, DH works a ton (about 90 hours a week), so I feel like a single mama doing this all on my own. When DH IS here, however, it all seems that much easier.

Just like when your DH is around, sticky, it seems that much better. Ruby and my DH have a very different relationship than Ruby and I...not quite so intense. She seems to listen to him more, and I know how much she loves when he's around. I think it would help a lot if he could work less, but it's just not possible. So I will keep plugging along, with my amazing girl. I would never change her and can't imagine her any other way, I think I just need some advice on how to handle her a little bit better in both social situations and at home.

Like Tobias, she is unlike any other child I have ever met. People flock to her. They love to be in her orbit. And like you, I am sure it is my own self consciousness that makes it difficult to deal with her public tantrums, or her stubbornness when she wants a huge pumpkin, a squash, a tomato, and a balloon in the shopping cart with her all at one time, and I tell her she has to choose just one.

It was so good to read your post. I wish we were neighbors in real life so we could give each other that much more support...But I guess for now we'll just have to do it online.

Thinking of you Sticky!!
post #39 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by stickywicket67 View Post
Tobias is just *more* than any child i have ever been around. i hate labels. i dislike the word "spirited". i don't know why but it bugs me. however, the descriptions that you all have written about your little ones describes my babe to a T.
LOL because I can totally relate. And also LOL because I googled Kurcinka's book because as I recalled her first sentence says

"The word that distinguishes spirited children from other children is more."

Quote:
Originally Posted by stickywicket67 View Post
my pregnancy- intense. nauseating and uncomfortable.
his birth- long and brutal. he was 10 days past due and did not want to come out. i labored for two days and then almost died from a hemmorage after giving birth.
Ditto. Except I ended with a csection because she just.would.not.come.out.


Honestly, I felt I was a bad mother until my younger daughter was born. The whole second pregnancy I was just beside myself -- how would I handle 2 children if I couldn't figure out one? Well now I know, no matter what input we have as parents, output is partially determined by the child.

One note for the moms of younger poorly sleeping intense children: eventually sleeping does become less of an issue. My older dd (almost 6) needs less sleep than she did before and frankly it isn't all MY issue if she needs sleep. So that leaves me to enjoy all the absolutely freaking wonderful things about her.
post #40 of 112
peanutbuttercup- thank you so much for the validation! i am so sorry that your dh works so much. i am incredibly lucky that i have dh around as much as i do. many hugs to you! (and yay for Asheville-one of my best friends lives there and it sounds very similar in vibe to where i live-Santa Cruz. too bad we don't live closer!)

your description of the comparing between your SIL and yourself sound so incredibly frustrating. at least people do recognize that her baby is "easy". the word that is more commonly used in commenting on other kids is "good". and i HATE it! it started in babyhood with the never ending "is he a good baby?" (to which i would answer "good? no! he is a AMAZING!")


for me, the comparisons come up mostly between myself and a friend with 2.5 year old twins. they are also well known in this town and they are wonderful, sweet, mellow, charming, adorable, "good" little boys... dream children. always have been. she is a gentle and kind mother with gentle and kind children. i love her kids. it is easy to. it would appear that my friend was a "child rearing" expert and for her children she is! but when the mainstream methods, suggestions, ideas, tips and tricks that she uses are applied to Tobias all hell breaks loose. everyone loses- most of all Tobias because he is just not that easy of a child and i am not interested in developing an adversarial relationship with my son.

i feel and hear the sighs, the "why don't you do what X did with her boys...", the "you should try..."

so there is where i'm stuck. scrutinized. scrutinizing myself. defending my child. i need to practice a lot more "fake it til i make it" i think. and get a thicker skin. loving T. as he is without comparing him and without labeling him.

is AP parenting particularly appealing to mothers of "spirited children" because the alternatives are just so unsavory?

for example, and please don't flame me, but if i had a mellow babe who would go to sleep in a crib with a teeny bit of fussies and a little patting i dont know if i would have co-slept. i have horrid insomnia ("spirited"?!) so sleeping with a tossing suckling infant has not been the been the most 100% amazing experience all the time. i do enjoy the closeness of co-sleeping, yes, but at the same time it has been the path of least resistance. the choice that gets the most people the most sleep. at 2 years old i would tell my mother i was sleepy and ready for a nap and into my crib i would go but i remember that my brother, who was very sensitive and high needs, used to cry and scream and throw himself out of the crib. my mother, who was young and had no real support system, would just stick him back in there and let him wail. it was sad and i know i couldn't ever, don't want to, ever ever do that.

we know better so we do better. doing what works for our children not trying to squish them into a mold.

it's easy to do mainstream basic by the book child rearing when you have a compliant uncomplicated child.

when you're dealing with an infant or child who is *more* it requires a lot more compassion, more understanding, more selflessness, more creativity, more everything you have because they demand more.
Tobias has pushed me to become more of a big picture person. to practice "parenting" versus "child- rearing".
not trying to sound self righteous at all! there are days when i'd be plenty content to parent by "the book".

kerc- thanks too for the validation. i am going to get the Kurcinka book and start reading it now. i checked it out on Amazon and it's funny to read the negative reviews. it gives me a good idea of whether i will relate to the book or not. i think some people really do want an XYZ guide to bringing up baby. (which is why Supernanny is so freaking popular!) a lot of people aren't really interested in parenting their own unique child.

and i hear you on the birth stuff. i literally escaped a c-section by one hour!

i can't even imagine having another child. it scares me witless. my babe is also only 1 y.o. so we shall see...
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