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Cookiemomster 01-23-2002 11:49 PM

I hope you guys can help me.I am begining to think my son is "spirited".He was what Sears described as a "fussy baby",but now(2 1\2) he is challenging in other ways.

I don't want to label him but I need to put this in some kind of context.

He has a horrible time w/transitions and I am bending over backward to make it easier but it just isn't getting better.I tell him what we are doing before we do it.I give him reminders and even count down at the end.I let go of anything that isn't important and give him choices.Some times I'll tell him to come to the dinner table when he is ready and we start our meal without him.I'm hoping that he'll feel better making the decision on his own.This hasn't seemed to work because then it just disrupts our dinner.

I think that I am really getting that this isn't just him being difficult but him having a really hard time moving to the next thing.But I want him to have an easier time for his sake.

Anyone here have a spirited child???
How do you deal w/transitions??

sleepies 01-24-2002 12:50 AM

he is two and a half

that is why "they"...(SOME) call it the "Terrible Two's"

they aren't "Terrible" in my opinion, but they are very difficult in some ways....such as you described.

i dont have many tips.

i use to put lance in time out when he wasn't acting "properly".

but you have to be consistant with that. and not let the time out be long... in your case Two Minutes is enough for a time out.

I wish I could help more.

He sounds NORMAL

Nothing wrong with Spirited though.. IT shows he is intelligent.

It also is the way young children learn boundaries and behaviors.

HE might be acting as he thinks you "expect" him to act.

SO, be watchful for that.

Chanley 01-24-2002 01:24 AM

IF he was a fussy baby I would look into food allergies.

Makes all the difference with us. When there was dairy in my diet she used to be a "fussy" baby. Now when I sneak a bit of cheese or somethign and she gets it from my breastmilk, she is a "spirited" toddler.

Ohh the fits!!!! I kid you not, I have DREAMS about chocolate ice cream. I cant wait.

A few questions regarding family history:
Does anyone have history of ezcema or skin probs?
Does anyone have diabetes?
Does anyone suffer from lactose intolerance"
Does anyone suffer from allergies?

IF yes then you may want to consider the elimination diet. It saved my sanity. I was ready to put dd up for adoption and head for the hills then i cut out all dairy and voila. I have a very charming little girl.

sully 01-24-2002 01:30 AM

Have you read Raising Your Spirited Child? I don't have it in front of me and can't remember the author but let me tell you that book saved my sanity. If anything it helped me to change teh way I think about and approach my VERY spirited son.

ediesmom 01-24-2002 08:11 AM

I don't have much advice that won't seem radical.

I wouldn't have him come to dinner if he didn't want to. Is there somewhere you could set his dinner that is accessible to him while still allowing him to explore his world? At dinnertime I ask that Edie try to keep her body healthy and eat some food. I would love to eat together but if she isn't interested, I don't push. I don't use a time limit on eating, and I only ask if her body has had enough food. That's my concern.

I don't know if what I do is right.... it just feels right for her. Its not my ideal, but it works well for her.

Often she likes to eat with me. So there is hope, I just don't want to push it.


Mallory 01-24-2002 11:15 AM

I think sometimes choice and reminders are just too much at this age. With my two year old I try to remember distractions. For example diaper changing- Sometimes I'd warn "i 'm going to change your diaper after this story" or offer choices "Do you want changed on the floor or the couch?" BUT neither of these work, sometimes What is easiest is just doing it while talking about something else, telling a story, making funny noises. While leaving or walking somewhere he always likes to race. Sitting and reading a book by the next thing can work sitting by the bathroom and reading after the story taking a bath , or by his shoes and then getting ready to go outside. These are some of my distraction Ideas I know they won't work for everyone but they often work for us!
I also think that making taking care of himself more his responsibility is important. At dinner can he get to his plate without your help or does he need help because of seating arrangements ( highchair)? Does he have a plate and glass like everyone else? Does he serve his own food ?

peacemama 01-24-2002 11:37 AM

Many of the suggestions I had have already been given, but there's one transition trick I have which helps things go a little more smoothly. We will sometimes use an object from one activity and bring it to the next, sort of like a "transitional object." For example, when leaving the park, I may say, "It's time for us to go now. Why don't we pick up some pinecones on the way to the car and we can decorate the mantel with them when we get home?" I also sometimes allow one toy to "watch" her eat her meal (I place it on the table out of reach, that's the rule). This seems to help.

Also, sometimes just talking about the activity that is ending helps, for example, as I gently lead her to the door of a friend's house and put on her coat, I'll say, "Now it's time to go had so much fun playing with Ben today...what did you like the most? What do you think you and Ben will play the next time you have a playdate?" That helps, too! Hope some of this works for you.

Cookiemomster 01-24-2002 12:11 PM

Thanks for replying I am so glad to be back here with you thoughtful women.

Sleepies I really know what you mean about children acting the way you expect them to act.I think labels can be hurtful.

Sully I have started reading the spirited child book but haven't gotten very far.Did it work for you?

Mallory you have given me a great idea!He now sits in a regular chair like us and same plates but maybe he needs a job.He loves to help so maybe he can set the table.Maybe that would help the transition to dinner.I might lose a couple of plates that way but he is very careful if given a task.

ediesmom please don't hold back on the radical stuff.I think that is a great idea to just let children kinda graze and make a food pit stop if they need it.I guess I just like the idea of us all sitting down and being able to talk about our day it's not really about the food.Maybe ds is alittle young for that now and I should try it again later.

Chanley Wow-I am lactose intolerant and so are many of my family members and some of us seem to have a problem w/yeast and skin problems related to that.On my dh's side many people have allergies.Because of the yeast thing I have always pushed yogurt. Ds eats a fair amount of cheese but he doesn't like milk and I have always trusted him about that.Hmmmmmmmm?Ds nose has been stuffy alot.

Can you please tell me more about this.I am feeling like a dumb mommie for not having not even considered this as a possibility.

Cookiemomster 01-24-2002 12:29 PM

Peacemama we must have been posting at the same time.

Those are great ideas.You sound like a very gentle mama.I think that would really help if tried to find a thing to come with us when we left a place.It would also help us talk about where we were and how this thing is coming home.So we have a little bit of the place with us.

Sometimes if I just say,"Okay,it is time to start getting ready to.........".He is screaming at that point.Then I am yelling or talking loudly over him saying we don't have to go we just have to start saying good bye or what ever I thought the next transitional step would be.

If he would just cooperate he would see what an awesome mommie I am..LOL

bebe luna 01-24-2002 06:21 PM

my son is very spirited...i found the book, along w/ the workbook helpful in a lot of ways...
Sometimes we need to take time for calming- like we will get in a warm bath or I will give him a massage...
My son is very noise sensative, so I have to be careful not to overstimulate him. We keep music at a somewhat llow level, and try to keep a calm atmosphere in our home.
I've also started using flower essences w/ him and I have noticed a difference. I use chicory w/ him, but it's different for each child. There are some very informative books and websites on flower essences. They help balance the emotional aspects of people.
I also use essential oils for aromatherapy w/ some success. I use lavender mixed w/ orange if he's really fussy or acting out... or lavender w/ chamomile before we go to the grocery store or sometimes before bed..
I agree that allergies often play a big part... w/ my son, I don't think that's the case- I don't eat dairy, or much sugar, and no yeast or wheat...same for him- he pretty much just gets breastmilk and steamed or baked vegis w/ occassional beans and grains... but if your dd or you is eating dairy, eggs, wheat, or a lot of sugar, definately try cutting it out and see what happens!
Oh, and about the yogurt- try giving her acidophilus by itself, instead of the dairy. Rhino Vites makes a powdered acidophilus that can be given in water or sprinkled on food. Also, there's always soy yogurt. I like Silk's soy yogurt. Also the herb Pau D'arco is very effective at helping to wipe out yeast overgrowth... as is colloidal silver and grapefruit seed extract.
You could also try finding a chiropractor who is friendly to holistic health, and try a few sessions and see if it makes a difference. Craniosacral therapy may be another good thing to try.
Hang in there!

Cookiemomster 01-25-2002 09:33 PM

bebe luna,wow, thank you !you have given me so many things to think about.

I really like the idea of using flower essences and essential oils.I burn ylang&nutmeg candels and they really help me relax.I just love them.

I think I will try cutting out the dairy for awile and see what happens.It is good to hear that there is soy yogurt and other ways to get those yeast fighting agents.We don't eat alot of dairy(just cheese & yogurt).I will try the soy alternatives.Sugar...well he does have honey,apple butter,and maple syrup,but not alot of regular sugar.Wheat would be a tough one,though.I will also look for Rhino vites I know I've seen that brand at the health food store.

But you know I feel so much better listening to you guys and appreciate the thoughtful responses.My son is challenging but I have to remember that he is exactly who is supposed to be.I have also gotten further in the book and feeling more optimistic.

Thank you all

Chanley 01-26-2002 12:16 AM


I highly reccomend rescue remedy for serious moments of overstimulation.

As far as food allergies go. Why not try cutting dairy completely OUT of his diet. Yeast is only a problem with an impaired immune system. When your immune system is functioning correctly, your body can maintain its bacterial balance. A dairy allergy combined with the consumption of dairy could stress his system out just enough to make it susceptible to yeast infections.

My advice is no dairy for 2 weeks. if you are nursing that means you too. The best part about giving up dairy for me (tho I have dreams about ice cream) was that I lost a good bit of weight. Ohh and be careful, there is milk in just about everything. So read your labels. Casien and whey are dairy derivatives and a no no.

Get soem rice milk and try that for a bit. It has the nutrition of milk without the yucky sugars that may be the cause of this.

Also go to and look up the "elimination diet"

that will be very helpful.

Good luck!!!!

Cookiemomster 01-26-2002 12:11 PM

Chanley thanks so much.I was really amazed about what you said about the dairy making it even more likely to get yeast:

I am really going to get the dairy out of our diet.I think you guys rock!It shouldn't be too hard since there are so many alternatives out there.I am glad you pointed out that casiens and whey are in alot of products.I'll keep my eye out for them.

I don't know what recue remedy is though?

bebe luna 01-26-2002 08:35 PM

"Rescue remedy" is a Bach flower essence.

Mommiska 01-26-2002 08:43 PM

Can anyone tell me anything else about rice milk? I've heard it mentioned alot on these forums, and never knew there was any such thing. I live in the UK and have never seen anything like it, although maybe I'm just not looking?

Do you need to go to a health foods store or something to find it?


Cookiemomster 01-26-2002 08:49 PM

Thanks bebe luna

Carolyn I'm sure someone else could give you a better description but it is just another alternative to milk like soy milk except it is made from rice.I usually see it at health food stores.I'm sure you can get it in the UK.I think you can get it in different flavors too.

Chanley 01-26-2002 11:19 PM

Ok as a mamma who knows....

Rice milk can be found in my part of the world (remote southern US at the larger grocery). But will definitely be found in a health food store. I have a recipe for home made rice milk that i will try to find.

Personally, I don't like rice milk as a dairy sub. I prefer certain brands of soy milk. Rice milk is good, it just is not very creamy.

So after more than a year of drinking soy, my daughter has developed a soy allergy. My MIL has one and cannot have chinese food with soy sauce do to the reprocussions. SOOO I am now a rice milk drinker.

Going from dairy to a substitute takes ALOT of getting used to. Look for vegan recipes. There are a ton of them on the web and they are very good. (some of them are suprisingly good). One thing I have noticed about vegan eating, you feel better after you eat. It is crazy and you dont have as smelly of a body.

My daughter is vegan mostly, I do give her eggs and salmon (she LOVES it and snarfs it up quicker than I get it on the plate).

Cookie, I hope you get this solved.

As far as the rescue remedy,

You can order it from

(that is my website)

I keep rescue remedy for everyone in the house. Me, the cat, my daughter and unsuspecting visitors. Hehe!

It does work wonders and is completely safe for infants and children. Those who prefer not to use an alcohol based tincture can use the cream topically. I use the cream for diaper rashes.

Ok enough from me!

lunarmomma 01-26-2002 11:52 PM

Somewhere like Holland and Barrett would surely have rice milk. We use something called Rice Dream by Imagine foods, vanilla flavored.
In Brighton there is a great shop called Infinity Foods. I know they carry it.
It is quite yummy!
They would probably ship it to you if you couldn't find it anywhere else.
You can also make your own, but I don't remember how!
You can get Soy milk at mainstream stores even like Waitrose.
Though soy can have it's own set of allergic problems. Not to mention the GMO possibilities:mad:
Good luck.

Cookiemomster 01-27-2002 01:20 AM

Chanley again thank you so much.

You have informed and inspired me.

I checked out your site briefly-looks cool-I'll read somemore tommorow.It looks really interesting.

I'm off to bed

And I'll give an update in a few weeks.We'll see what happens!

Mama Bird 01-27-2002 01:46 AM

Wow, there is so much good information here. I just wanted to add my thoughts about flower essences. I have been reading up on this alot lately. One of the earlier postings mentioned how various essences help to balance out emotional swings or challenges or whatever you would like to call it. I am looking forward to working with some of them as my ds gets older.

I have a 13 month old son who is very spirited and has been from those early moments of feeling him move in the womb. I have been giving him chamomile tea (but I let it cool after it steeps and put it in a sippy cup) and chamomile drops (by Herbs for Kids - I love their products) before stressful events and occasionally before bedtime. I have also tried one of their products called Valerian Root (also has chamomile in it). They seem to work incredibly well in helping to calm him. We were having alot of trouble trying to get our son to sleep through the night (he was just so active) and this did the trick. Currently my only concern is the safety of giving such a young child these tinctures. We are going to discuss it with his holistic pediatrician but would love to hear if anyone has any information on this.

Oh and one more thing, we feed our ds soy yogurt. I can't tolerate the taste but he seems to enjoy it. The brand we by is called O'Soy by Stonyfield Farm (it's organic).

Hope this helps.

scribblerkate 01-27-2002 11:03 AM

Edited because I recommended learning more about your temperment and your child's temperment . . . I stopped by the bookstore last night and realized that the book I recommended, Kids, Parents and Power Struggles, is by the same author who wrote Raising Your Spirited Child (which I'd obviously not read!), which you and others are already reading. Both books address temperment issues. Oops!


Cookiemomster 01-28-2002 06:17 PM

scribblerkate no oops.I will look at that book too when I'm done w/this one I've heard that it is also good.I am getting further into this book and it is great!I'm sure i'll enjoy the next.

Celestial thanks so much for reminding me about this book.I was reading it for awhile when ds was a baby and put it down cause I thought it was something for later.But later is now so I'll start it again.It is awesome and I remember thinking I've got to use this stuff later.

So I'm underlining things in the spirted child book and am off to the health food store in a few min. to look for soy stuff and other stuff.And we'll see how it goes.

sorry so messy-I'm off

Mommiska 01-28-2002 10:08 PM

Thanks for the info on the rice milk. I'll have a look around - on the web and at the grocery stores/health food stores. I avoid soy (afraid of things that are potential allergens), and would prefer to avoid milk...I never knew there was an alternative.

lunarmomma 01-28-2002 10:14 PM

Almond milk is another alternative that is supposed to be quite healthy and non-allergenic alternative to cows milk. Another one that you could make yourself if you had the inclination (and the time!).

bebe luna 01-28-2002 11:56 PM

*Homemade Rice Milk:
(makes 2 cups)
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups hot water
maple syrup(or other sweetner) and vanilla extract- to taste

Blend all ingrediants in a blender until smooth. Add more water if too thick. After blending, strain.

*Homemade Almond Milk:
(makes 2 cups)
1/2 cup raw almonds
2 cups water
2 pitted dates. In a blender, coffee grinder, or food processor, blend almonds until they become an even meal. In blender- blend almond meal, water, and dates. Strain.

About soy allergies- for some people the allergies to soy develop because of overuse of soy. If you aren't allergic to soy, but are sensative to foods or have other allergies, try not to overuse soy products. Vary w/ other healthy protiens. Try keeping soy to just a few days a week.

To Mama Bird-
I think chamomile is great. It is safe and can be very helpful. I have used chamomile tea w/ my son since he was about 5 mo. I recently began using the Chamomile Calm by Herbs For Kids w/ him (he is 1 yo). I use it mostly if we are going grocery shopping or other place that can be overly stimulating for him. It seems to help. I've also used very mild valerian tea a few times when he was really worked up. It helped calm him and "smooth him out" but didn't make him drowsy or sleepy- very nice!
Touch is really important. I recommend reading some books on infant massage. They have great techniques for calming a fussy or over-stimulated baby/child. I use massage (w/ lavender oil added to the massage oil) before bed, as well as a few drops of lavender oil on his pj's- it also helps.

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