Spirited? Now I wonder... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is 21 months old. I thought he was "normal" in terms of 21 month olds. Maybe not. I have never read the spirtied books or anything but hear the term here and at LLL meetings. DH complains of DS's energy and my Mom complains b/c of it too and his "strong will" when out (ok, he can really go off if he cannot roam free, etc.) Sure, DD was not like this but she was "weird" to me (she is now 6yo). The child never went thru a "no" stage, was several years old before throwing a tantrum and was a plain easdy baby/toddler. People begged to babysit her. Noone will sit my son, but realize we have no close friends now too...

So we are at a Psychologists office (not for my kids). He happens to be a child psych. too. He starts commenting on "He must be near age 2!" "Don't fret over tantrums, let it be and it shall pass." Friendly, nice advice. DH keeps rattling, "You don't know my son!". o 10 minutes into the visit (It was for DH and the ywanted to speak to both of us.) and a room full of toys, etc. The Psych. stops and (nicely) says" oh my Goodness, he never stops, does he? WOW!" Geez, so even the child psych looks at DS as super active. Is this what spirited is? Rarely sitting still, always busy, very curious, often stong willed, and a little advanced in some areas? All the kids I am related too (cousins) were "terrors" mostly due to parenting (or lack of) so of course DD was odd and now DS, who I see in no way to be a "terror" like my cousins were/are (he has toddler level respect 90% of the time) is similar to them in the active area. I dunno.

What is spirited? Please explain. What is in the "normal" range for 1-4 yo kiddos? I am JUST CURIOUS! I feel my boy is fine as he is, but am I blind? Please let me know! lmao while still serious here!
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#2 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 12:39 AM
 
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i think it is a GOOD thing and i would never want to squish his spirit!

my oldest son was the opposite, that is how I know my younger son is spirited.

not spirited toddler = go to anyone...let them babysit..no tears.
spirited =scream bloody murder if mommy leaves the room around strangers

not spirited = content to sit in highchair, or WHERE-EVER you want them. put them there, and they stay.

spirited = refuses to sit anywhere but where THEY want. theirway or scream city.

not spirited= doesn't cry for attention in the car as infant..just sits there and is quiet or sleeps.
spirited = screams as soon as mom is out of view

not spirited=sit nice and calm in restraunt
spirited=scream and make noise when you try to eat.

Get my ideas?

You will know if you are around an "Easy" baby.
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#3 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 08:47 AM
 
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good definitions from sleepies...I have a spirited child, but I didn't know it either. I was so wrapped up in her as a baby that it took nothing to meet her needs, so she rarely cried. People commented on how alert and alive she looked, but I just figured it was because she was in a sling looking in their faces rather than in a stroller looking at their knees, KWIM?

Fast forward to toddler times and you see the behaviors you both describe. I think the hallmark of a spirited child is intensity and persistence. A shy quiet child can be spirited, because such a child can be intense. Intensely focused, intensely turned inward, intensely resisting new experiences.

But the persistence is the most obvious for me...when people say, just MAKE her do it! And you know based on months of trying that nothing short of a cannon will make your child budge...and so you have to find a new way of handling the situation so that your day isn't a minefield of power struggles. That's a spirited child.

really: read Raising Your Spirited Child. I didn't do so until dd was over 4, and then I understood why all my friends were so strangely sympathetic to me

Oh, and I think you've got one. Welcome to theclub!
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#4 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 12:17 PM
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I know I don't have a Spirited Child (but a Spectacular Child, nonetheless) but I think my niece and nephew (two different families) are spirited. But contrary to what others are saying here they were both "easy babies". Not allot of crying, lots of smiles, no separation issues. However they are NOT easy children. In my memory the change happened at about 3.5. My nephew is 5 now and every situation is a power struggle, even the most innane task he will not do without negotiation and he is incredibly verbal so he can debate you into the ground. My niece is 6 and is incredibly emotional. She is either laughing and playing with uncontainable enthusiasm or completely broken down in tears. There is very little middle ground. They are both great kids but man of man am I glad to see them go at the end of the visit! My hat is off to you parents with Spirited Children!
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#5 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 12:35 PM
 
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I have 2 spirited children, one spunky. No easy ones!

Mine were spirited pretty much from birth. One is an introvert tho, and more emotionally spirited, 7 meltdowns a day. The other, a happier child, but always on the go, extroverted, wants attention from someone all day long. Short attn span.

Transitions are hard for spirited children. And clothes---they have to be just right! they both went thru a socks and underwear refusal period.

Dd would never sit in a highchair to eat for more than 5 minutes. All 3 of mine nursed every hour, at age 6 mos, 1 yr, 2 yrs, and so on. Needed lots of cuddles and attn. I used to give them baths twice a day just to entertain and hope to calm them down.

But they are so bright, love to learn, and no one is going to push them around!

The 2 spirited ones still fight a lot, probably always will. I secretly call them the Bickertons.

You have to read the book. There is a workbook too, with activities to stimulate your busy child. APing is so impt for kids like these. I think neglected spirited children fill our prisons. Those correctly (gently, respectfully) raised are our geniuses, our Edisons and Robin Williams, Einsteins, Steve Irwins, and super athletes.
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#6 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 01:07 PM
 
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This is a very interesting thread for me. So many of these behaviors describe my dd but it wasn't til she was closer to 2 that I actually started making a connection. I did start to read "Raising Your Spirited Child" and it was surely an eye opener to see that my dd wasn't just a difficult child. I knew she wasn't, I just knew that I need to learn new ways to deal with her particular behaviors -- other than what my "helpful" family was recommending :

My son was an easy baby and pretty happy go lucky, easy to redirect, content to be; so this wild child I have is so different to deal with. But I have to say I enjoy every moment with her and am glad to say that I'm learning how to anticipate her actions rather than react to a temper tantrum. I really do need to go back and read more of the book, I think.
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#7 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 01:57 PM
 
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i'm definitely going to read 'raising a spirited child'. this thread has been of particular interest to me since i'm hanging on the end of my rope with my pinkie. with 2 very spirited children and an 11 year old who makes me want to bash my head against a wall most of the time, i think this book will be mighty helpful.

ok, so now i'm off to referee the latest battle...
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#8 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First question: With one (or more) spirited kids, when do you find time to read?!?!?!?! Hence the reason I haven't read many books...

Ok, I am still on the fence. DS will sometiems stay with others, actually he has recently begun trying to stay with others (even walked to my parents neighbor, with me watching, and insisted he'd stay with a very unenthusiastic old neighbor!!). If I must leave him (very rare, I work while he sleeps) all I have to say is "i'll get you a donut." and he is fine. (Sad but true.) He was not always liek this and it comes and goes. When he falls he rarely cares, heINSISTS on eating in his high chair at time (it is broke but he feels he needs it), so that is the otherway around. So insistant is a key though. He is ALWAYS on the move-although I now learned he likes being read too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DD NEVER enjoyed this, but now sorta does if I read to them both. HE runs and gets books-the hundreds DD has whic hare never opened!! So he does calm down, sometimes. He will sit quietly with Daddy on occasions is heis tired...Damn, he's up, finish later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#9 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 02:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by bebesho2
First question: With one (or more) spirited kids, when do you find time to read?!?!?!?! Hence the reason I haven't read many books...

see that's the problem. with two kids i barely have time to read so i started reading it and then stopped. i'll have to try and squeeze in a couple pages a day. that seems to be the way to go in our house LOL
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#10 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 02:53 PM
 
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I read while nursing. While they napped. After they went to bed. When daddy would play with them. While they splashed in the tub. In 5 min snatches while they played on our swing set/sand box. While they made a mess with watercolors or play-doh. If they wouldn't nap I would drive them around til they fell asleep, then park and read.

But you will find your own way, if it's important to you. I once saw a cartoon of a kid pulling at his mom while she sat with a book, and she is saying, " Leave me alone! I'm trying to read about how to be a better mother!"
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#11 of 11 Old 06-06-2003, 04:39 PM
 
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Hey, DarylLLL, the mom in the cartoon is ME! I actually told dd one day that the reason I read so much is that I am always looking for ideas to help me be a better mom. This was very interesting to her...one of the aspects of her spiritedness is following everything through to its excruciating conclusion. So we talked for days about that!
People assume that it's me, and maybe it is, but I prefer to answer the 7,000th why than tell her to stop asking!

I love this book, and I love the language in it...it helped me with her teacher, who otherwise drove me nuts, but has raised a spirited child of her own. So when we said dd was sensitive or an independent thinker, it was like we had our own little code!
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