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Sorry if this sounds dumb, but I hear people talking about their "spirited children" a lot, often in a negative way like "My child is too spirited for GD" or "I have to spank him because he's so spirited" or "The teacher says he can't come back to class until his spirit is broken." (I hear these off the boards.)

I don't get it; it sounds like spirited would be a good thing! I don't think I'd want a child that was unspirited, or that had no spirit.
 

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when I hear spirited I think of Kurcinka's book Raising Your Spirited Child
I'm taking this from the back cover "The spirited child --often called "difficult" or "strong-willed" --can easily overwhelm parents, leaving them feeling frustrated and inadequate. Spirited kids are, in fact, simply "more"--by temperment more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and uncomfortable with change than the average child".

but it is a euphemism

--proud mama of a spirited dd
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by momsgotmilk4two
I think it's just a more positive way of saying "difficult".
When I describe my dd as spirited, I don't mean it as a euphemism, or a positive way of saying difficult, strongwilled, etc. I mean it as a description of her temperament....which has good AND bad qualities, just like every other temperament. Bad qualities: she can be incredibly stubborn, she feels all emotion (including rage) intensely, transition is very difficult for her--and all of these things trigger mega-tantrums/meltdowns. Good qualities: she is no pushover!, she speaks her mind, she thinks things through for herself, she feels all emotion (including joy, love, and compassion) intensely, and she has an amazing attention span.
Spirited kids definitely demand more energy, ingenuity, and patience from their parents....which seems to give them a bad rap...but I believe a spirited temperament can be a real advantage in life.
 

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I think of it as the opposite of "laid back" and I definitely have a spirited child! I see it as a double edged sword - I know that she requires much more patience than a laid back child would but she will always fight for what she wants (double edged! it's great if she's fighting with someone else, not mama
) and her enthusiasm is positively captivating. She's quite tenacious, creative minded, and bubbly. But when she's sad, she's devastated, when she's angry she's infuriated, when she's happy she's elated. I think of spirited as emotion x2.

"Break her spirit"?? Did these parents have foals or kids? How disgusting. It's more like "nurture her spirit".
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball
"My child is too spirited for GD"
When I hear things like this I zero in on the speaker's implied definition of discipline rather than spirited. I think that lots of folks mistakenly assume that the success of discipline is measured by how effectively it controls children, and that gentle discipline must involve doing this, er, gently somehow (most likely with permissiveness or weak/inconsistent discipline).
I think that kids who are "intense" "spirited" or "willful" are difficult to control, however you approach that unfortunate goal, although harsher methods give the parent more "recourse" to address breaches in parental control.

Gentle discipline to me is a practice that you undertake because you choose empathy and respect rather than control. Empathy and respect are no more or less relevant for different personality types.
Thus I don't see how anyone could be clear about gentle discipline if they say things like that.

Disciplining "Spirited" children with empathy and respect really pushes us to hone our skills and understanding, way beyond our good intentions and what we can absorb through the mainstream culture. If you don't have the support or life experiences to go on that journey with your child, then it seems easy to see how someone could say that gentle discipline as they understand it was ineffective with their child.

Just my 2-cents!
 

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ITA with melamama.

I love that book, and often recommend it, and that is why I use the term "spirited", but my own kids are not "spirited" by that definition


Some of the other definitions would make my kids "spirited", and that I like, hey I'm happy with them any way they are
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball
"My child is too spirited for GD"

My dd is too spirited for anything besides GD!!! I, too, use the Kurcinka definition for the Raising your spirited child book. We try to nurture her spirit... the hard part is to nurture ours too.
 
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