Monday, January 25, 2010

The Spirited Child Experience

I'm a day behind since I was supposed to post yesterday but it was a very loooong tiring weekend of single parenting two little ones. (We had

I started reading the Raising your Spirited Child book last week, and I read Chapters 1 and 2 because Chapter 1 was basically about defining your spirited child. I'm thinking about doing two chapters a week since there are 20 chapters to go through and let's face it...I really just wanted to keep reading!

Chapter 1 starts out by talking about spirited children and how to recognize your spirited child. It also gives us the parents of spirited children a "credo". The author reccomends posting this on your fridge or somewhere you can see it every day and remind yourself:

1. You are not alone

2. You did not make your child spirited

3. You are not powerless

4. You have permission to take care of yourself

5. You may celebrate and enjoy the delights of your spirited child

So what is a spirited child? A spirited child has many of the following characteristics (I will label each one that relates to L as we go along)

1. Intensity: L is very intense, he's noisy when he plays, overly energetic and his tantrums...well let's just say that his tantrums are quite epic. As the author puts it in the book "their tantrums are raw and enduring" that describes L very well.

2. Persistence: L exhibits some of the persistence characteristics. He is very focused, he fixates on things and convincing him to play with something else or do something else is very difficult.

3. Sensitivity: L isn't as sensitive towards alot of the listed items like clothes, food, smells etc but he does get easily overwhelmed by crowds, he is also keenly aware of other peoples' moods. He is very empathic.

4. Perceptivness: L has a very short attention span, something always catches his eye along the way and he gets distracted from what he is doing. Its always a joy to go for walks because he notices things that I wouldn't normally take the time to look at.

5. Adaptability: L isn't too uncomfortable with change, he's quick to adapt in most situations, but not all spirited children are the same.

Bonus Characteristics...oh yes there are bonus ones!

6. Regularity: L has no schedual, he eats when he wants, sleeps when he feels like it, we can put him to bed at the same time every night and some nights he'll go to sleep, other nights he'll be awake for two more hours.

7. Energy: L has LOTS of energy. He is often referred to as "wild" but we prefer to say he's very busy (labels...I'll get into that soon).

8. First Reaction: L doesn't really do this, he doesn't hide away, sometimes he hesitates at something new but it doesn't take much to get him involved.

9. Mood: L is almost always a happy child, unless he's having a tantrum. We always get smiles which we enjoy imensely.

Chapter 2 talks about labels and how they effect the way we see our children. It goes on to teach us how to change our negative labels into positive ones. Which is easier said then done. So here are our labels:

Doesn't listen
easily bored
Sounds bad doesn't it? These are just some of the negative labels we've used to describe L. I'm sure there are more and always will be more but finding a positive label to use instead really forces you to take a step back from the situation and reflect. Here are our alternative positive labels:

Knows what he wants
easily distracted

I've found even changing the labels changes how I look at L. Hubby looked at me yesterday and said "Creative...I like that!" and its true, he is a very creative little boy...yes things get destroyed in the process but he's creative about it.

This week...Chapters 3 and 4 I can't wait! I'll upadte you again in a week!

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