Parenting is a challenge for anyone. I can understand your challenges. With a handful of kids, I was bound to be blessed with a spirited child. That wild child that makes you wonder how you will make it through the day let along the teen years. The good news is that your spirited, strong-willed, and darn right difficult child is worth all of the work. Spirited children love as hard as they fight, they never back down for a challenge. These tips will help you stop counting down to bedtime and enjoy your spirited child.
Discipline, Consistency, and Love
When someone sees a spirited child acting well… spirited, they often suggest physical punishment under the guise of discipline. The truth is spanking your spirited child will do no good. While outsiders don’t understand you can ask any spirited mom and they will tell you the same. Traditional discipline will bring out your child’s strong will. One day that will serve your child well but in the meantime, you have a job to do as a parent.
Parenting a spirited child takes a bit more creativity and a whole lot more work. So many parents get thrown off by the discussion of discipline. Discipline is the training of someone to follow rules and obey through punishment. So many people can’t see past traditional discipline. You need to learn new ways to train your child.
Consistency is the best tool in your parenting a spirited child arsenal. When you set rules and build routines stick to them. Sure others may not like that you won’t budge on your child’s bedtime because they want you to. They will get over it. They are not the ones that have to deal with a cranky child in the aftermath. Or the DAYS it takes to get your child back on track.
The most important thing to remember when parenting a spirited child is they need love. Sometimes it can be hard to love a spirited child but in the end, you discover that showering your child with a little extra love makes life so much easier. They open up, they are more willing to follow your lead, and they have the confidence you can only get when you know you are loved for who you are.
You can enjoy better days with your spirited child
Your spirited child needs you. As the parent of a spirited child, you have to learn to be their advocate. Nosey adults will often step in and treat your child in a way they should not. It is your job to speak up for your child. Don’t allow anyone to berate or chastise your child. Even if your child is acting up it is your place to protect them and when you do your child will trust you.
Take one one on time to spend with your spirited child. Children respond to you better when they get the full attention they need. Giving your child a bit of extra attention can help them control their emotions and make life so much easier.
Meeting your child’s needs can be a challenge. Many spirited children have a hard time adjusting to change. Building strong daily routines and sticking to them at all costs can help your child keep on track and control their very strong emotions. By building routines you help your child know what is coming and when.
If your child is having a rough day you can often change it around by meeting basic needs. A hungry, tired, or thirsty child is more likely to act out as their body fights the stress. Meeting the needs that triggered your child’s episode can change your day around fast. If your child has other issues you will notice patterns. Prepare to meet those needs while out of the house. Keep snacks, a bottle of water, sunglasses, headphones with soft music, and fidget toys in your bag to help deal with your child’s needs. Often spirited children act out when they need something without expressing the need. They may not even know what it is they need. Spirited children are very sensitive.
While traditional discipline tactics often fail with spirited children. One trick that works well is the classic distract and redirect. Take a moment to redirect negative behaviors and turn your child to something safe and happy. We keep things going smoothly by keeping sensory activities, kids crafts, and other stuff to distract the children when we need it most. When out of the house I keep busy bags packed with nonmessy fun and fidget toys in my diaper bag to distract fussy kids. This is not rewarding poor behavior it is stopping it without a fight.
From the trenches of parenting a spirited child.
I’m not gonna tell you that Raising your Spirited Child is easy. It’s not and we both know that. I will tell you for every day you start counting down the hours till bedtime at breakfast you will have days you look at your child and feel nothing but joy and love. Cherish the good days. Keep your head held high when others look down at your parenting skills and know that all that spirit will serve your child well oe day.