Not everyone understands how hard it is to raise a child that is just more of everything. More intense, more sensitive, more loving, more persistent, more perceptive, more energetic, more distracted, and more difficult to adapt. Yes, all of those things encompass my beautiful, loving, sweet, crazy, 5 year old son.
Raising a spirited child is a daily struggle, but also an eye-opener. Mister Man keeps me on my toes and makes me think about how to phrase and prepare the day. It’s a daily, moment by moment, ever-changing struggle, but I know I am getting stronger, he is getting stronger and we are making progress.
I’d read parenting book after parenting book, trying to find the best parenting solution for our son. None of them quite fit him until I picked up Raising your Spirited Child. Within a few pages I was convinced this book was written about my son. He fit the description perfectly. It opened my eyes.
Until then, I felt like I was a bad parent and couldn’t keep my child in check. We were having tantrum after tantrum… it was never ending. At home, in public, you name it we were having issues. I could not find a solution and felt like I was failing.
It was this book that let me breathe and know I wasn’t a bad parent, I was just treating him like a normal 5 year old, and he wasn’t. He is just a bit more.
Instead of using the normal tactics for parenting, I needed to re-evaluate the way I handled situations, look for triggers and help him find ways to handle his spirit. It helped me to see that he isn’t a bad kid, the traits he portrays are all traits that are amazing in adults when they are handled properly. It wasn’t that he was acting out to fight authority, he just can’t help it, the emotions overwhelm him and he doesn’t know how to handle it. So it’s our job to help him understand what he is feeling and how he can handle those emotions.
Yes, it’s difficult. It’s a daily struggle, but we are making progress. I have to be aware of the day to day things that may happen and then adjust my thinking to envision how he will handle the situation so I can help him succeed.
Mister Man is an amazing kid, with a heart like no other. He loves with all his might, but sometimes his emotions get the best of him. How we handle those moments are very important to his success. If he can learn to handle them himself, and he will eventually, he will be such a strong, loving, sensitive adult. But it’s up to us to help him find the solutions and the appropriate reactions and ways to handle the situation. I see so much potential in him, we just have to help him let out the love instead of the anger, let his emotions turn him on the right path rather than letting them get the best of him.
It’s a struggle, because neither Brian or I think the same way he does, we are not overwhelmed with emotions, so we have to change our thinking and put ourselves in his position to better understand what he is going through. If we don’t, we get frustrated and angry and things go downhill quickly. Calmness, patience, love and understanding are so important in our day to day lives with Mister Man, and they are what keep him moving in the right direction. One slip and the whole day can go downhill. It’s a constant battle, but I know it will be worth it in the end.
For the next few weeks I will be highlighting those characteristics that make a child spirited, examples of situations we’ve encountered as well as tactic to help your spirited child succeed!