Spirited Children aka Fireworks
Do you have a child with a firecracker personality? 🎉🎉🎉⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We call these children “spirited.” And fortunately for us, they make up 20% of the population. They may be hard to parent. They may be extra sensitive, extra explosive and extra stubborn. But they are future leaders. And there are ways to help with their challenging behavior without diminishing their spirit.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We need the “wildflowers” in this world
Being different isn't always a bad thing. In fact in this ever-changing evil world... we NEED strong-willed children that will stand up for their values.
Yet when they're the kid running up on the stand at church... or wearing PJ's to school because they refuse every other outfit... this strong-willed characteristic is frustrating.
We can offer independence, responsibilities, choices within the boundaries to foster this autonomy without losing all authority.
My kid is CRAZY and STUBBORN will you watch him for the day? How does this make you feel... NOPE, run.
My kid is DECISIVE and has some serious LEADERSHIP potential, can you watch him for today? Yeah, I could do that.
Let's play a game, take out a paper and write down all the negative labels you might use for your "spirited" child. And then write a way to reframe a label positively next to it. I'll get us started.
HARD — Independent
STUBBORN — Determined
EMOTIONAL — Perceptive
If they could do well, they would do well (Dr. Ross Greene)
We often think, OH MY GOSH, they are being a pill... they just don't want to behave.
Maybe you're at the zoo.
Or at Target.
Or at home eating breakfast.
There's sass, or a tantrum... non-compliance.
"Why are you behaving this way?" "Why won't you listen??"
It'd actually be some sort of miracle if your child immediately snapped out of it, and communicating well, I am fussing at the breakfast table because I was hoping to have crepes, but then you pulled out cereal and I don't want cereal... and also I'm a little bit too hungry to self-regulate my emotions... so instead I'm going to fuss and whine. That's why.
Guarantee... they don't want to be fussing and whining and making everyone mad.
They just don't know HOW to communicate.
Or maybe they don't know HOW to handle disappointment or HOW to regulate their strong emotions.
Maybe they don't have the words, maybe they don't have the social skills.
If they COULD do well, they WOULD do well.
They “Can’t” Mindset Shift
Do you ever think, "my child is LAZY?". "My child is DEFIANT," "they just want attention." You're in a fixed mindset. That's okay. Most of us were/are. Our kids don't behave to spite us. They are missing skills or overwhelmed. Stay curious, teach new skills. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Instead of staying in a "they won't listen" mindset, think in a "they can't listen" mindset.
Lauren Pace, MS | Parenting Coach | Child Behavior Coach | Logan, Utah | WA | Online