My 1 year old has been biting recently. And since he is in daycare, this is becoming a problem and seems to be getting worse. So I have been reading parenting blogs to try to get some ideas on how to stop it and came across this word recently. The Spirited Child. The what? Aren’t all kids spirited? Don’t all 1 year olds act up, not sleep, eat little and cry easily? I mean, the saying the terrible two’s didn’t just invent itself. In my case I think Bryce is biting because he doesn’t have a lot of words yet. So he is acting out the only way he knows how to get what he wants. Usually he bites if he is hungry, tired or someone is playing with something he wants. Doesn’t make it right, but I know the biting will be a problem till I can get him to communicate a different way. How to do this with a 15 month old is the challenge. But it will happen.
After reading the below list I have determined that yes, I guess I DO have a spirited child. At least life will not be boring for the next 18 years…..
Here are seven signs that your kid may be a kid with spirit.
1. Their perseverance perseveres, and keeps right on persevering. The spirited child wants what they want, and they will stop at nothing to get it. They are like the little engine that could…If you gave the little engine that could a bunch of ‘special coal’ and seventeen shots of espresso. You have been told that determination is a positive quality. You could be raising a future leader of the free world, or a paint-throwing member of PETA. I am hoping for the former.
2. They don’t sleep like normal kids. If you’re raising a spirited child, chances are you probably haven’t had a full night’s sleep since they were born. This is because they are often awake in the middle of the night. You’ve tried a hundred strategies to get them to settle, but nothing works because their will is stronger than their need for rest. The child views 1-3 a.m. as a perfectly acceptable time to wake up and demand attention on a normal basis.
3. Their emotions are large and in charge. When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon back in 1969, I’m pretty sure his “One small step for man…” speech was interrupted by the echoing screams of spirited baby Gen-Xers who’d just been told they’d be having lima beans for dinner. Spirited children have an innate ‘go big or go home’ approach to feelings. Downside: they might throw screaming tantrums until they’re hoarse, leaving you wishing you had a soundproof room in your home where you could curl up in the fetal position and rock back and forth. Upside: they express their joy and love with reckless abandon. They run to you gleefully when you arrive home, throw their tiny bodies across your legs when they want to cuddle, and give bear bugs without warning.
4. People have multiple theories about your child’s behavior. Maybe they’re eating too much sugar. They act that way because they aren’t getting enough rest. They need more exercise. They need less stimulation. They need to play outside to burn off the extra energy. Have you eliminated harmful food dyes from their diet? What about television? Have you tried timeouts? Have you tried sticker charts? How about healthy food rewards? Herbal remedies? Magic potions? Voodoo?
5. People have multiple theories about your parenting. You need to just ignore the tantrums and they will stop happening. You need to be more flexible. You need to practice relaxation exercises with them. You need to punish them. You’re approaching parenting the wrong way; here’s a book about how to do it. Or better yet, here’s how I do it because my kids are so serene and agreeable. Try positive/free range/attachment/authoritative/slow parenting instead of whatever it is you’re currently doing that’s wrong. (You also need to tell the unsolicited advisors to shut up.)
6. They want to do it all. Brushing their teeth, putting on clothes. bathing, baking a cake, painting the shed, climbing a 16-foot ladder and cleaning the gutters on the house, changing the oil in the car, driving the car… If you have a spirited child, they will want to do all of these things by themselves with no help from you whatsoever. Attempts to intervene are met with resistance because they believe they’re masters of every craft, and it’s their life’s mission to prove it. Their perseverance has perseverance, remember?
7. They have a difficult time with transition. Do you dread leaving the house in because you know your kid will actually need to wear shoes? Is getting them dressed each day like trying to wrangle and clothe a rabid wolverine? Have strangers at the grocery store questioned if you’re kidnapping your own child because they are screaming in the parking lot? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you may be the proud parent of a kid with spirit.