Thursday, November 13, 2008

Further Exploration

I wanted to include in this post how I took a course which was based on the book 'Raising Your Spirited Child'. But really it's a stand alone post.

Honestly, I could have likely gone without taking the course. I wasn't overly impressed with how it was presented but I was very grateful to find out about the book. I had several 'Ah Ha!' moments while reading it. (though I haven't read it cover to cover as yet) It sort of put into words what I have always known about Miss A. And it's the kind of book I'd like to give to those people I've come across who don't seem to believe me when I tell them about how she is. The people who seem to think that I should just be able to make her behave a certain way, that is if I was really a good parent. Which obviously, I'm not. Of course those people would never actually read the book, but maybe it would make me feel better just knowing that they might one day flip through it out of boredom and become enlightened.

Without going into it too much it basically describes the kind of kid Miss A is and then talks about the negative labels we tend to give them or their behavior. Guilty. So guilty. For example... she is so crazy! (or insane or nuts or wild, etc.) It reminds us parents to try to think of better words and not to use those potentially hurtful labels. Point taken. I am trying. But I constantly find these words slipping out. It also points out how their temperaments can help them to become very successful later in life. This is something I knew, something I have always said. I know she is going to have amazing qualities as she gets older but parenting a child with these personality traits now is... painfully difficult at times. Not to mention exhausting.

Reading this book felt like having a conversation with a friend. A friend who knows exactly what it's like to parent Miss A and who knows exactly what to say when I am feeling discouraged. It was one of those weird experiences when I actually felt like saying aloud, to the book, "Yes! Exactly! That's exactly how I feel. How did you know?" Really odd, but also really comforting.

I would recommend this book to any parent actually. Even those who might not consider their child to be 'spirited'. Some of it might sound hokey but the overall message is really great. Accept your kids for who they are. Don't wish that they were any easier, quieter, calmer or whatever. Help them to develop their unique and amazing personalities so that they can grow to be amazing adults one day. It sounds so simple but it's something I find I constantly forget and I find myself daydreaming that she could be just a little more like this or that instead and then wouldn't life be so much easier...


bon said...

Huh... Spirited.

That's even the same sort of terminology I have used in regards to my two older girls from the get-go, and the two older have taught Pearl a thing or twenty about will and spirit.

Like a spirited horse. You want to gentle such a horse.... you don't want to "break" them.

And don't kid yourself. You CAN break such a child, make them tractable and obedient at the snap of your finger. Would you ever want to? Pardon my free-inch but HELL TO THE NO! I am sure you have an idea of what it would take to accomplish such a thing, and the words "boarderline child abuse" spring to mind.

You know this... but I need to say it, you ARE A GOOD MAMA!

jaynee4000 said...

I don't know if "spirited" is the same as "strong willed", but I was reading books when my son was six months old. Very hard to raise a strong willed child and maintain some type of control and not break that spirit. I agree, this kind of "spirited" child can grow up and be soooo successful in life. I know this because my son is now 26 yrs old and I am so proud of him. But raising him turned my hair gray.

elizasmom said...

Very interesting to read this post in light of my own from yesterday, because boy does your last paragraph resonate with me. Maybe I need to check this book out!