Spirited kids are the Super Ball in a room full of rubber balls. Other kids bounce three feet off the ground. Every bounce for a spirited child hits the ceiling.
I started this book today. The subtitle is ‘a guide for parents whose child is *more* intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, and energetic.’ Sounded like the book for me, and from page 1 I have found great comfort and validation from someone who gets what it’s like to be me.
The author, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, chooses to use the term spirited because difficult, strong-willed, and stubborn have negative connotations. A spirited child is lively, for sure, and creative and full of energy. But spirited children possess personality traits that can actually be strengths when understood and well guided. This is the basic premise of the book.
She seems to understand the randomness and intensity of the transition between good moments and bad moments, and the unpredictability of what will set a child off, and the persistence to scream for forty five minutes over toast cut the wrong way. She talks of the fear that we parents feel that we may have done something wrong in our parenting to create such behavior.
On the bad days, being the parent of a spirited child is confusing, frustrating, taxing, challenging, and guilt-inducing. You may wonder if you are the only parent with a kid like this, scared of what is to come in the teen years if you don’t figure out what to do now in the early years.
This book feels like a breath of fresh air, like a little piece of sanity. She even includes a chapter to give parents tools in keeping their cool on the bad days. Also, her definition of ‘spirited’ includes more than stubborn or explosive kids. She also includes kids who are more sensitive, more intensely inward, and more fearful and clingy than other kids – the kind of kids who are not content until the blankets on their beds are just right, or the tags on their clothing are folded down, or the bumps on their socks are smoothed out.
This book is for parents with kids who are more.
Rather than reading the entire book, then writing a review at the end, I may journal online as I go. If anyone would like to pick up a copy and read along, it would be nice to do a virtual book club through comments!