Thursday, February 14, 2013

You Might be Raising a Spirited Child If.......

So since Destructo weaned, I have had a bit of a loss.  Thursday was always breastfeeding post day or as I sometimes referred to it in my head talk about my boobs day.  Well after a particularly tough weekend, it hit me that I should post more about life with a spirited child.  So I ran with it.

Well I am here to introduce you to a panel of lovely ladies who are all raising at least one spirited child affectionately known as hell cats, honey badgers, and evil geniuses among other things.

Fred is the proud and frequently harried mom of an amazing adopted 3 and a half year old daughter, Charlotte.  Fred considers herself a “positive parent”, employing a mix of discipline styles from various books such as “Positive Discipline”, “How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk”, “Unconditional Parenting”, “Playful Parenting”, and her own brand of trying really hard not to scream her head off on bad days.  Her oft-neglected adoption and parenting blog can be found at

Susan is the mother of two children and one Honey Badger. E(4), A(2) and O(10 months) all keep her on her toes and have taught her that you can not parent each child the same.

 Sara is the parent of two Spirited Children Pooh (2) and Moose (1).   Pooh also struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder. She likes to spend her free time thinking up creative ways to keep them from destroying her house and each other without breaking their spirit.

Camille is married the to best guy ever and they have 2 sweet little girls, ages 4 years and 2 months. <3 They also have 4 adorable fur-kids. :) Life is crazy but fun!  Camille blogs over at

You Might Have a Spirited Child If…

From Fred:
All of the below are true.  Sigh.
You Might Have a Spirited Child If…
·         Your child uttered the words “It’s my body and I’ll do what I want” before they turned 2. 
·         Your child seems to be about a year ahead of most behavior issues.  Lucky you, you have an “advanced” child.
·         You are convinced your child is an evil genius.  Literally.  Both a genius and evil.  At least… some days.
·         A former private investigator told you they love spending time with your child because they “find the criminal mind so fascinating.”
·         You had to “baby proof” twice before your child was a year and a  half because your toddler quickly figured out how to take the little plastic outlet plugs out to insert scissors, and even duct tape couldn’t keep the door knob covers attached. 
·         You couldn’t leave your one year old alone for even 20 seconds because the three times you tried it (to go to the restroom), you found her: 1) On top of the counter stacking glassware from the high cabinet, 2) On top of the highboy dresser after having pulled the drawers out like stair steps, and 3) Swinging from the chandelier.
·         Every time you post for discipline help on the Internet you end up laughing out loud at the responses because clearly the respondents have some of those “normal” kids you’ve heard about.  Like “limited choices”.  Ha!  Your child will always have a third or fourth option up their sleeve to negotiate, even before she was able to talk.
·         Your fourteen-month-old’s daycare had to install deadbolts at the TOP of the door because your child figured out how to push a tiny little chair over and “free” her classmates.
·         You have had your child evaluated for sensory and/or hyperactivity issues THREE TIMES (at the suggestion of the child care provider and/or relatives) by age 4 and the answer is always the same:  “Parent/teacher check list indicates likely problem but short observation of the child does not show diagnosable concerns” or something to that effect.  You know your child is “more than typical” but you don’t know exactly how. 
·         You live in constant worry your child will be kicked out of their daycare or preschool AGAIN.
·         You have nightmares for days before your scheduled parent-teacher conference at your child’s preschool.
·         Boredom exacerbates behavior problems, but behavior problems prevent the child from progressing to more complicated school work.  And thus the cycle continues.
·         You have gone through at least a half dozen “date night” babysitters in a year, and no one seems to answer the phone any more.  Date night usually involves falling asleep watching a rented movie, which is fine because you’d almost rather sleep than go out anyway.  All this despite a very pricey lifetime membership to an online nanny search engine.
·         You have joked with your spouse that your child must actually be twins, and they take turns hiding and tag teaming you.
·         You have actually thanked your child for NOT being twins.
When your child's teacher says 'We're just glad she's here instead of a school where she would have been kicked out' and you consider that the nicest comment ever made at a conference.

From Susan:
  • You might be raising a spirited child if the word child proof makes you and your child laugh.
  • You might be raising a spirited child if you have ever had to say, "Just step over her....she will be done in a minute" to a stranger when your child is laying in the middle of the aisle at Target.
  •  You might be raising a spirited child if you hear "wow, you sure have your hands full" each time you go out in public with your child.
  •  You might be raising a spirited child if you consider saving for an Emergency Room fund instead of a College Fund.
  • You might be raising a spirited child if you have (unsuccessfully) tried to use a toddler leash on said child.
  • You might be raising a spirited child if you are not in the least bit surprised by the messes that they can make in a matter of seconds. (shampoo all over the hallway, Vaseline finger painting on the wall, mashed banana all over the table, chairs, floor.)
Scenes like this are common in all our houses

And last but not least, here are mine:
  • After going through three different electrical outlet covers, you finally gave up on childproofing and realized you literally have to watch your son every single second.
  • The dog regularly doesn't have water since your child dumps it every chance he gets so you just fill it half way up now and that runs out pretty quickly.
  • You are eternally grateful each day that your family is still able to watch your child while you work because you are pretty sure he would be kicked out of daycare.
  • You find yourself wistfully staring at all the normally behaving toddlers and thinking if only.... but quickly realizing that life really is more interesting with a honey badger.
  • You talk all the time about how smart your kid is but always follow it up with but if only he would use his smarts for good and not evil.
  • You were somewhat amazed that the Holy water at church didn't cause your child to sizzle and burn after a particularly bad Sunday.
  • You are "that mom."  You know the one you used to judge pre-children and say you just don't understand why she doesn't discipline her kids.
  • Your very own sister who loves her nephew to death actually said, "He would be one of the children in my class that I just don't enjoy teaching."
  • Your other sister who nannies for you has been quoted as saying, "If he acted like he does for you to me all day, I wouldn't sit for you anymore."
  • Sometimes you dread going home from work.
  • Your child first started throwing daily temper tantrums at six months. 
  • Even as an infant, you had to hold your child away from you so he could see the world around him or else he would scream bloody murder.
  • When you ask for parenting or discipline help on the Internet, you regularly laugh at the suggestions knowing there is no way that they would ever work for your child.  An alternative to this is that you spend your free time in the evenings searching the net for help.
  • You read about a study done about temper tantrums in a parenting magazine and it made you alternate laughing and crying.  It said something along the lines of most toddlers will have at least one temper tantrum a week and some will even have one a day.  Ha you would willingly take one tantrum a day over the 52 bazillion that is the norm in your household.
  • Your pets suddenly developed a whole new love of the outdoors when your son was born.
  • You get told he sure is full of energy, you have your hands full, we sure had fun watching him, etc nearly every time you are in public.
  • While all the other young infants were cuddled up close with their mommies or sleeping peacefully during your mommy group, your baby was bouncing on your lap and talking to everyone.  Every single meeting.
  • You bought a book on raising a spirited child at nine months old.
  • Whichever child is not doing what all the rest of them are is your child.
  • You are not sure you will ever get a full nights sleep again.
  • The word redirection causes hysterics in your household.  Yours not your child's.  Because you could redirect your child 57 thousand times and unless he or she changed their mind, it won't work.

What would you guys that are raising spirited kids add to this list?
Stay tuned next week.  We are going to discuss what makes a spirited child spirited.

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