Saturday, March 23, 2013

Coping Mechanisms for Parents of Spirited Kids

We talked in the first post in my spirited kids series about how you might know you are raising a spirited child.  Part two focused on the traits that spirited kids have in common.  This week we are talking about different coping mechanisms we have found for the parents of spirited kids to better cope with the special joys that come with raising a honey badger.  
I have found that not letting Kai see my emotions is one of the better tactics I have in my arsenal.  The more angry/mad/frazzled I get, the worse Kai's behavior comes.This is harder said than done when you are being blantantly ignored/disobeyed or mocked or hit.  But it helps.  

I also have found having a few close friends (see my panel of lovely ladies in my case) really helps.  They also are in the honey badger whisperer club and know exactly what I am going through.  Parenting advice that is thrown out there for "normal" kids just doens't work as well for Destructo.  It is nice to get ideas and advice from moms in similar situatons.

I also sometimes put myself in time out.  Or step outside for two minutes.  Whatever it takes to get away from the situation when I feel on the verge of losing my mind.  Me time is important to any momma, but especially when you are dealing with a very intense and spirited child.

Haha and when all else fails alcohol truly helps.  I kid.  I kid.  

Susan says:
  ALCOHOL!!! lol Next though is the gym.
Seriously if I didn't go to the gym 4-5 times a week I would die.
I NEED that release. I need that mental and physical break from her
Running has helped me a lot

Sara said:  
Ear plugs. Not to ignore obviously but just to spare your hearing.

Camille said:
  • Our game plan for dealing with our spirited 4 year old, Kaylee, starts with making sure she doesn't get too tired or hungry. That makes her behavior much worse than usual. And we don't let her have junk food or sugar; that affects her mood negatively too. Getting plenty of exercise is also a must. We try to take her to play at the park or the mall play area daily, or at least exercise in the house or run around in the backyard. When it comes to discipline, we are using a 1 warning then time out system. Time outs involve sitting down and doing nothing until she's ready to calm down and obey. One of us sits with her so it's not very harsh, but honestly, it's the worst punishment for a kid that gets bored easily! Other than that, we just try our best to give her a good balance of discipline and love. If one of us is about to lose it, we take a break and let the other parent deal with it. When my husband is at work, I have a list of activities to keep her busy. If I start losing my temper, I put on some music, and that helps reset both of our moods. Kaylee has recently started preschool for a few hours each morning, and we're still working on how to get her to behave when we're not around. We roleplay and act out situations so she can practice good ways to behave at school, and her teachers fill out a behavior chart for her each day. She earns either a happy face or a sad face for each activity at school, and we give her small prizes for getting happy faces. Yes, we are not above bribery, hahah! Anyway, at the end of the day, my husband and I try to give ourselves a pat on the back for parenting well that day, and/or talk about how we can improve the next day. We really try to stay positive and focus on Kaylee's good qualities. It can be stressful parenting such a strong-willed child sometimes, but it can also be amazing and fun!

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