Pin It How many of you are familiar with the term "Spirited Child"?
How many of you are familiar with the term "Terrible Twos"?
Imagine the terrible twos on speed...that is the reality of having a spirited child. By definition a spirited child is "more". More demanding, more temperamental, more emotional, more stubborn...just more everything, including loving. There is a level of intensity there that is almost frightening to watch at times. While a "normal" child might throw a two minute tantrum over having to wear socks a "spirited" child might throw a two HOUR tantrum because the seam on the sock isn't lined up properly, or there's a piece of lint in the toe, or there's a fray in the elastic...I kept hearing the same well intentioned yet infuriating comments: "It's
just the terrible twos" or "Suck it up, this is what kids do".
CeeCee is a spirited child. It took a while for me to understand this. I felt like a failure as a mother. I couldn't understand why I wanted to cry every day, why my stress level was so high and why none of my friends had similar stories about their kids. What was I doing wrong? I did all my "mommy" research while I was pregnant. I took notes. I was well on track to have the happiest, most well adjusted, best behaved kid on the block.
Almost two years later I was standing in the wreckage of my living room, surveying the damage from the F5 tornado that is my daughter and wondering where I had gone wrong. Then it hit me:
Maybe nothing was wrong.
Maybe this was normal for her.
Maybe this was what every day was going to be like for the rest of my life.
I indulged in a minor bout of anxiety. Ok, maybe "minor" isn't entirely accurate. I may or may not have been found cowering in a corner, with my fingers in my ears, rocking back and forth pleading "make it stop, make it stop". When hubby came home I handed him the kids and put my prodigious Google skills to good use, researching her behavior. Somewhere along the way I was invited to a Facebook group devoted to mothers of spirited kids and everything clicked into place. I learned a few techniques for handling her frustrations that actually worked (which I will be sharing along the way) and I started to look at things a little differently. Spirited kids often turn out to be highly successful adults because the traits that make us pull our hair out in clumps when they are toddlers help them to excel later in life. Persistence, perception, passion, determination, energy and intensity are all considered positive traits in the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. If that's the case my kid is going to rule the world one day. Possibly as an evil genius with a secret lair but hey, who am I to judge.
Maybe she'll invent seamless socks?