How to Gently Parent the Highly Spirited Child
I was thankful to collaborate recently with Rose from the Wholesome Feed channel.
You’ll definitely want to check out her videos that inspire women in their breastfeeding and motherhood journeys as well as help fathers learn about breastfeeding support. She and I discussed the challenges of raising a spirited child, which is what we’re addressing here.
You want to establish independence, peace, and presence in your home. When you have a child who is extra emotional, active, or sensitive it is often frustrating and draining figuring out how to be peaceful and gentle in your parenting style.
Here you’ll find five strong strategies to parent a spirited child in a way that supports both parent and child.
Find more resources, tools, and a supportive community of parents who are sharing your experience by joining the Present Play membership which you can learn about here.
Parenting a child who is more active, sensitive, talkative, or emotional can be a joyful experience rather than a frustrating one. The strategies here are critical for transforming your interactions and time spent with your child. I encourage you to make a conscious effort to include them in your lifestyle.
5 Tips for Peaceful Parenting Your Spirited Child
- Take a break
We don’t do anything as intensely as we parent. We need valves to release that stress and energy. We need distance from our children to see them more objectively. If you’re looking for permission, here it is. You have permission to take a break. Don’t go it alone. Get support. Consider that your time spent with your children should be more about the quality than the quantity.
Whatever self-care looks like for you, remember that when your own cup runneth over with joy, abundance, and compassion it will spill over to your preschooler.via @ParentingJunkieTweet ThisIf you are not radically prioritizing your self-care it will be nearly impossible for you to peacefully parent your child. If you don’t have unconditional love for yourself how are you going to extend that to your child who is particularly needy? Self-care can be bubble baths and good sleep. It could also be practicing meditation, developing a project, taking care of your physical health, or setting limits on how you spend your time and energy.
- Get tools
I don’t think conscious parenting comes naturally. Most of us didn’t see peaceful parenting demonstrated around us. You’re not going to know how to put gentle strategies in motion in a way that supports you and your child best if you don’t continually educate yourself. Filling your toolbox is especially critical when raising a highly spirited child. I highly recommend reading Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and Listen by Patty Wipfer. These books are incredible resources for understanding your own temperament as well as the unique characteristics of the highly spirited child.
“Love your spirited child for who she is. Because she is more, she will make you more.” ― Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Raising Your Spirited Child
- Re-frame everything
We are all different. Some of us are highly sensitive, persistent, and high needs. It’s normal diversity of human cognition. The key is to look at your child’s behaviors neutrally, if not positively. Highly spirited children are those with creative minds and big ideas. If we focus on those aspects it will make parenting them more peaceful and benefit their self-concept. Look at them as unique perfect beings with strengths, characteristics, beliefs, and preferences that will serve them throughout life.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. “I set the limit and did it gently, telling him not to hit his brother, and he did it again. It’s not working.” Child development takes years. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Parenting takes bucket loads of patience and it will take months, if not years, to see the results of our efforts.
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Give me an “Amen” in the comments below if you’ve experienced the challenges of raising a spirited child. What tips and tricks do you use to help you practice the strategies mentioned here?