Thursday, May 26, 2011

We got spirit, yes we do!

I had hit the end of my rope.

Why does getting dressed throw Riley for a loop?
Why do I dread taking Riley to school and picking her up?
How come we butt heads so much?

Exhausted, I turned to the Internet, what else, right? I came across quite a few rave reviews for a book called, Raising Your Spirited Child.

Written by a Mom of a fellow spirited child, Mary Sheedy Kurcinka writes that spirited children are more. They are more intense, focused, energetic, slow to transition, sensitive, than your average kid. This is Riley. I actually started crying when I read some of the parent's accounts of their kids and how they felt about parenting these children. For so long, I have felt like I have done something wrong - whether it was too many ultrasounds or the fact that she was "spoiled" or "needed to be put on medicine." These are all things that I had heard from people and things I thought to myself at one time or another. In contrast, Mary wants us to change our thinking -- from bossy to a leader, from sensitive to in-tune, or from problem child to problem-solver.

What was even more surprising is the author's take on introverts and extroverts and the role that parent's style plays into the equation. I have always known I am an extrovert and admittedly, I am sensitive to noises and clothes but love being the center of attention. I am refueled by talking with adults. Dan on the other hand is introverted, preferring to be alone with his thoughts as he thinks through a problem. Riley has both of these qualities. While she is quick to get on her "stage" at home to belt out a tune, she is very timid about new people, experiences, and places. She'd rather watch and see then jump right in and start playing.
Although I am only half-way through the book, it had also taught me that denying who Riley is, would be robbing her of her joy, her energy, and all of the other qualities that make her who she is. But, working with these traits, learning how to anticipate meltdowns and how to communicate with her is not only effective but sets her up for success -- and more importantly, sets our family up for success.
I hope to continue to write about our journey using this book and how we have incorporated it into our parenting toolbox. I am dying to attend one of her workshops. Dan, on the other hand, jokingly asks during one of Riley's meltdowns, "Is this her spirit talking?"

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails