It’s easy to tell if you are parenting high spirited kids, at least in my experience.
Our first baby boy grew up so calm and easy going. As a baby and into toddlerhood he was happy sitting in his stroller, going on car rides, and doing quiet activities.
When our daughter was born it became quickly apparent that she was a high spirited child.
Nobody was going to hold her back from what she wanted to do when she wanted to do it.
She will be 3 years old next week and up to this date has never been okay with riding in her stroller, going on car rides (where again she has to be confined to a seat), and activities are never quiet with her.
Parenting Secrets for Raising Spirited Kids
As a spirited child our daughter loves to explore anything and everything, she knows what she wants to where and enjoys picking out her clothes (usually a princess dress and crown), and she’s not afraid to say no.
If you have a spirited child those traits might seem familiar to you.
Raising a spirited child can be challenging even for the most patient of parents.
Here are some ways to navigate the challenge of raising spirited kids.
Go with the Flow
Every day is an adventure with a spirited child, especially during the toddler/pre-k stage.
At some point you just have to let loose and go with the flow.
In any given day I can deal with flour spilled all over the kitchen floor, permanant marker drawings all over the fridge (where she found it I don’t know), finding my missing credit card in the barrel of my guitar (where do they come up with these hiding spots), and a toddler that absolutely refuses to put clothes on.
But, I have to take these things on with a smile.
Keeping a sense of humor and a lot of patience is important when you have a spirited child.
If I got mad about my daughters every day adventures I would be a mad and nagging mom all the time.
Instead I try to admire her imagination and creativity.
I also try to be thankful that there are plenty of hacks for getting stains out of things to be found on Pinterest, that most lost or broken things can be replaced, and that while my daughter is in the house clothes aren’t necessary for her survival.
Be Prepared for Spills, Messes, and Whatever Else Might Come Your Way
As I discussed above, every day with a spirited child can turn into a great adventure.
Spills and messes are basically a staple of every day life with a child who loves to explore and touch everything they find.
So, you have to be prepared. I have stockpiles of equipment to get everything fresh and clean in various places in my home and car.
As a parent of a spirited child these things keep me sane. I really never know what might happen on any given day.
But, what I do know is that I always have a pack of Kleenex Wet Wipes ready to clean up any mess.
Lately my daughter just loves to be outside in the backyard playing. Maybe she wears her princess dress, maybe just a diaper and shoes, she is a spirited child after all.
While she’s outside she usually ends up messy. She likes picking flowers, making mud pies, and digging holes. It’s really hard preventing her from turning on the garden hose to water everything, including herself, even in the winter.
Her pretty face and hands always get dirty and I worry about germs. But, Kleenex Wet Wipes are so easy on her skin and remove the germs. So, I can relax!
Since she is spirited she likes to wiper her own face, of course.
All clean mom!
Embrace their Unique Spirit
Spirited kids all have their own unique spirit and that’s something that should be embraced.
Sure they might get into a little bit more mischief than you would like them to, but that’s how they are growing and learning.
As they grow into adults their spirited personalities will turn into confidence and creativity that will help them be successful in life.
Be proud of your spirited child, embrace them for all they are, and be excited about watching their beautiful transition into adulthood.
Don’t Forget Praise and Positive Reinforcement
It’s easy to get frustrated with a child who has a strong will and personality.
With spirited little ones it’s easy to say no all the time or to get on to them about whatever mischief it is they decide to get in that day.
But, don’t forget to give them lots of praise, encouragement, and positive reinforcement too. Whenever you catch them putting their creativity into something amazing make sure to praise, so they will be more likely to repeat those good behaviors.
We have a lot of trouble with our daughter coloring everywhere she can. She will color the walls, appliances, furniture, anything!
So, when I catch her coloring on paper I make sure to praise her lots. I tell her how amazing her drawing is, that I love the color paper she chose, and hang it up where the whole family can see her amazing work of art.
Give them Freedom to Explore
Chances are your spirited child loves to run around and explore whatever they can.
Don’t just allow them to explore on their own. Create opportunities for them to explore new places and things.
Take them to the park, zoo, or children’s museum where their imaginations and energy can run wild.
Make creative spaces for them to play at home. We recently built a playhouse in our backyard where our daughter can play.
If they love getting messy and dirty while they play make them slime/play dough or set up sensory bins where they can get messy and explore something new.
Raising up kids with spirited personalities is tough, yes. But, don’t forget to find the joy in their spirited personalities. Embrace this time in your parenting life. The most important thing is that you are looking at all the positives of having a spirited child and rolling with the daily adventures they bring into your life. Not only do these adventures make raising them more memorable, but they help you grow stronger in patience and your child grow stronger in confidence & creativity.
Do you have any spirited kids? I would love to hear more about your daily adventures and tips for raising them in the comments below!