The Spirited Child


I have a “spirited” child. It saddens me when I read all these articles about “spirited children” and how to “survive” with them or how they describe their “characteristics”, so we can correctly label them.

It has just become a synonym of a “problematic child”.

We worry so much about how children should be that we tend to focus on the negative and overlook what they do right. Keeping this mindset with any child is a recipe for frustration. Instead of trying to change our children we could reconsider our limits, our rules, and think outside the box.

For Example – My daughter always wanted to eat and drink by herself as an infant, she did not want any help. I had trouble accepting this because of the mess she made of herself every time. However, with her determination to do so, I let her do it, and now we are both better off, as she very quickly became adept at holding a cup and a spoon at a very early age.

Spirited or not, every child is unique and has his or her own distinct characteristics and needs: recognize those and you will be walking along a much more positive path together.

Some children have different ways of interacting with the world that surrounds them. They don’t learn through others, in order to understand they need to experiment – ‘see for themselves’.

Independence, determination and sensitivity make these children especially susceptible to incorrect parenting techniques and establishing boundaries, while necessary, only forces them to push back.

Empathy and acceptance towards the child is essential in order to have positive interactions. The key to becoming empathetic is understanding their behaviour. Being mindful, choosing compassion and listening to the children are the most powerful tools we can use.

Although days are long, years are short, so try your best to enjoy every moment.

Find awesome pictures and adventures at Miriam's instagram @miriam.wood