We have had a hard time lately with the strong personality our daughter houses in such a cute little package. A friend loaned me a book, Raising Your Spirited Child, A Guide For Parents Whose Child Is More *Intense *Sensitive *Perceptive * Persistent *Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. Grace is definitely more, more everything. I nodded and agreed my way through the first chapter which reads like a Jeff Foxyworthy version of his redneck schtick (i.e. If your child [is like a super ball in a room of rubber balls, rages because you opened a door that they expected to open, cries over the feeling of certain clothes while refusing to be dressed in them, sobs because their pb&j was cut into triangles instead of the squares they expected...] you may have a spirited child.) Yes, yes, yes & yes!
We have a few labels we use for our precious 4 year old. Things like emotional, attention-getting, high maintenance woman in a little girl's body and Miss Interuptess. The book encourages 'redesigning the labels' we give our children. Instead of demanding, she holds high standards. Not argumentative, stubborn, loud and unpredictable, Grace is a creative problem solver who is enthusiastically and strongly committed to her goals, assertive and willing to persist in the face of difficulties. Whew! Not nosy but curious and instead of explosive and picky she is dramatic and selective.
It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Grace, our [HIGH] spirited child. She will capture you heart with her imagination and spontaneous declarations of 'forever love,' then make your head spin in confusion when she changes tactics, utilizing not manipulation but the full strength of her formidable charisma to try and get exactly what she wants. Here she is last night, the disgruntled, 'hrmph!' like look still on her face at being told that she really must sleep. She does keep us on our toes, but I think we'll keep her.