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Anyone want to discuss their "spirited" dc(s)?

(13 Posts)
graceandbeauty Tue 12-Jul-11 21:34:16

I have just bought and read most of "Raising your spirited child" and would love to hear others' opinions on this topic.

I started a thread earlier this week about my spirited ds. I'm trying hard to accept him for the way he is and to see his temperament in the positive light the book advocates. Instead of stubborn, he is persistent, his strong reactions to minor incidents are him being passionate, etc etc.

Anyone read this?

Or haven't read it but have a child like this?

messagetoyourudy Tue 12-Jul-11 21:44:51

How old is your DS ?
I bought this book when my DS1 was about 3 and loads of it really rang true for him - especially the bit about the socks! It did really help me through a difficult time, a time that people from the outside couldn't really see as he saved his 'best' spirited charms for us, his parents.

However he is now 6 and a half and I would say alot of what was tricky behaviour he has grown out of - school has really helped with this. He is still sensitive, get's itchy skin, crys at the drop of a hat, very stubborn sometimes but I think some of this is learnt behaviour from us almost labelling him as sensitive/spirited. (Children have very keen ears, I am suprised at what they hear/understand/use to own advantage)

What are your biggest flash points? I found identifiying these and working on them made the biggest difference.

Also do you have a younger sibling? I feel alot of my DS1 spirited traits were attention grabbing away from DS2.

I am sure other will tell you you are not alone. smile

graceandbeauty Tue 12-Jul-11 21:55:28

Hi Message....

Great that you are finding your ds easier with age.

The socks bit is true here too! Actually when I read the first few pages of the book it was like she was writing specifically about my son. He is 8, almost 9 now. Every time we are ready to go out, we have to wait another 10 minutes at least for ds to go through the ritual trauma of finding a suitable pair of socks which are not too big or too small, do not have seams which rub etc.

I also have 2 dds, 1 older, 1 younger. One of my main problems is that the girls are quite easy going and I find it so unfair on them that I use all my energy negotiating an acceptable solution to ds' latest crisis, then the girls get a short instruction and are expected to comply! And they usually do. I know, for example, that telling ds to get into the bath will result in a huge meltdown, so we have to give him time to get used to the idea, not rush him out of the bath once he's in etc. I know that's the way he is, but sometime it feels like he's getting so much "special treatment", and I don't want his sisters to resent that.

graceandbeauty Tue 12-Jul-11 22:02:16

Biggest flash points:

Stopping something he is engaged in, e.g. he got a new lego model and was keen to get started but my parents were coming over and we were going out to eat. He didn't want to go, even though he likes eating out, in principle. The meal was not fun, he was grumpy and impatient and just wanted to get home. The girls would just shrug that kind of thing off.

Needing to eat - an obvious solution to this but you'd be amazed how often it goes wrong.

Winding down - he shares a room with dd1 and she often complains that she can't get to sleep because he is pacing round the room and making noise. It seems to take him over an hour to wind down enough to be able to fall asleep.

Basically something not being 100% the way he wants it, e.g. a polo shirt with a collar instead of a normal t-shirt, his sister singing in the car when he wants silence, broccoli being slightly softer than usual.

graceandbeauty Tue 12-Jul-11 23:07:32

Oh, and consequences don't really work at all - do you find the same?

spanky2 Wed 13-Jul-11 14:36:30

My attention seeking ds2 (age 4) pooed and weed in his pants on the new astro turfed play area at his new infant school (leaving a turd on the astro turf,) while I talked to ds1's teacher. He has used the toilets there before and was potty trained at 2.6. Flicked his dinner across the table because I said no more ketchup. Ran out of the vets towards the busy road even though I was shouting stop. He is driving me mad. He knew the consequences to running into the road. he doesn't care as long as someone is looking at him. I am at the end of my tether with the constant disciplining and firmness. We can never relax. This has been in the last week and a half. He is well behaved at pre-school. I knew Mumsnet would make me feel better as I know now I'm not alone.

spanky2 Wed 13-Jul-11 14:36:56

I also have that book!

I did have that book when DS was little and I don't want to upset you but a lot of what you have described sounds like sensory issues to me. The socks, tshirts, sleep, textures, meltdowns.

DS has dyspraxia and processing disorder and is being assessed for ASD.

When I read the book, it all made sense to me that DS was a "spirited child" but now looking back, I know that lots of sensory inputs are very difficult for him to cope with in what we deem as an appropriate manner.

You might want to read up about SPD and if you are finding it difficult coping with his behaviours, you could ask your GP for a referral to the Child Development Centre where they could assess him.

You can get seamless socks here

graceandbeauty Wed 13-Jul-11 15:47:04

Spanky2 you are definitely not alone! It is very hard and certain dcs seem to need so much more input. Was your ds able to tell you why he decided to poo on the astroturf?

Ben10 the book does say that there is a fine line between being spirited and having a sensory processing disorder. Also talks about the line between high energy and adhd. I guess it depends on the severity. I'm going to look at your link though, thanks. At the moment we are managing the socks thing with crocs without socks! DS will be the boy you see wearing crocs with bare feet in the middle of winter.

One thing which suprised me about the book was how much it told me about myself. I have always thought of ds as much more like dh than me, but now I realise that I'm quite sensitive - I don't cope well with a lot of noise and people around me, and absolutely need to take myself off somewhere quiet at least once a day. I wonder why I wanted 3 dcs in that case?!

DS does have some issues at school - he is falling behind with maths in particular and struggles to focus unless someone is constantly prompting him. I'm trying to doing little bits with him over the holidays as he is like a leaky bucket and will have forgotten a lot of what he knows now by September, but of course he doesn't want to do it, and do I really want to have that fight....??

spanky2 Tue 19-Jul-11 12:04:37

He said he didn't know why. Then it changed to I needed a wee.sad

Chundle Tue 19-Jul-11 12:16:02

I have 2 spirited kids! Dd1 is 7 now and not long been dx with ADHD. She's hyperactive and impulsive saying tw first thing that comes to her head regardless of how mean/rude it is! She's totally blunt and to the point. She's always been up to mischief at 2.5yrs she flooded her nursery toilets by blocking sinks and turning taps on!
Dd2 has sensory processing issues and still under assessment also has a speech delay but she is very high energy very demanding and hardly sleeps! No wonder I look like an old woman at 29!

marking place for when I am back from school run. DS is 5 and varies from being a real angel - honestly, is so lovely to something as OTT that I questioned his teacher on whether he may have ADHD or something.

yellowsubmarine41 Tue 19-Jul-11 13:18:47

On lunchbreak but marking my place for later

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