Surviving with a Spirited Child
How to help your child manage his or her "spirited" behavior and what you can do to diffuse problems or avoid them
The Road to Success
Kurcinka says parents will begin to see progress when their child can verbalize what he needs and what soothes and calms him. “By age seven or eight, they are learning to manage it pretty well,” she says.
Shafritz agrees that she started to see noticeable improvement in her daughter’s behavior at that age. “After seven, it became a more dramatic change. Her sensitivities are actually almost gone now. She’s still intense, but she handles it better,” Shafritz says. “She is still persistent, but it’s more positive; she hates to leave things unfinished, which is great for school.”
Kurcinka says it is successes like these that we, as parents, need to celebrate. “Savoring success means instead of focusing on the mistake, focusing on strengths. It helps you to catch what’s going well,” she says. “Triumph gives us energy to go on to grow.”
Kurcinka also provides parents with hope for the future. “Spirited adults are amazing people. They are aware of their emotions and able to calm themselves. Everyone loves them.”
So, when it comes to your child’s behavior—have you really tried everything? Maybe a look at your child’s temperament is worth a try.
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