Raising a spirited child takes parenting to a whole new level of exhaustion and frustration. The nights are long and the tantrums are longer. Honestly, it can make you question both your child’s sanity and your own parenting abilities.
If you are unsure if you are raising a “spirited child”… ask yourself these questions:
- Does your child have endless energy, passion, enthusiasm, and can argue for hours?
- Is your child smart and stubborn, and wants to do everything on their own?
- Would you describe your child as highly sensitive and fiercely loving?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then chances are you a raising a spirited child.
But don’t worry, research shows that the traits that make up your strong-willed little one are the same traits that will turn them into successful adults, and here’s why:
They are independent
Spirited children live by their own rules, and want to do things on their own. In early childhood, this desire for independence can be very frustrating because they don’t yet have the skills they need to accomplish many tasks by themselves. When these children get older, the need for independence makes them more self-reliant and resourceful than their non-spirited peers.
Spirited children grow up to be teenagers that are less likely to succumb to peer pressure, because they march to their own beat. They do things their own way even if it means they are doing it alone. A high level of independence is associated with a greater sense of responsibility, since they don’t rely on others for help to solve their own problems.
They don’t give up
If you are raising a spirited child, one thing that you know for certain is that they are determined and stubborn. They won’t give up. They don’t take “no” for an answer. They simply look for another way to get a “yes.” They pour every ounce of energy that they have into reaching a goal or accomplishing a task.
While it’s absolutely exhausting when your child is screaming for hours, remember that this determination is a skill that will make them successful in the future. Many high-paying careers are made possible by people who don’t take “no” for an answer. Strong-willed children can learn socially-acceptable ways to channel their determination to reach important goals in life such as achieving good grades, getting into college, and starting a family.
Check out: One Strategy to Make You a More Patient Mom
They have big emotions
Being highly emotional is another tell-tale sign of a spirited child. These children are passionate, they wear their feelings on their sleeve…and their feelings are intense. Their highs are really high and their lows are really low, there isn’t much in between. A high level of sensitivity as a child lends itself to becoming an extremely empathetic adult. These people care deeply about others and are more likely to experience passion and purpose in life.
Another character trait that goes along with being highly emotional is impulsivity. Spirited children have tendency to act on their emotions rather than logic, which can be a huge challenge for parents. On the plus side, these children grow up to be adults that are more likely to take risks and less likely to “play it safe.” These people usually don’t have to live with regrets over missed opportunities, because they dive head-first into new adventures.
They are not easily intimidated
Tenacity and grit comes along with being a spirited child – these children know who they are and they aren’t afraid to show it. Strong-willed children are confident and aren’t easily intimidated by adults or peers. These children are often seen as defiant and difficult because they don’t regard authority in the same way as others.
Defiance is probably the most frustrating part about raising a spirited child, because it makes parents feel as though they have failed. When parents try to force their children into submission, children usually push back even harder. Being attuned to your child’s emotions and involving them in the process of making “plans” for their behavior are strategies that will be more likely to get your child to work with you instead of against you.
Rest assured knowing that confident and fearless children grow up to be adults that are poised and certain of their own abilities. They are more likely to stand up for what they believe in, no matter the cost.
They have high expectations
Spirited children have a tendency to be demanding. They want things the way that they want it, and they want it now! We spend a good portion of our day reminding our child to “be patient.” These children have a hard time coping with disappointment and often don’t understand why things aren’t going their way.
In general, strong-willed children hold themselves and others to a very high standard. This character trait serves them well in the future as they set the bar high and expect to achieve greatness. They don’t settle for anything mediocre.
They are leaders
All of the characteristics listed above: independence, determination, stubbornness, tenacity, intensity and grit, these are all of the reasons that your spirited child is likely to grow up to be a future leader. People are drawn to their confidence and courage. Their passion for life shines brightly.
Parenting a spirited child is probably the hardest thing you will ever do, but it’s also the most rewarding. If you are in the thick of raising a strong-willed child, just know that their qualities will serve them well in the future in more ways than one. Hang in there, your child will do great things in life.
Need support in raising your spirited child? Here are some great books to get you started!
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