5 Days of…the Highly Spirited Child ~ Day 1 ~ What is a “highly spirited child”?

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I am really excited to be joining in with a bunch of other bloggers in the “5 days of…” series, there is going to be so much wonderful information shared! I am excited to hop around and learn a lot about 90 different topics! So…let’s get started!

My topic is “The Highly Spirited Child” – or the “difficult child” or the “strong-willed child” as sometimes referred to. I prefer “the highly spirited child” because it does not have a negative connotation right from the beginning. I do not believe our son is anything negative – he is perfect, just as the Lord has made him – it is now my job (and my husband and older son) to figure out how to help guide him appropriately.

So…what exactly *IS* a highly spirited child? In a few words…they are normal kids…BUT MORE. A LOT MORE. Oftentimes they laugh louder, they hurt more, they are sensitive to the feel of clothing or tags, they hit harder, they talk louder, they are picky eaters, they have a hard time with change. That is a quick run down. And, keep in mind that like everything else, they are individuals and all these things vary. Nothing is set in stone.

I have a “Spirited Child” tab at the top of my blog that contains the different posts I’ve written on this subject. If you are interested, you might check it out.

Here is some information taken from one of several books I’ve read…it is from my post titled, “Spirited Child ~ Active Alert Child” and it has a pretty good, detailed explanation of what you can often find in a highly spirited child:

  • Active
  • Alert
  • Bright
  • Controlling
  • Fearful
  • Intense
  • Attention-hungry
  • Trouble getting along with others
  • Fluctuating self-esteem
  • Performers
  • Empathic Ability

Active:
– Needing relatively little sleep as an infant is a consistent feature of an active alert.
– Young active alert children cannot settle themselves down. If you do not stop your child and provide an environment conducive to unwinding, he will wind himself up like a spinning top and eventually whirl out of control.

Alertness has four components, each with its own distince advantages and disadvantages:
-keen observers
– no boundaries for self
– no boundaries for others
– no boundaries in form of rules for appropriate behavior

Bright:
Most active alerts are bright. Testing in to their schools gifted programs.

Controlling:
They are highly verbal and often use those skills to their advantage.

Fearful:
Parents of active alerts know how difficult it is to move to new environments with their child.

Intense:
Life is black and white, happy or sad, for the active alert child. There are no gray areas. And he behaves accordingly: He either cooperates or he doesn’t.

Attention-hungry:
This section really sticks out to me a lot because our son is *VERY* attention hungry. No matter how much we give him, he wants more.

Trouble getting along with others & Fluctuating self-esteem: at this time, at this age, we do not see much of these with our son – at least not out of a “normal child” range.

Performer:
YES! he is! And I think this also goes along with having a hard time with change and being attention hungry. He really “turns it on” when others are around…but I am beginning to see it is more than just “performing”.

Empathic Ability:
This is an area I had NEVER thought of before, but makes a lot of sense. It seems when I am stressed, he would be “in my face” more…this now makes sense and I am going to have to put much more thought in to this.

I pray this post has helped you get a little better understanding of what a highly spirited child is (or can be). Stay tuned until tomorrow when I discuss “My child is highly spirited, now what?”

Now…click the button below to head back over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog and the list of other bloggers posts.

Summer Blog HopHave a wonderfully blessed day!

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