I’m in the middle of a library book by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka called Raising Your Spirited Child — and I’m planning on ordering the third edition out this September for future reference. A couple of friends mentioned it after I talked about Abigail’s persistence, empathy and adaptability.
Let me tell you – I was in tears by the seventh page. As my friend said, it’s all just so validating.
Basically, the book helps parents manage a spirited or spunky child with tips, phrasing and techniques. For example, spirited or spunky kids can’t just be ignored during tantrums; that’s when they need the most love. When Abigail’s friends are upset and crying, she does, too. So I talk her through it so SHE’s not so upset, too. And she needs to know what’s coming next; no big surprises. Which is why we sometimes have to remind family and friends that she takes a little time warming up when she transitions.
In addition to the short quiz I took on Abigail’s spirit, I took a similar quiz. I can be easily distracted (I REALLY need to empty that dishwasher!), so the quiz told me I’m spunky, just below spirited. Which means Abigail and I can clash on persistence, so sometimes I give in when we have a little more extra time so she can play before putting on her shoes.
As I mentioned, I’m only halfway through the book (probably distracted by wanting to sleep or the baby kicking), but it’s already been very eye-opening and helpful. I’d recommend it to anyone who thinks they might have a spirited or spunky child.
Here’s the CliffsNotes version of the book. (Are those still around? Better look THAT up NOW!)