I have been waiting to get to this section of the book - The part where Kurcinka actually discusses the poor behaviour that can not be excused by being 'spirited'.
Here at The Beetle Shack we have applied the techniques found in 'Raising Your Spirited Child', including finding your yes, being consistent, keeping your cool and walking the two way street with amazing results, mostly for Dave and I. We are more patient, more flexible, much more relaxed and have a greater understating and thus more compassion for our strong willed little dude. But what to do when he continues to thump every kid he wants to play with.
Don't be afraid to stop them! Author Mary Sheedy Kurcinka humorously states that 'being spirited is not a licence to be a jerk' She goes on to say
She goes on to discuss consequences and finding the balance when disciplining your spirited child.Understanding spirited children helps us to see their strengths and figure out how to work with them, and how to teach them to behave appropriately without destroying their spirit. But its not an excuse for poor behaviour. It is not an exception from the rules. We can accept the active child, understand that he has the need to move, and provide him with opportunities to stand and work, or to pass out the supplies to other students, but we still stop him from poking other students.When our child is flooding the bathroom, throwing cereal around the kitchen, hitting his sister, telling us that he hates us, he has to be stopped. Its our job to do it even if we are tired. To stop misbehaviour, we have to go after him, bend down, touch him, and say "stop," not harshly, not loudly but firmly. Then you redirect him to another activity, or teach him the words you want him to use.It must be very clear to our spirited children that when they break our rules, we will stop them every time.
Whilst talking about Zephs behaviour with Jodi and Daniel (over icy cold birthday beers), they observed that his more aggressive actions were an attempt to 'play' with Che Che. Daniel graciously called it a form of 'experimentation'- feeling his way, finding out what works, what reactions he gets and how far he can push the limits. This comment was was the catalyst for a shift in thinking for Dave and I and the opening of a new dialogue for the Young Man.
We are now focusing on teaching him how to appropriately say 'hi' other kids, to ask 'what is your name' and 'can i play with you' (thanks mum, hot tips!) rather than the standard introductory wallop to the back of the head.
Either way, wallop or not- I love this kid crazy.