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I wanted to write a post for all of those Moms out there that have a spirited (sometimes crabby) child.  The “spirited child” or the “sensitive child”, as the books call our little kiddos:

A close up of a child yelling into an old style microphone with text above him.

” Spirited kids are the Super Balls in a room full of rubber balls. Other kids bounce three feet off the ground. Every bounce for a spirited child hits the ceiling.

Does this mean the spirited child is a brat? Look around you. The best and brightest among us often were kids who could have been written off as brats. The lucky ones had adults in their lives who realized that this child — who could drive them crazy — possessed traits that were actually strengths when they were understood and well guided. Traits that potentially translate into the development of a dynamic, focused, energetic adult with the capability of rising above the crowd.

Changing our vocabulary absolutely alters how we perceive others. Suddenly we realize that the child whom we have viewed as stubborn and defiant can be transformed into a focused, persistent adult. That hyper child who fights sleep at night can become the late-shift ER doctor who saves countless lives. ”
~ Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, TODAY Contributor

I will be THE FIRST ONE to admit that I have one.   Oh, yes, I certainly do!   He is as sweet as sugar when he is happy, but he is as whiny as a squeaky wheel when he is not.   (That sort of sounded southern, didn’t it?   Hmm.. maybe this southern living thing is rubbing off on me, after all.  Fiddle-dee-dee!)

I want you to remind me that all kids have their spirited moments, at some point.  They truly do.   We try not to let the outside world see that side, but everyone has it (even you and me…)

So, I want to tell you that it is OK that your child is crying, yet again, because it will pass.   We are their Moms… we take care of them and love them, even through their crabby moments.   We defend them when others call them crabby or ask us what is wrong.   We are their Moms and a mother’s love runs deep.

e & me

Surround yourself with those that lift you and your child up:   I am blessed with some AMAZING people in my life- people to remind me how sweet our kids are, how I don’t need to worry because “you’re other ones went through this, too… and look at them now!” or “Oh- I can relate!  Our kids did that yesterday!”  Someone to say “You are a great Mom and you are raising some great kids!”

Even my parents to say “You were the same way, and look at you now!”.    (shh… don’t tell anyone, but I was a spirited child, too!)   Yes, my parents have said that I was just about as spirited as they come for many, many years growing up, and I can tell you that now I am a very happy Mama now!  I don’t find myself being upset or discouraged often.  I am very happy and usually have a smile on my face (you saw the word USUALLY, right?)   I try not to yell and I don’t often find myself being angry.  So- this, too, shall pass. 

lessons from mom
So, in those moments when you have a spirited child, remember the times when they say things like:   “You are being a great listener, Mommy!”   or  “That was a very nice way to ask, Mommy!” (this is what our 3 year old says to me… and it melts my heart each time as I remember the sweetness within him.) It’s moments like that when I realize that this, too, shall pass.

The next time that someone calls your child crabby or wild, just remind them that:
A.  You already know.
B.  They have a sweet side & even if you (Mom or Dad) are the one that sees it the most, those sweet & precious moments are worth it…
C. It can only go up from here!  I can’t wait to see what our spirited child becomes… with all of this energy, the options are endless!


Here are a few benefits of raising your spirited child from Kids Activities Blog. 

“1. Your child thinks outside the box.

Kids who defy authority brainstorm ideas that are beyond the status quo. They have gusto and gall. They break rules and make new ones. At some point, your child is going to be an adult and she is going to find herself in a mess of a problem. And you know what? She’s going to have the wherewithal to find her way out, even when you are not there.

2. Your child will resist peer pressure.

Your child is the one who is more likely to stand up against a bully. Your child is the one who will speak up when she sees someone cheating on a test. Your child is the one who will go to a high school party and turn down the tiny blue pill and tell all her friends to do the same.

3. Your child is a future leader.

Did you know that research shows defiant kids are more likely to grow into self-motivated, intelligent entrepreneurs? Your child is going to put her defiant characteristics to good use someday soon. She will buck the system, discovering new and innovative ways to do things.

4. Read the rest on this post written by my friend, Lauren, on Kids Activities Blog.


In the meantime, check out how to Un-spoil Your Child: 

unspoil my child

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I needed this today. Thanks for the encouragement… I actually stumbled across your site looking for sleep solutions for my 3 year old monster, who I found jumping up and down with my 19 month old in the 19 month old’s crib at 4 this morning… It’s hard to have patience when you are utterly sleep deprived.

    Your photos are beautiful and the subjects are so adorable. Is that you in the third picture there? Gorgeous mama and kiddos.

    Thanks again for the encouragement.