It might be that while most of your friends use traditional discipline strategies, respectful parenting is more aligned with your sensitive nature and your spirited child’s needs. It can feel like we don’t have many options, but even if there are financial constraints or we live in a rural area, there are many ways, both big and small, to construct a life that feels balanced. Believe that you have the freedom to create a life you want to live.
3. Negotiate Wisely
Spirited kids love to negotiate, and they’re really good at it. This is a fabulous life skill! Since we practise peaceful parenting, I encourage negotiation and collaboration when it’s appropriate. And yet, constant negotiating drains the life straight out of me.
There are times when I have the stamina to problem solve with my little litigator, and there are times when having another discussion is the difference between my ability to survive the rest of the day or my crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head.
Even if you believe that collaboration is an essential life skill, give yourself permission to say no to negotiations when you need to. When you need to simply say no, do it. When your spirited child is testing the limits of your sanity, muster all of the assertiveness you can to set a boundary and be done with it.
4. Know that your kid WILL overwhelm you sometimes. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with either of you
Your spirited kid is going to be a lot. A lot of wonderful, but a lot. You ARE going to be overwhelmed and overstimulated. It is going to feel like too much sometimes. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love your spirited child. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with her. It also doesn’t mean that you should be any different than what you are. You and your spirited child balance each other beautifully. You’re the yin to his yang. You keep your spirited child grounded and she challenges you to venture outside your comfort zone. You are equipped for the challenge of raising a spirited child, and your sensitivity is one of your greatest assets.
Megan Stonelake is a therapist and parent coach who teaches parents all over the world how to become more peaceful. She has written extensively on peaceful parenting for Parent.co, Hey Sigmund, and The Huffington Post among others. You can follow her blog or schedule a session at her website. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.