How Do I Raise Such A Spirited Child?

I was recently talking to my son and discussing what a spirited and, shall we say, “active” child he was when he was younger. He’s now well into his twenties and has been reflecting on life. He actually apologized for being such a handful for me. I assured him that was absolutely not necessary, and that I never viewed his spirited nature as a burden or complication while he was growing up.

I explained to him that my philosophy with child rearing and parenting in general is to always follow the child when you can. If a child seems more spirited or active, or quiet, or passive, I believe that following that individual child is what is important, and not trying to fit him or her into a specific mold that has been set out before us on how to raise our children. In addition, we do not “shame raise” our kids. We don’t tell them that they will disappoint us if they make a mistake or bring home a bad grade from school. To attempt to dent the psyche or the actual soul of a child in that manner is just cruel.

Unfortunately, I have seen parents that rear their children that way. Those children may grow up and appear to be functioning adults, but are they confident? Do they continually seek and need approval from others in their relationships? Are they actually happy with themselves, or do they continue to feel that they may just not be good enough?

I am in no way a perfect parent, but am proud that all my children are strong, ethical, and kind human beings. And yes, some were more spirited than others. Discovering what they need to actually channel that sprit is the adventure. Is it in creativity? It may be in dance, art, theater, or writing. Is the need to find the gateway for success in something like soccer, track, or computer design? They are all individuals and it is up to us, their parents, to unearth their talents or interests through support and following their lead. Not suppressing them with unnecessary shame or teaching them that holding grudges and negativity is healthy.

Sure, my children made mistakes and had consequences to unwise decisions that they may have made. Those consequences were swift, and may not have been fun, but were never in place to make them feel less of themselves. Quite the opposite. They learned cause and effect, right from wrong, and how to not repeat the mistake. They learned. They built from that foundation.

We are all doing the best we can with our children. They don’t come with an instruction booklet. Do we make mistakes with them? Sure. Do we attempt to learn from those mistakes for the future or even with the next kid? Hopefully. And hopefully we don’t totally mess them up along the way. But guiding those with that extra little twinkle in their eyes, aka high spirit, is a gift that can only make you stronger. Or totally deflate you some days. 😊

Are you the parent of a spirited child?

What To Do With The Toxic People In Our Lives…

We all have them. A toxic person. It could be a friend, a family member, a neighbor, spouse, partner, or even an adult child. But what do we do with them? Of course, we continue to care for them and attempt to make that relationship better, but what if nothing works? What if that person is so negative and unhappy in their life that it trickles into the lives of others?

Someone I know recently pondered that maybe we are crazy to keep trying, or maybe we are just good people to continue to give and give positivity with only negativity and harsh treatment in return.

Is that it? Are we just good people and good people will notoriously get dumped on? I think that’s a pretty slippery slope to get on. If we start believing that because we are good, and therefore the negative people in our lives must to be the polar opposite, aka bad, does that in turn mean that we are setting them up for failure or placing a negative label on them? Or is it some type of self-preservation to acquire a belief like that?

Each relationship is going to be different for each person. The level of negativity or toxicity that they deal with will have so many various stages and impacts, that it isn’t fair to group everyone together. However, perhaps we can all find a common ground of how to recognize those toxic people in our lives and make decisions how to move forward by asking ourselves some basic questions.

  1. Who are these people to us? If this person is our adult child or spouse, the decisions we may make to keep them in our lives will most likely be different compared to if they are a neighbor or co-worker.
  2. If they are for example a child or spouse, do we feel loved? Do we feel safe? Or the neighbor or co-worker, do we feel appreciated or respected?
  3. How far are we willing to go with our own happiness at stake? Does this person thrive on taking our happiness? What are we willing to give up or lose?
  4. What have we tried? Do we offer counseling, mediation, neutral ground discussions, etc? Is this person even willing to partake in any of those forums?

The decision to keep a toxic person in your life is going to be a personal one. An important one. A difficult one.

Personally, I found that when I’ve pondered the above questions and depending on the specific relationship and levels of attempts I’ve made, I have unfortunately had to move on with my life without a few toxic people. It was hard, but I never regretted it. But, I’ve also had a couple of extremely negative people in my life, whom after working on specific challenges they had, they successfully dropped a lot of their personal toxins weighting them down, and could mend relationships around them and lose the label of the “toxic person”.

So, is it up to us to change the toxic person? Is it our responsivity to ensure they live a positive life at the expense of our own happiness along the way? Making those individual decisions is just that. An individual decision based on the answers you give yourself to the above questions. You have one life to live. Find your happiness.

 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”….. Eleanor Roosevelt

Finding Your Inspiration…

What inspires us? Is it nature, other humans, music, the taste of exotic food? I like to think it can be a little of everything, but that each individual craves its own. We desire creativity, we dream, we talk, we think. We search for inspiration even if we don’t always realize what we are searching for.

For me, inspiration can come from a cold dewy morning when I wake up before my children and step outside just to breath in that crisp morning air. Air that is so light, yet so cold that it almost gets caught in your throat as you pull it into your anticipating lungs. You know it’s coming. You know what it will feel like. You crave it, and it’s your inspiration for the day.

Inspiration can also come from other precious things. Like when I watch my little girl playing by herself in her own world. There she will sit, gently singing to her dolls, or dancing to whatever Celtic tune I’ve put on that morning. Her long wavy red hair flowing behind her as she spins and spins. She stops and graces me with her beautiful beaming smile with pride. That’s definitely enough inspiration to get me through several mornings.

Every life is a beautiful life. A precious gift that many don’t cherish enough. If we can find just a little bit of individual inspiration, perhaps we can make our days and the days of the people around us just a little brighter.

What inspires you?

Hugs to all! ♥

My Voice…

Someone recently told me “You have a voice. You have a story. You have something to say…”

I have wanted to start a blog for quite some time now, but just hadn’t attempted to get the words out of my head other than by way of my own personal diaries or notes. I mean, yes, we all talk about what we are thinking if asked, but sometimes we have so much more to say. But do we think others want to hear? I wouldn’t have exactly called myself an inspirational person, but when others kept telling me that my story and some of the experiences I have had helped them or moved them in a certain way, I began thinking of the people I have looked to for inspiration. What if those people at one time thought the way I did and had doubt that they could actually help someone? I’m grateful that they found their voice(s) and got the words out of their heads. I hope that in some way, if just a little, I can be of some help to someone and return the kindness.

 Thank you for being here…