Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spirited Children.

How embarrassing! no one bothered to tell me about the glaring typo in my last title. All fixed now, though.

Over Shabbat I read a wonderful book that I can already tell is going to help us a lot: Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. The title pretty much sums up the book, but even if you don't have a spirited child, just a spunky one or a few kids who are always going at it, I recommend it.

On my first glance through the pages I thought how did I end up with three spirited kids at once?

Then I actually read the book and thought more about each of the girls in relation to what I had read and I've drawn the conclusion that we are dealing with one regular spirited extrovert, one irregular spunky extrovert and a regular spunky introvert but because they are feeding off of each others' energy and vying for attention they come across more spirited. Add in an irregular introverted ima nd it makes it hard.

A few of the things we'll be implementing here:
  • Consistent wake and bed times. (I know this helps from past experience.)
  • Consistent breakfast, lunch and dinner times. (Again, we've done this before and it helps.)
  • Make snacks more of a mini-meal.
  • A 45-minute siesta after lunch.
  • Time outside in the morning to help your brain regulate its time-keeping.

Kurcinka also gives examples of ways to diffuse situations that I've already tried. I explained the Chaya that she needed to watch where her hands were because Batya didn't want her touching her. She stopped and later when she was at it again, I reminded her about the hands and she immediately pulled away. I also focused on praising Shira and Chaya when they were playing with their animals after lunch. (The author says that extroverts like to hear feedback.)

So far, so good. I'm hoping to spend this week fleshing out a new routine and implementing siesta. I figure if I wake them when I used to (back when we had a decent rhythym going) then I can determine how long t takes us to get dressed and downstairs, have breakfast, want a snack, etc. (A HUGE bonus to staying at home is that i don't have to fit in with anyone else's schedule!) I have high hopes for this plan of action.

Oh, and can I tell you how blessed I am that none of my girls show signs of being sensitive to noises/smells/fabrics/etc? As someone who has ruined countles tops hacking out the tags and spent untold hours wandering around looking for the source of some random noise, I am so happy not to have to deal with that with my girls.