Message Boards

Topic : Spirited Kids

Number of Replies: 162
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 01:12:56 pm
Author : dataimport
Is your child a bundle of nonstop energy? Are you exhausted at the end of the day? Share advice and support with other parents of spirited kids.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

November 10, 2006, 7:28 am CST

Spirited Kids

Quote From: ruby21

 My daughter is 13 months old and has a very strong personality.  She is learning to listen when I tell her NO, but also is very good at showing me how much she doesn't like it.  She often throws herself on her back and starts bawling.  Then she will continue to test me, and gets upset everytime I tell her no.  I am proud of her for listening to me, but I am concerned about the way she throws herself onto the floor.  I usually just make sure she will not hurt herself, and then ignore her, or walk away.  Is that just her way of expressing herself for her age, or is she starting to throw tantrums.  I am worried that if I don't deal with this properly that she will be a "tantrum thrower" who is difficult to manage.  Advice please?!

I have a 18 month old daughter.  I do what I did with my non-spirited son, put them in time-out until they are done throwing tantrums.  Of courese with my spirited child, some hard days she will go in and out all day long.  I'll explain to her, once she is done crying she can come out.  And she gets it, she'll stop and come out.  She doesn't get it enough that she'll throw another tantrum within few min. again...I believe they do what they do because they are so intelligent and beyond their little age.  It's a good thing that I had a son first who is not-spirited to see how a normal child's development is like, because my spirited daughter.. she acts like she is 2 and half years old.  They way she says 'no' to everything, she doesn't want to share, she tattle tells, and she lies... and reminds you, she can barely speak, but her vocab level of how much she understands is phenomenal.  Do you have a play pin that you can put her in for time-outs? so that she will be safe, and so she can also learn tantrum is not something you will tolerate.

Good luck to you! and good luck to me... this is the most diffilcult challenge I have ever taken on when God signed me with this beautiful spirited child, who challenges me everyday... and even throught he nights...

November 11, 2006, 1:19 pm CST


Quote From: hero71

Thanks for nothing.  I have an appointment with the pediatrician tommorrow, maybe they will help me!
I have a daughter who is spirited.  I just found this out of pure desperation, I looked up on the internet 'how to raise a difficult todder.'  So it's only been few days, and my daughter is 1.5 years old.  Like your child, she has raised hell since the moment she came hom and had colic.. and I could not put her down until she started walking.  When I read your story, it makes me want to cry for all the mom who have these 'special' children.  My daughter has biten my 3.5 year old son like 31 times as I counted and I just wanted to hurt her.  My desperation came with that with my daugher, diciplining and being abusive gets really blurry for me.  And I do not believe in spaking, and I have spanked her twice and she practically laughed in my face... when it comes to my non-spirited child, I am a great mom and with my daughter I have realized that I have become resentful of her because I feel like I am failing miserably, and in public it is humiliating.  I have been reading stories, and I am motified of what is coming up for me with her.  After  reading the web sites, and seeing discription of my daughter in more positive perspective and getting more information, it's already changed things between her and I.  I look at her like a intelligent adult stuck in a baby's body, and a intelligent adult who is a forighner.  I explain everything to her, and I read that these children are rebellions.  Which my daughter is.  Therefore, when I try to control her or yell at her she immediately with fight me to no end.  I can't belive I am treating this baby girl like an adult, but in last few days our fighting has stoped.  And my mom is also getting me a specialist counselor to teach me how to be more effective with her.   And if you would like, I would love to share these informations with you.  I feel an incredible bond with moms like us, because I have never encountered anything as crazy and frustrating as this before and it is so hard on our self esteem as moms.   I'm sorry that all I can only offer you is sympathy, I just started on this journey and I am just learning.  If your pediatrician have any good advice I hope you'll share it with us.  Thank you... and YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB! I know this because I know you work your butt off! and that's all anyone can ask out of us.
November 11, 2006, 1:31 pm CST

Spirited Kids

Quote From: mommytoethan

Hi!  I am new here and eager to hear some comments.  Our son is 4 (just turned 4 on 9/15)  He is very strong willed (spirited), and frankly, I am at the end of my rope!!  He is relentless, if he wants something, he will get it, it doesn't matter what consequences he has.  For example, today he kept digging his fingers in the chocolate icing of the cake I was making.  I let him do it three times and I told him that he needed to stop.  He kept saying; "but I want it, give me, but I want it."  I held him back and told him that if he kept on, he would get time out.  Well, sure enough, I put him in time out, he got up, and I put him back down, he got up again and I put him again.  Finally, I spanked him and said that he needed to stay... he got up again, I spanked again, he got up again.  Finally, after about three rounds of this he stayed, but he kept saying that he wanted the chocolate, AHHHHHH!!!!  He is like this at preschool as well.  He will not sit, he will not go to circle time, he yells "NO" to the teachers.  I am more consistent than my husband, my husband opts to ignore him or yell at him when he gets angry.  My dh is getting better, though.  I don't mind disciplining in public, my dh dreads it and almost always ends up shooshing me or telling to lower my voice! AHHHH!!  (again!).  I don't remember the last day Ethan had a good day.  This makes me very sad.  He is beyond stubborn, I have never seen a child be so relentless and immune to consequences.  What should I do??? Thanks. 

I have a 1.5 year old daughter, same thing... she could be a poster child for 'beyond stubborness.'  She'll walk right out of time out, so I brought the car seat in and I strap her in.  I don't know how big your son is, but try strapping him down in a car seat.  It sounds cruel... but with our 'special' children we all have to take drastic measures. They are considered Intelligent and Intense, well... many other parents won't understand... but we have to get creative, and do what we must to dicipline them... because we love them so much.  I have much sympathy for you... we must be special for them to have chosen us as their parents.

November 12, 2006, 12:31 pm CST

Spirited Kids

Quote From: windsormom

she has this attitude that wont go away. she doesnt listen to me at all. she doesnt pickup after herself. she lies and steals change from me. she has alot of friends for 8 years old and she is always outside playing, when i try to kep her in the house she is so miserable and doesnt want to stay in she wants to play outside.
she throws big fits outside when i try to have her come in that i have just given up on trying to spend time with her. Then when it is bedtime she gets all upset with me because i didnt do anything with her all day.
I take her to the stores and buy her toys and she doesnt take care of them at all. i buy her nice clothes and she comes home from school looking like she rolled around in the dirt (literally!!).
does anyone have any advice on what i should do for my daughter?
when shes outside with her friends she is so happy and laughing and running around she is very very hyper and even her friends are always telling her to relax.

I don't have any advice for you because my daughter is only 1.5 years old and I have just started on this journey myself.  I just wanted to comment. My daughter acts like she is an adult, she hates being a baby, always have hated it.  When people talk to her like a baby, she look at them like they are dumb and she'll respond with a scowl.  I just found out that she is spirited it, before that I just thought she was 'crazy.' After reading the informations on spirited children, I have changed my perspective on her, and I treat her like an intelligent human being, and instead of yelling at her, or trying to control her, I explain everything like she is just a foreigner, and I use my best manners with her... and it's been working like a charm.  My husband and i can't believe how much she has changed.  Everyday is a fight, and in last few days, she has not gotten in time out, her tantrums has lessened, and instead of parenting her, I teach her like a teacher than a parent.  These children are facinating to me.  But something has clicked for my daughter and I.  My daughter who can barely speak was tattle telling and lying to me recently... their manipulation and brilliance is mind boggling... good luck to you.
December 2, 2006, 6:33 pm CST

Spirited Kids

My son who is four never seems to run out of energy. I can never seem to get him down for a nap anymore. He gets grouchy and I can seem to get him to listen. He gets mouthy and bossy with me and his dad and we can not seem to doing anything write. Does anyone have any suggestions to what we can do to get this under control now.
December 7, 2006, 5:57 pm CST

Recomened book!

Well I have 2 children and my Bf has 2 so we have four girls ages 5,3,3,&2 yes alllllll girls. eep. well they are often a handful but I discovered a book called " Raising your Spirited Child" and it was WONDERFUL...I told all my friends about it and it has worked wonders eldest daughter is holding resentment because of me and her fathers break up. But we are working threw it. If you can give the book a read its very insightful. good luck and let me know.



December 8, 2006, 12:31 pm CST


Okay, my 5 1/2 yr. old is in an all day KG program that is very intense. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and we are going for second opinions and further testing at a specialty clinic at a children's hospital (but not until January). We are on week two of the Feingold diet to eliminate articificial colors, flavors, additives, etc., etc. We have been seeing some improvement at home but at school - wow!! He is only eating (I hope) what I pack for him. There are some comments from his teachers that he has some calm times during the day. However, today he was on a red (the worst) by 10 am and then they put him in the office for over an hour to just sit and do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day (when I got there yesterday he was in the office as well). He is there from 7:45 to 4:15 and the school program runs from 8:30 - 2 pm. I know that when he is tired (just like his dad when he was little) gets very hyper and has a hard time settling down.


I need to vent and see if anyone has any suggestions. I work full-time but am considering asking to work from home, to start with, 10 hours a week so I can pick him up a little after 2 to get him home to have a rest time at home (the one at school is one of his worst times - also I don't think he gets along with the PM teacher).


Anyway, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. I don't even know what to tell the school because their options are limited but I also don't want him twiddling his thumbs in the office -not very productive. We need to do something between now and his appointment in January.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

February 12, 2007, 7:10 am CST

8 year old with ongoing emotional melt-downs

I am the mother of three daughters.  They are 8, 3 and 9 mos.  My eight year old has always been an emotional (spirited) child.  I can remember her being an infant and being so "emotionally high-maintenance" I would wonder if it would ever get better.  People have been saying for years now that it is just a phase.  The last time I checked a phase didn't last eight years.  I can remember trying to get ready for work when she was just two.  She would scream, yell, kick, roll around on the floor, beat the walls, etc. because I couldn't sit down with her right then and hold her.  The behavior continued to worsen over the years to the point that no matter how much I loved her, I dreaded coming home because I knew the meltdowns that were coming our way.  That is a hard thing to admit. 


She is now eight years old and it is as if she has an emotinal light switch that she flips on and off at her own will.  There are other times that she doesn't seem to be able to control her emotions whatsoever.  This ranges from having to wear socks to being told anything that she doesn't want to hear.  The older she gets it seems that she does try when she wants and is fabulous.  This used to be something that she hid behind closed doors, now that is not the case.  She lets it loose whether she is in front of friends, at school, on the basketball court, during cheerleading games, you name it.  It was at a point last year that her 2nd grade teacher had to ban board games from the classroom because she would get so upset and meltdown if the children didn't play EXACTLY by the rules or if she lost.  She tries so hard to be in control of every detail in her life and when she can't control it, it controls her.


I am so worried about her.  Everyday we get up and say this is a new day . Lets emrace it!!!!!!  Unfortunately that is short-lived and then I regret that there is another day gone.  My husband and I are typically pretty consistent with discipline and we do support one another.  I do have to admit that she pushes me to a point where I just start yelling and acting like a 3 year old myself.  I am embarrassed and ashamed.  Please, I don't know where to turn.  Could she be bi-polar?  Is it possible that there are other issues at hand other than her throwing temper-tantrums?  I really am beginning to think that this goes beyond that.



February 26, 2007, 4:29 pm CST

Self Biting

My 6 year old grand daughter has bitten herself on the arms twice.First time while playing games on the computer and the second time wile watching a video on T.V.Does anyone have any ideas why she does this?Other than these two instances she perfectly normal and very happy.


March 6, 2007, 12:13 pm CST

Things I do that work.


 I was having a terrible time with my girls ages (2,5,7 at the time) and I was thinking of trying to apply Dr Phil's wisdom about privileges/punishments with them, when I came up with this idea.

  Every privilege my girls have in our house was written down on a piece of paper and drawn for the little ones. I cut them out and stuck Velcro on the back. Then I made two column Today and tomorrow.  When ever the girls misbehaved they would have to go over and take one of their privileges and put it on the can't have today section. If they already had something like Ice cream which they were only allowed to have once a day and that's what they pick then it would go on the tomorrow list. It sounds like it wouldn't work but it does. if the girls refuse to pick a privilege then I would warn them " you don't want mommy to pick because I'll pick a good one."

 I chose to pick a apple as a privilege more as a warning then anything, because it's always the first to go, but don't worry the fridge is full of other fruit and veggies.

 I find that this gives kids a visual of what they could lose if they don't stop misbehaving. And they start working for the things they want to keep. I don't know if I've explain this too well so below is a example of my chart at home.


privileges                |   Can't have today                 |  Can't have tomorrow.


apple                                                                                       Note: if the privilege is in the tomorrow

ice cream (only allowed to have 1 serving daily)                       list when tomorrow comes I

juice (only allowed to have 2 juice boxes a day)                        switch the privilege to the today

milk                                                                                                      list then take the privilege off the  

cookies(only allowed to have 3 a day)                                           privilege list for that day. This way

t.v                                                                                                            they cannot keep putting off the

computer                                                                                               privileges until the next day.


story time

friends over

over to friends

playing outside

playing with the dogs.

        Another thing that really works in my house is having my girls pick up their toys and doing chores for computer time. I hand each one a bag and say if you fill this bag full of toys you can have 15 minutes of computer time and they do. If you make your bed and pick up your clothes you may have another 15 minutes on the computer. If you don' have a computer then set aside play time with them. one thing I have learned as a parent is kid will do anything to have you play with them.

First | Prev | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | Next | Last