Sunday, August 28, 2005

Meet The Kid

The Kid is a classic "spirited child." Mary Sheedy Kurcinka started writing about the spirited child in the seventies, and describes them as a child who is MORE. I love her description because the more common way of referring to this type of kid is to call them "difficult" or "clearly insane" or simply to say, "that kid has issues, yo." Calling The Kid spirited embraces his personality for all that it is but doesn't cast it in a negative light.

So, the main characteristics of the "Spirited Child" are :

  • INTENSITY (loud and dramatic-focused outward, quiet and intently observant - focused inward)
  • PERSISTENCE ("lock in" to important ideas, love to debate, goal oriented)
  • SENSITIVITY (easily overstimulated by their environment, low sensory thresholds to any of the five senses)
  • PERCEPTIVENESS (easily distracted, notice everything going on all the time)
  • ADAPTIBILITY (don't transition/shift from one activity to another easily)

In other words, spirited children are "more" of each characteristic. A spirited child is not necessarily ADD or ADHD, although they can be diagnosed as such. The Kid has not been diagnosed with any disability or disorder, although he is admittedly too young for the full psychiatric evaluation (or at any rate we're waiting until he gets older). Spirited children are often gifted, although that's not a given. Mine clearly is a genius and will be the leader of the free world someday (if he can make it through kindergarten).

To be the parent of a spirited child alternatively inspires me and drives me to drink (not literally, well, kind of). The Kid is so intense, is so persistent, is so perceptive. It truly amazes me.

So, that said, The Kid is a handful. He is also a force of nature that must be enjoyed.

We went bowling yesterday. He was DYING to go bowling. We played with the bumpers up, played two games and both games, I only beat him by about 15 points. Never broke 100, shoot, barely broke 80. All this, with bumpers.

So we were leaving the bowling alley and The Kid asks if he could have his birthday party at the bowling alley. His birthday is not for another 6 months, but we've been planning this 6th birthday party since, well, 15 minutes after his 5th birthday party. He was trying to sell me on the idea and said, "We could have a sweet party here, Mom." Sweet. He's been in kindergarten for three days and he's talking like Napoleon Dynamite. I bet he's got some great skillz.


jaci k. said...

molly, you are a rocking mom!

Anonymous said...

I love the defnition of the Spirited Child. And, I do have to say... all my favorite kids are "spirited."


Mrs4444 said...

Sounds like he couldn't have wound up with a mom more perfect for him; you being a glass half-full person, I'm guessing from your post. I teach such children (middle schoolers), and I've seen what you go through. I'll pray for your continued strength and openness.