More than 20% of all babies born are spirited children. They have a fussy or high need temperament. Often they are called as "difficult child." A spirited child needs greater amount of TLC (Tender Loving Care) than normal children. The temperament of such children does not change as they grow up. Rather their behavior intensifies as they go through a number of developmental stages. Parents should not be considered responsible for such behavioral pattern. Often parents get frustrated. They may need professional help to make their spirited child eat, sleep, and stay healthy.
In 1965, Dr. Alexander Thomas, Stella Chess, and Herbert Birch conducted New York Longitudinal Study. 133 children were observed from infancy into adulthood. Their main aim was to identify various characteristics of these children as they grow into adults. Their study revealed nine traits or characteristics. These different behavioral patterns are present in every person in different intensity. However, spirited children tend to exhibit intense characteristics such as hyperactivity. They often face social challenges.
A spirited child often displays the following characteristics:
When a spirited child starts going to school some of difficult traits get intensified while some disappears permanently. Common traits include:
When a spirited child grows into a teenager, he or she often displays the following traits:
According to specialists, special identifiable traits of spirited children can be used to train and discipline them. Force and harsh treatment can never make them listen to their parents or relatives. Most therapists suggest 8 steps that can evolve a well disciplined child. These steps include leadership, relationship, prevention, structure, power, problem resolution, discipline and resources. According to these steps, the head of a family should act as a leader and respect all the younger ones. He should try to diffuse the triggering reasons that can spark off problematic behavior in the child. Trying to motivate rather than intimidate the child. It would help in developing more positive relationship with the child. Although certain disciplinary measures are important, try to avoid harsh rules and make a definite frame of discipline for him. It would be easier for him to follow. If you feel that you should take external help for raising a spirited child, you can opt for trained nurses who can assist you in raising him.