As of late, our four-year-old son seems to be reasserting his personality. That’s a nice way of saying he’s been really stubborn lately, intense, highly-emotional, and has had some difficulty dealing with all this emotion (read: tantrums). Needless to say, this has been a little challenging for all of us. Chris learned of this book, and so we checked it out. I haven’t gotten too far yet, but what I’ve read in the first few pages seems encouraging. I’ll update this post, as I read more.
I’m finally getting back to this post. No, I haven’t been reading Kurcinka’s book for two months solid. I’ve been dipping into it time and again and reading parts of it, and I expect I will continue to do this from time to time. Overall, the book has been very helpful in giving us some perspective on Aidan’s “spirited” behavior, as well as offering some practical strategies for working with him. It’s made a difference. Kurcinka defines spiritedness as the combination of several qualities in varying degrees depending on the child: extroversion/introversion, intensity, persistence, sensitivity, perceptiveness, and adaptability. In reading through the book, both my wife Chris and I saw our son Aidan in many of the examples. At a time in our parenting lives where frustration was at high, the book was very reassuring. We’ve come to understand that Aidan isn’t “out to get us,” but rather he is a child with a spirited temperament–which is really cool (and this is not a mere euphemism). The new understanding and strategies we have learned are working for us. The book has helped us understand Aidan better so we can work with his unique temperament, and realize that it gives all our lives a kind of richness we wouldn’t otherwise have.