Thursday, June 21, 2012

raising lively and spirited children

If only I had known that I would be raising three very "spirited, lively, and strong willed " children.

Don't get me wrong, they are very lovely children, but they are children who put everything to the test. When we go out people comment "oh you have your hands full" and nearly everyone comments about my youngest  "busy child".

Growing up I envisioned life with kids all nice and neat. I pictured myself going to church well behaved kids in tow.You have seen it (You know the ones I am talking about.)  I knew that I had what it takes. I was sure that I would have the best behaved childen, but what I have looks something  more like this.....

I was a shy and quiet kind of a kid. I was naturally obedient. I just followed along with the family. I did not get into alot of trouble. I was happy to sit and read a book or to entertain myself quietly. To have kids that are such opposites of me, it is a real challenge.

Our oldest is so noisy. He can not go anywhere without making a ton of noise. Some people put squeaky shoes on their kids, my son comes with it built in. Grandpa calls it his "audio locator" You almost always know where he is because you can hear him.  He is all boy. He loves things that go fast. He is curious about things and how they work. There are many toys that are broken because he wants to know about them and how they work.

Our middle child is a bit more quiet. She gets awfully quiet and you knew she is into something. The hard part is hearing the quiet with her noisy brother around. She is extremely emotional and sensitive. She also has a condition where she cries at certain times of day. I warned a babysitter that she would have a meltdown and cry about 7 pm. I told the sitter not to worry that it was normal for this child. Sure enough right on cue, she melted down into a crying puddle. No one knows the cause of this, but it is what we deal with.

Kaytlin earned the nickname whirlwind early on. She is so busy all the time (even in the womb she was busy). It is a full time job to keep up with her. She is curious about everything. She wants to know how everything works. She adds to the broken things about the house. She is not shy about anything and makes freinds everywhere she goes. She is headstrong and wants to do whatever it is she wants. Keeping her in line takes alot of work and is not easy.

My sister was asked by her daugher "Am I going to have any more cousins?" They were going through the family to see who might still be having babies. When it came to my husband and I, my sister said "I think they are done having kids" to which my neice breathed a huge sigh of relief.  My sister asked "what is that all about?" the answer, "Have you met Kaytlin!"

The most difficult part is knowing how to reign them in without stomping out their spirit. Kids need alot of spirit and determination to make it in this world. I want them to keep their spirit and determination alive and well. But how do I survive in the meantime?

I am reminded of a bible verse Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go:and when he is old, he will not depart from it."   I am also reminded of a quote by Joseph Smith  "We teach them correct principles and they govern themselves"  My parents tried hard to teach us and give us the tools we needed to make it in life. My husband grew up on a ranch and worked hard and has been taught good values in life.

Living in the slow lane allows me to get back to my roots. It allows me to teach the kids life lessons. We recently aquired chickens. Part of the project was to become more self reliant in having our own sustainable food source and teach the kids about real food. The other part was to teach the kids  responsibility of taking care of the animals. We are growing a garden, even if I have a black thumb. We have not had much success, but I am learning along with the children. As a family we are striving to have a better place. Slowing down and getting to the heart of things has been a real blessing in my life. Some of the best lessons have been learned while working together as a family.

How has working together affected your family?
Do you have any tips for raising kids? 
leave a comment or link below

shared at weekend whatever #26

shared at momma moments mondays

shared at raising homemakers homemaking link


  1. Even with one child I struggle. You are raising oppostite of you, I'm raising myself. I really like what you say about trying to not stomp out their spirits while reigning them in. It is a hard balance for me every day. I'm more likely to stomp, but with a strong willed child, it is doing no good. Dad tends to be a little too soft to make up for it, but that isn't good either. We are trying to find a balance. Feels like a juggling act. My child is pretty sure juggling is the most amazing thing ever. Pretty sure I'll be a superhero for it someday.