May 31, 2022

Raising "Spirited" Kids


Spirited kids are charismatic, intelligent, determined, and curious. They can also be fidgety, fearful, demanding, and emotionally intense. In this episode we discuss how to tell if you have a “spirited” kid, and how to love them a little better if you do.

The term “spirited child” was coined by parent educator Mary Sheedy Kurcinka when she was looking for information regarding her own strong-willed son and only found words like “difficult”and “high-strung.” She believed that framing her son’s personality positively would help her focus on his strengths. And there’s no question spirited children bring us tons of joy– while also being emotionally intense, demanding, and extra sensitive. 

In this episode we discuss

  • How to know if you have an officially “spirited” child
  • How best to support them (spoiler alert: advanced notice on transitions)
  • How we can learn lessons from our own spirited kids, like determination and curiosity 

Here are links to some writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:

Cheryl Maguire for 4 Traits I Learned From My Spirited Child

California Childcare Health Program, "Caring for the Spirited Child"

Mary Sheedy Kurcinka: Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic

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