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To the Mom of Spirited Children

I interrupt your holiday madness to talk about your spirited children.

If you follow me on Instagram and see the oversharing of my Tars – you know, this kid is a piece of work. I wrote about the topic before. She was just what I needed.


I thought I had figured out this mom thing with Ella. The truth is that Ella came out saying “yes ma’am” and sitting nicely in a high chair.

There’s something a spirited child does for your soul, your faith, your grey hair and your headaches.


She’s just magical. And defiant. And hysterical. And an absolute delight and challenge.

She’s tough as nails and probably the funniest human I know.

She’s smart as a whip and sweet as a bunny.

She doesn’t miss a beat.

She loves big and fights big.

She’s my sweet baby Larson.


For those that are facing challenging moments like me.

I have three gifts I am praying for us this Christmas.

1) Self-control:

Some of you are born with this gift and some of you are like me – it’s not in you. I haven’t been able to stick to a diet – um, ever. I can’t put down my phone, um for a second. I have trouble with budget. Self-control is an area God is continuing to wave in front of my eyes as a MAJOR growth opportunity. Isn’t that a nice way to say that? 🙂 The truth is that Larson needs my self-control. She needs structure. She needs my yes to be my yes and my no to be my no. She is so smart. She has learned to break a rule and make a joke and get away with it. I need to set boundaries (AGAIN) and stick to it. She has to know Ron/I are a team and as strong as her spirit proves to be – she is not going to break us. Oh, no ma’am. We are the parents! (Imagine us in capes locking arms.)



2) Teachable Spirit:

I have been asking her for a week to play with this friend in her class and her answer is, “NO! I don’t want to!” Another child of mine would say (after a sweet devotion and talk about God’s love for all friends), “Ok Mom, I understand. I’ll play with her tomorrow.” Now, if I went the reverse with Larson and said “don’t play with her!” She’d probably agree to it. That little stinker. (Don’t worry I’ll delete this before she railroads me into an iPad one day.) I was so frustrated tonight that my brilliant teaching on friendship wasn’t working. I just starting praying. She covered her ears and I kept praying. I proud out loud about friends and how great she was at making friends and how others loved her. How much we loved this girl and wanted her to have so many friends just like Larson. Then, I silently begged God for a teachable spirit in my child. I want her heart open to his Word and making wise choices. Yes, she is four. I know. But we can do better than this.


3) Expectations:

This one opposes the last advice a bit – but I need to manage my expectations. The things I ask this kid to do is way beyond the level for 4 and 1/2. She is my second. She acts 7 and often older. She thinks she is 12. So, I treat her that way often. And I’m disappointed and shocked when she acts 4. I am praying tonight that I have a refreshed set of expectations with my girl.

Hang tough sweet mommas. They are tough, but you are still the MOM. Say it… I am the MOM!


Thank you LORD for this firecracker, ball of goodness. I mean, who else would coin “spirit toes” and show her mom for 8 hours in the car?


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  1. Oh I so needed to read this today. All of it. My eldest has my heart captured in the same way that Larson has yours. Such great company, such wisdom for a just 5 yr old, but such a stubborn and challenging and testing little blessing! We have been praying similar prayers but in desperation from circumstances (having just welcomed #3 2 weeks ago – to a big brother who adores him but is pushing boundaries with us) rather than intentionally being proactive – I see now we need to get this back. So thank you for wording it all to re-sharpen my focus today…

  2. Thank you for this! I have 2 spirited boys and they are driving me batty! I needed this reminder that I’m not alone!

  3. Self-Control, Teachable Spirit, Expectations….all three added to the prayer list. Again, love your honesty, friend…and love your spirited girl. Can’t wait to see her NEXT MONTH!!

  4. yes yes and yes! Let’s remember this post if you and I ever think it would be a good idea to arrange a marriage between L and Mac . . .I’m pretty sure they would spontaneously combust!

  5. Thank you for this post. I have 2 year old twin girls and both are very much spirited children. One maybe a little less than the other but still….enough to make me want to pull my hair out or put myself in many mommy time outs on a daily basis. I’m slowly learning how to parent them so any tips I come across, I gladly add them to my arsenal. 🙂

  6. Thank you, THANK YOU! My daughter is 4 march 2014 and man oh man do I know this well… Every day is a fight. From the second I wake up until I lay my head down to sleep at night. I have seen therapists, I have read books and the second I think I have things handled and she is getting in a groove we take 10 steps backwards…. then we start all over again!

  7. I just came across your blog, and oh man, what a treat! You described exactly what I am going through with my spirited daughter (2 yo). Thank God for giving you wisdom to share!

  8. I have a firecracker. She is four. She is full of passion. She is fierce in her love and her anger. When she is ready she will back down. She loves to laugh, hug, kiss. She is good at stomping her foot and yelling. She makes her 11-yo brother and 8-yo sister laugh. She drives sibling friends bonkers. She thinks she is all grown up. I want to keep her little though. My little firecracker.

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