Parenting a Free-Spirited Child

by Andrea McDaniel

photo2 e1367438417290 Parenting a Free Spirited ChildFree-spirited, strong willed, high strung – regardless of what word we chose to use, we knew our daughter was different the moment she started walking and getting into everything.   It wasn’t the normal toddler stage of exploring; it was full speed ahead and off the charts.

We are are one of those parents whose child is a complete and total handful at times.

Mind you, she is perfect in public and school and her teachers refer to her as sweet, well mannered and having a great temperament but once we step foot in the house and she gets bored she becomes a total handful.

She quickly grasps ideas and becomes highly frustrated with us when we try to explain things in detail.  She is a free-spirited child, we started noticing this unique personality at a very young age, age 2 to be exact.  She tackled everything with extreme urgency, like her life depended on it.  There was no slowing her down no matter how hard we tried.  Cereal on the top shelf?  Most  children would ask their parents for help getting it, not this child, she would scale the shelves and get it herself.   She drug her little sister right behind her on every adventure.  Beings my other daughter was passive she went along with everything not understanding what the consequences would be.  Our house was in total chaos on some days.  Everything is more intense with this child.  It must be such a struggle for her, to have such a great big spirit crammed into such a tiny body, so limited by her understanding of this world.


Our  parenting skills only went so far.  On bad days we felt like complete failures as parents.


As years progressed, everything became a competition.  It became tiresome for her friends and family.  She was quicker to comprehend directions and became impatient with her sisters who were sometimes slower at catching on or who just didn’t do it her way.  It didn’t mean they weren’t as smart as her, in fact her little sister is quite the gifted child, she just didn’t do things the way her sister wanted and it frustrated her to no extreme.  She saw everything as a competition and has the mentality that she can do it all better and quicker than anyone else.


On good days she is exhilarating, funny, beautiful and extremely brilliant. She is full of passion, creativity, courage and more energy than anyone can possibly imagine.


Everything is topsy-turvy with this child.  With the mentality that she can do everything better then everyone else and that she doesn’t have to study, her grades are below what she’s capable of.  She is extremely intense and super focused and is too big for her own good at the moment. She argues and always has to have the upper hand.  When she doesn’t get her way, she becomes insecure, manipulative, self-critical and challenges anyone that gets in her way bordering on the line of destructiveness.


So what is my child?  Is there a personality trait that truly describes her? Actually there is.


A child with a Type A personality is typically quite competitive; this may result in him being a perfectionist or mortified anytime that he isn’t number one. These personality types tackle a challenge as if the world depends on it, as stated by the Psychology Today website. A youngster who is Type A is able to multitask quite efficiently and usually excels at all or most of the tasks. This often results in the child having high expectations of him and others, which might lead to stress or disillusionment.


We know our child’s Type A personality will pay off later in life when she chases after her dreams.  However, at the present time, we’ve learned that we aren’t trying to control our child’s personality; rather we are learning ways to manage it.


  • We’ve learned to praise our daughter quite often, not only when she’s done a great job at something but also when she’s put forth a lot effort.
  • We have taught her that everything doesn’t have to be done right this moment; there is time for everything.  Breathing exercises have been extremely beneficial.
  • We have slowly had to explain, in sensitive ways, that everyone comprehends things in different ways and speeds, just because she may grasps it quickly doesn’t mean her sisters or friends will get it just a fast.


  1. Anastasia

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