Parenting is a wild ride, and if you’ve got a spirited child, it’s like strapping yourself to a rocket ship. These kiddos are often described as “difficult,” “strong-willed,” or “intense,” and they have enough energy to power a small country. But fear not, dear parents, because with a few tips and tricks, you can help your spirited child reach for the stars.

Adapt to Your Child’s Personality

First things first, get to know your child’s temperament. Spirited children come out of the womb ready to take on the world, and no amount of calming lavender oil is gonna change that. So, instead of trying to turn them into a chilled-out zen master, learn to work with their personality.

Set Clear Boundaries

Next, set clear boundaries. These kiddos thrive when they know the rules and consequences for breaking them. Consistency is key, so make sure everyone in the house is on the same page. That way, you can avoid the dreaded power struggles and actually enjoy some family time.

Let Your Child Be Active

Got a little Tasmanian devil on your hands? Give them opportunities to blow off some steam. Encourage them to get active with sports or dance, and let them run, jump, and climb to their heart’s content. Bonus points if you can tire them out before bedtime.

Offer Them Choices

Spirited children like to be in control, so offer them choices whenever possible. Let them pick out their own outfit, choose what they want for dinner, or decide on an after-school activity. Giving them some autonomy can help them feel empowered and less frustrated.

Praise Them and Boost Their Confidence

Don’t forget to celebrate the good stuff! These kiddos often get labeled as “troublemakers,” but they’re also capable of some seriously awesome behavior. Make sure to praise them when they’re being awesome and point out when they’re doing something well. It’ll help boost their confidence and show them that being intense can be a good thing.

Remember to Take Care of Yourself

Finally, take care of yourself, mama and papa bear. Raising a spirited child can be like running a marathon, so make sure you’re taking care of your own needs, too. Whether that means taking a bubble bath, going for a walk, or enjoying a glass of wine, find ways to recharge your batteries so you can keep up with your little firecracker.

Parenting a spirited child is not for the faint of heart, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. These kiddos have a zest for life that is contagious, and with a little bit of patience, understanding, and love, you can help them shine bright like a diamond.