Today I’m looking at Living with the Active Alert Child by Linda S. Budd, Ph.D and she lists eleven traits for the Active Alert Child (as she refers to it). They are:
- Trouble getting along with others
- Fluctuating self-esteem
- Empathic Ability
Now keep in mind when looking at this list – which looks like all kids, right? – that Active Alert (or Highly Spirited) children are MORE of all (or most) of the above – MORE than normal children. So…if you are looking at this list going, “Yea, so, that is ALL kids.” Well, yes it is – but highly spirited kids are just MORE. Ok…moving on…
Some things that really stuck out to me in my reading are:
- Needing relatively little sleep as an infant is a consistent feature of an active alert.
- Young active alert children cannot settle themselves down. If you do not stop your child and provide an environment conducive to unwinding, he will wind himself up like a spinning top and eventually whirl out of control.
Alertness has four components, each with its own distince advantages and disadvantages:
- no boundaries for self
- no boundaries for others
- no boundaries in form of rules for appropriate behavior
Most active alerts are bright. Testing in to their schools gifted programs.
They are highly verbal and often use those skills to their advantage.
Parents of active alerts know how difficult it is to move to new environments with their child.
Life is black and white, happy or sad, for the active alert child. There are no gray areas. And he behaves accordingly: He either cooperates or he doesn’t.
This section really sticks out to me a lot because our son is *VERY* attention hungry. No matter how much we give him, he wants more.
Trouble getting along with others & Fluctuating self-esteem: at this time, at this age, we do not see much of these with our son – at least not out of a “normal child” range.
YES! he is! And I think this also goes along with having a hard time with change and being attention hungry. He really “turns it on” when others are around…but I am beginning to see it is more than just “performing”.
This is an area I had NEVER thought of before, but makes a lot of sense. It seems when I am stressed, he would be “in my face” more…this now makes sense and I am going to have to put much more thought in to this.
It appears most of these will be discussed in greater extent as I continue reading…so far I am really enjoying this book as well ~ it is offering quite a bit of suggestions as to how to help active alert children so they will be able to live among others fairly painlessly.
I just cannot explain how much calmness reading these books and finding out about “highly spirited / active alert children” has helped me! Our life has been SO MUCH BETTER now that I am getting a better understanding of how our son “ticks” – and that he REALLY isn’t doing it to irritate me – this is just how the Lord made him, and he is VERY SPECIAL this way!