It is my belief that children shape their parent's development almost as much as a parent shapes the child's development.
For example, an easy-going baby/toddler will often result in a more relaxed parental atmosphere. A very intense child can result in a parent who has a difficult time relaxing, and who sometimes forgets to enjoy the process.
Not always true, but a good generalization.
Out of four children, I am the parent of three very intense kids. Some are less intense now than they were as little ones - thankfully! Only one of my children is easy-going. That would be Romeo. God knew what I could handle when he was born (not much) and graced me with a child who is sunny and super-sweet.
Not that the other three are bad. They just require much more intensive parenting. Well, two do. Cookie Boy was by far my most "Spirited Child", but seems to have mellowed some as he has aged. That is good, because this kid would hide under tables when upset and not come out for a long time. He can still hold a good grudge, but gone are the days when only Mama could even look at him without a screaming fit.
The Young Adult and the Bubie are very intense children. The Mad Toddler actually reminds me of The Young Adult, which makes me a bit nervous. The Young Adult still requires almost as intense parenting as he did as a toddler. I think that is pretty normal with very bright children, but it is exhausting.
One day in a used bookstore, I came across a copy of "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. I bought it on a whim. I went home to read it, and actually cried my way through it. I understood my oldest two children so much better, and I understood myself as a parent more. 'Cause guess what? I am a spirited parent who was a spirited child!
Spirited children are lots of work, but there are many advantages, as well. I have grown tremendously as a person through my mothering of intense kids. My world has been opened up and challenged in new ways. I have learned new things. So, it is not a bad thing. Just a challenging one!
In other news, have a blessed feast of St. Juan Diego!