Parenting the highly sensitive child
We have reached an age where the phenomena of intuition, gifted intellectual insight beyond our years, creative and emotional compassion even at an early age. I was one of those children. I recently saw a Facebook post of a toddler hugging everyone when she was leaving. I was that child too. I embraced the energies and needs of others as if they were my own. I acknowledged others and had deep empathy and compassion for their struggles. I still do, and this is one of the reasons I do what I do and am on a mission to bring care back to healthcare. In fulfilling my mission, I am encountering more children like me, highly sensitive ones. THose that are wise well beyond their years. Those that give their parents a run for their money, this is also why I only have one child and enjoy help guiding you through the ups and downs of raising your highly sensitive child. Working with and parenting a highly sensitive child requires a great deal of wisdom and patience. The other thing it requires is a shift in emotional intelligence from the parents.
Not all parents were raised in emotionally intelligence or emotionally supportive homes. IN fact, many of us were not raised in these types of environments at all. Even if we had wonderful childhoods our western society as a whole was not in an awakened state where it acknowledged sensitivity and intuition as well as a emotions as a positive things. As a result, our parents and even their parents were raised to be more in survival mode and less in a compassionate, loving realm. So the real challenge becomes how do we teach something that we ourselves never learned. Or how do we manage with a split brain, meaning the brain that was taught using fear and discipline with the new more sensitive loving emotional brain that values safety and compassion?
This requires that we “raise up” the other side of our brain. The side that only views the world from a punishing, victim, wrong/right paradigm. We all have this aspect of ourselves. The self-righteousness. The judgments, and the fixed views, even if we do not always recognize or acknowledge thes not so pretty sides of ourselves. The control, the ego and the do as I say not as I do mindset. The hypocrite, the accuser these are all aspects of this side of our brain. Notice I said a side of our brain and not a side of our soul. There often is an inner battle that happens between the brain and the soul. The soul wants peace, love, and also sees all the truths about a scenario yet the brain wants to be right and often will look for any means necessary to prove that point of being right. Alas, the mind is seldom right, ha! IN fact, it can keep you spinning and spinning in doubt, worry, fears, and overthinking. Did I do this right, did I say this well enough, should I have yelled, it was wrong to yell, and on and on and on again.
The highly sensitive child needs you to raise this part of the brain u and in a lot of ways is challenging you to tonify the nervous system. The highly sensitive child has a very sensitive nervous system that is hypersensitive to the world around it. Highly sensitive children pick up the emotions of other people. They sense other peoples emotions, pain, and suffering because of this they can get overwhelmed in crowds, new situations, large noises, and sudden changes can send them spinning out of control. Criticism, defeat, and confrontation are also not easy for the highly sensitive child who takes everything incredibly personally. They can be perfectionists and strive for that to a fault because they feel so deeply.
Parenting a highly sensitive child can help you grow in many ways and can also leave the parent feeling exhausted, burned out, and at their wits end at the irrational behaviors at times. Raising a healthy well-balanced child with whom is sensitive is possible it just requires a certain level of patience and willingness to shift to the children needs ahead of your own. You may want a more logical, disciplined, and a far more obedient child however G-D had other plans for you in your discovery. See the child’s sensitivity as a gift instead of a weakness. Embrace their emotions and teach them how to manage them instead of viewing them as innately flawed or there is something wrong with their sensitivity.
Resist the urge to make passive aggressive comments to them about their emotions such as you are such a drama queen, or other name calling as well as not validating their emotions and telling them whatever they feel and however they feel is not a big deal. It may not be a big deal to you, but it is important to them. Harsh dogmatic and rigid discipline can send a sensitive child wrestling. They often cannot handle these harsh tactics, and this will often have the opposite effect that you are looking to create. Harsh discipline can crate crying, yelling, name-calling, tantrums, etc. Teach them about their emotions instead and how to work with them if they get triggered and what tools they can use in order to not allow their emotions to run their lives. Embrace the healthy aspects of themselves and the positive attributes that they possess. Reward the positive behaviors and encourage them when you see them show initiative, independence, and they do something great no matter how small. Try not to express every flaw that they have and only verbally acknowledge the negative behaviors versus the positive. Accepting who your child is goes a long way in the process. Do not try to change your child, fix your child, mock your child, or otherwise see them as wrong. They are not wrong, they are a new wave of spiritually intuitive and gifted children come in to help the world heal. G-D intended them to be this way, and therefore to not accepting them would mean not accepting G-D and G-Ds will. Be easy on yourself and be easy on others in the process.
It is important to cultivate stillness, calm, and consistency within the home. HSPs love structure, it helps them feel safe. Having the same time for dinner time with the same people does encourage a sense of safety. HSPs do not like change, they do not like variations all around mostly because our nervous systems and auric fields are so far reaching that we are always picking up on things such as danger, emotions, thoughts, pretty much anything that floats by we grasp, pick up and run away with it. Yes, HSPs have pretty creative minds and therefore create stories big and small that may or might not be true. Creating safe spaces with consistent encouragement goes a long way for these special folks.
I always thought discipline was a dirty word but am beginning o acknowledge the safety and security that it contains. When disciplining a child remember it’s not about negative reinforcement which can be at times demeaning and self-esteem challenging. Instead, teach discipline as a guideline to life. Meaning in order to create more freedom the need to create more discipline for self. Think about the CEO that disciplines their mind and time in order to have more time and financial freedom for their families. Discipline has many interpretations not just telling someone when they have done wrong in life. With overbearing and undermining parents they often inadvertently affect a HSPs self-esteem and confidence with their overburdening shame, insecurity, as well as need to control others. There is a healthy way to redirect a child who is not performing the way we think they should, and there are also many ways to approach the same concept, so reflection goes a long way before parenting.
Authenticity – HSPs are truth seekers, but they can also feel and see authenticity in a human being. The deeply love and are empathetic as well as compassionate, while not judging others harshly. They see who you are and they love and accept you anyway so do everyone a favor and be authentic. That means no lying, hiding, or pretending. That means total honesty even if it is tough as well as having full integrity. We often have very good memories and can remember as well as make clear connections to things based on the things you say. Imagine we study you, and hear your words, watch your actions, and can distinguish the two… I know pretty scary, right.. haha.. Not to worry, it is really our, and we hope it feels comforting to have such an understanding and loving soul around you.
Leaving the authoritarian Piscean era of do what I say not what I do, and my way or no way, and the most famous because I say so or because I am the adult, etc. are over. HSPs do not blindly trust, meaning they do not blindly just do what you say because you say it. They do not live in fear like that. In fact, they think for themselves. Gasp! Even more of a gasp if you have raised them to think for themselves and they actually do it. Darn it! How could they! It’s okay, don’t react just observe, and even still learn to teach instead of tell. This has been extremely helpful with my daughter upon raising her. Whenever I tell her to do something, she has about 10 reasons why she is choosing not to do that, and it can quickly become a wrestling match over just about everything. However, when I explore all of the concepts of understanding and teach her all of the aspects she magically says Oh, I can see that, or I understand, or the beloved that makes sense now. So get they are not property, and this is not a police state where you are looking to punish, judge, and admonish at every moment. Your job as a parent is to guide, teach, encourage, and support them in making their decisions. Sometimes the cause and effect will work in their favor to the result they are seeking, and sometimes it will result in a lesson. Either way, it is their road and their journey to discover and jumping up and down and yelling will not do anything to shift the mindset.
Ultimately there is no right or wrong way, there is no expert opinion. I think we all bumble through this infinite discovery of life and work towards deeper levels of understanding both ourselves as well as others. I think another aspect that HSPs take on is the need to care Take others emotions ahead of our own. I think in a lot of ways we feel deep[ly responsible for those emotions around us that we love, honor, and admire. However., as we get healthier, wiser, and more conscious, we discover that we can leave all the feelings that we pick up where they belong. We no longer need to pick up intuitively every thought that floats by and we can recognize where we begin and end, and where another picks up. I often teach people about houses on a street. All of the houses are in neat little rows separated by streets. And before we cross the street, we make sure our street is in order. No throwing trash around and no sneaking into other peoples backyards. We can relax inside our home or on the porch, and we know exactly what laundry needs folding, or trash needs to be taken out, but we do not need to go and do the neighbors laundry or throw his or her trash out. We are content and at peace with our own space, our own place, and our own feelings, thoughts, etc.
In a world filled with anger, judgment, discontent, and disease we need highly sensitive people in order to heal the world. So if you have these sweet spirits in your life love them fiercely, acknowledge them, support them, and be mindful and present to them with authenticity as well as peace. They will appreciate you for it.
*All information contained in this blog post is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is neither intended nor suited to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical treatment nor for professional medical advice relative to a specific medical question or condition.