Photos by MarElly from Happy Thoughts Studios
ACCEPTANCE & PARENTING A HIGHLY SENSITIVE CHILD
Parenting a highly sensitive child in an overwhelming world can be a little challenging & frustrating. Sometimes I felt alone, that no one understood what my child and I were facing. One thing that has really helped me become a better parent was as accepting her as a highly sensitive child. Your child isn’t broken, there is nothing wrong with a highly sensitive child, they just experience & feel the world differently.
SEE YOUR CHILD’S SENSITIVE AS A GIFT
She has been beautifully and wonderfully made and her sensitivity is a gift. In a harsh, crude world a sensitive & delicate child is a breath of fresh air. Once we are able to accept them as wonderful gifts we are better able to parent them and equip them to thrive in an overwhelming world. “Sensitivity is typical of creative artists, innovators and children who are talented in varying ways. Some of our greatest thinkers like Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt are believed to have been highly sensitive.” psychology today
HIGHLIGHT YOUR CHILD’S STRENGTH
Sensitivity in this world can be a difficult thing to handle, especially for young kids. Let us be their support and highlight sensitivity as a gift. It is a strength, something that will allow them to see and experience the world very differently. They will be able to see, taste and feel what others cannot, and that makes them very special! It is a strength – and highly sensitive kids ( and adults) have to be so strong inside to not allow this world to over come them. Celebrate that strength inside of them. Hone it, make it something that is world changing. Empower them to believe in the strength that has been given to them.
PARTNERING VS REQUESTING TASKS
One of the MANY things that I have learned from my Highly Sensitive child is that she loves to help. She has a servants heart, she sees a need and meets it before getting asked. She notices peoples feelings and mood changes and her heart responds in a loving way. Her strength shines when she comes along side of other and empowers them. Her ability to see a need before everyone else does is magical. It’s special. It is incredible to see, as her mother, how her little heart cares and loves and feels for others. There is a flip side – not everyone does that for her. We have dealt with her feeling “invisible”, she has told me before mom, I just feel like no one listens, no one sees me. I understand that- because she isn’t the loud, in your face child, she is the one who observes, who softly speaks and cares. Y’all she is amazing.
PREVENTION & CREATING CALMNESS
It has taken some time, but I have learned what most of my child’s triggers. It has taken time and careful attention, but there is a pattern, certain things or places or even situations that cause my child to meltdown. With time you too will learn what triggers your child; which enables you to teach them how to cope. Sometimes we avoid certain situations all together or we just prepare to be supportive to our child during an inevitable breakdown. Prevention is key. Knowing your child and creating a calmness whenever possible is very helpful.
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Thanks so much for writing this. I am in the same boat as you with Inaru (my eldest daughter). She is extremely sensitive and the world does not seem to understand this. As you mentioned as well, my parenting style seems to not be the norm but I have learned to accept it because it brings me please. I have learned to not look to the sides and only rally on asking God for guidance.