“Awww… Freak Out!”: Parenting the Sensitive Child
Do I have a “Sensitive” Child?
Remember that old disco song by Chic – “Aw Freak Out” Chances are, when you hear that song it may make you sigh, weep, wring your hands in despair or cause you to laugh hysterically because you already know you are parenting a sensitive child. These children “freak out” at “everything” leading to parent frustration, exhaustion and makes us question every decision we make as parents. On the flipside, sensitive children are some of the most brilliant minds – poets, musicians, artists, writers, scientists, mathematicians and forward thinkers!! Have patience dear parents of these sensitive children, there are many things we can do to support you and your them!
So, how do we support these wee ones without losing our marbles along the way?
First, acknowledge that their sensitivities are just part of who they are – embracing their differences can go a long way to support self-esteem and self-worth.
Stick to routines whenever possible – including you parents. EVERY child needs routine and for the sensitive child, structure in their routine can help eliminate worry, stress and anxiety.
Allow them to make choices that support them – ask them if they know what they need to best support their needs.
Provide them with “their” outlets; if they enjoy climbing trees, let them climb trees, if they love to read or look at books, let them. If they like to chat with their invisible buddies, let them. They need space to do what best supports them, mind, body and spirit and kids need their downtime too!
The most important thing we can do is to offer our children a calm, loving home environment where they are free to speak while their parents listen. We must remember that we are modelling our behaviours to our little ones so, the more calm and relaxed we are around our sensitive children the calmer they are.
A solid, supportive foundation at home ensures a child can navigate life with greater confidence despite their sensitivities.
Laurel Crossley is a speaker, parent, educator, and mindfulness expert. We are so excited to have her join us!
Click here, if you would like to learn more about Laurel’s online programming for kids: Meditating Munchkins.