5 Proven Ways To Build Resilience In Your Child
Raising A Highly Sensitive Child
If you are raising a child who is highly emotional, tender-hearted, and a deep thinker, you may be raising a highly sensitive child.
Raising a highly sensitive child is not for the faint-hearted.
There are the daily struggles of heightened emotions and meltdowns, resistance to normal transitions & overwhelm after lots of activities or interactions with people.
Then there are the fears we hold for their future:
Will they have the confidence to pursue what they really want in life?
Will their fears hold them back from enjoying life or pursing things that are important to them?
Will they have friends? or be bullied by others?
It’s our job as parents to equip our children for their future.
By understanding the trait of high sensitivity, & putting some simple strategies in place, you will be able to confidently parent your highly sensitive child.
The Trait Of High Sensitivity
Research has found that high sensitivity is a stable personality trait, similar to introversion & extraversion.
This means that someone is either ‘highly sensitive’ or not, & that it is unlikely to change across their lifetime.
Individuals with the trait of high sensitivity make up about 20% of the general population.
Dr Elaine Aron, one of the main researchers and thought leaders on high sensitivity, explains the trait through the acronym DOES:
Depth of processing: they deeply integrate new information with their current world view
Overstimulation: they often become overwhelmed by lots of information, people or stimuli.
Emotions & Empathy: they are much more in touch with their emotions & empathetic to others
Subtitles: they are very aware of subtle changes in the environment that others overlook.
Some of the gifts of high sensitivity are empathy, intelligence, creativity & thoughtfulness.
Some of the challenges of high sensitivity are that individuals with this trait struggle with fear and anxiety more than the general population.
Our responsibility as parents of a highly sensitive child is to help them navigate the challenges of the trait, so they can experience the gifts of high sensitivity.
RAISING A HIGHLY SENSITIVE CHILD
1 UNDERSTAND HIGH SENSITIVITY
You can’t help anyone that you don’t truly understand.
If you want to be able to confidently parent your highly sensitive child, you need to understand how they experience the world, so that you can help them.
Our free guide – “How To Raise A Highly Sensitive Child To Overcome Their Fears” shares more details on high sensitivity and practical ideas on how to support your child.
2 USE AN EMPATHETIC PARENTING STYLE
Many highly sensitive adults who are struggling with the challenges of the trait (such as high anxiety), say the hardest thing is that when they were growing up, no one understood them.
Because of this lack of empathy & understanding, they now believe that there is something innately wrong with them.
We all have natural parenting styles based on our personality and the environment we were bought up in.
Research shows highly sensitive children thrive with empathetic parental support.
This positive understanding from a parent, seems to inoculate them from the negative effects of high sensitivity, allowing them to thrive in their gifts.
The greatest gift you can give your highly sensitive child is to validate who they are & how they experience the world.
3 TEACH THEM ABOUT EMOTIONS
We cannot master anything we do not understand.
Emotional intelligence isn’t about being un-emotional. It is about learning what our emotions are, what causes them & how to deal with them in a helpful way.
You can do this by having ongoing, open conversations with your child about what their emotions are, the causes of their emotions & what they could do to manage their emotions in a helpful way.
4 CONSIDER YOUR FAMILY’S ROUTINES
We all have different ways of being as a family.
Some of us love lots of activity and social gatherings; some of us prefer white space and quiet times at home. Some of us are highly routined and predictable; some of us are spontaneous and relaxed.
There is nothing wrong with how we naturally operate as a family, but if you are raising a highly sensitive child, you need to consider adapting your family’s natural routine to set them up for a win.
Highly sensitive children thrive in routine, with lots of white space to decompress from stimulation and activity.
Raising a highly sensitive child is both a highly challenging and highly rewarding experience.
As we embrace the responsibility of navigating our child through the challenges of high sensitivity, we are also given the privilege of witnessing an incredible individual thrive in their creativity, empathy and thoughtfulness.
This is a gift to our world.
If you want more support with raising a highly sensitive child, grab our free guide – “How To Raise A Highly Sensitive Child To Overcome Their Fears.”