Guest Blog Post: Three Keys for Success with Highly Sensitive Kids by Maureen Healy
Our sensitive children are intense. It is this intensity that can go quickly in the “right direction” by immersing into a creative project or in the “wrong direction” by crying their eyes out. Our highly sensitive and aware children need us — parents, teachers and healers, to help them understand their energy, how to channel it and ultimately how to use their sensitivity as a strength versus a weakness.
So what do we do? That is the question. And in my last book, The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids, that query is answered. Consider this book a guidebook for raising your sensitive and oftentimes strong-willed children that are sweet, perceptive, intelligent, compassionate, and stubborn to the core. But to help you immediately, I am going to share three tips for seeing more success with our sensitive and strong-willed.
Partnership – Becoming your child’s partner comes naturally to some parents, while others struggle with being anything besides their kids’ authority figure. I realize it’s a slippery slope for some adults too — where do you draw the line? And I get that. But the truth of the matter is that sensitive children need adults to partner with them, ask them what their opinions are and craft solutions together. The more adults just tell them, “Because I said so” in response to a question they’ve lost a perfectly good opportunity to create a positive and authentic relationship that honors both parent and child.
And probably most importantly one of these children’s triggers is authoritarian parenting or teaching where children are told what to do without any consideration for their thoughts, feelings and ideas. Sensitive kids cannot stand this style and often rebel at this approach whereas partnering with them would produce far better, happier and overall healthier results.
Outlets – Sensitive kids have an intensity to them that needs to be channeled or it will undeniably come out “wrong” with such things like sassing parents back or fighting with their siblings. It is these boys and girls that need something creative to immerse their energies into whether it is reading Percy Jackson, playing a video game like Minecraft, or developing a skill like playing the piano. It isn’t a “nice to have” to channel their energy but again a necessity for their physical, emotional and mental health.
Young sensitive children that don’t have daily outlets for their intensity either act out or internalize their energy and become down-in-the-dumps. So it’s a good thing to connect your kids with projects, sports or things they love as a means to release pent-up energy and also build their confidence in themselves.
Mentors – Sensitive children are oftentimes perceptive, “wise beyond their years,” strong-willed, intense and oftentimes gifted in one particular area. They are not necessarily gifted in the area of how to balance their intuition with reason or life management skills therefore these kids benefit greatly from getting a Mentor. A person with the same sensitivities that has learned how to be themselves (i.e. share their unique gifts per their patterning) and thrive in today’s world. For example, Michael Phelps noted that he received pivotal coaching from his swimming instructor that helped him gain skills in and outside of the pool.
Mentors are not a child’s parents although they can play a similar role. A mentor is someone whether they are a teacher, coach, therapist or friend that has learned how to manage their sensitivities as an asset and is willing to teach your kids how to do the same. For instance, I consider my role in teaching energy healing and also my e-mentoring program to play this type of role.
Our sensitive kid’s intelligence, intensity and mindset need guidance from older adults with similar sensitivities so they can succeed in this very lifetime. Complimented by this type of mentor they also need daily outlets for their creativity, like-minded friends and people around that see their sensitivity as an asset versus liability. Of course, there is more but this is a solid start to moving in the direction of more harmony and ease today.
Maureen Healy is an award-winning author, speaker and healer working with parents as well as their sensitive children globally. Her e-mentoring program works with children globally, and her work regularly appears in Psychology Today and PBS. More info: www.highlysensitivekids.com or www.twitter.com/mdhealy