Favour 1 year ago

How Yo Parent A Highly Sensitive Child

Your child’s high sensitivity is about that child's temperament. Temperament describes how children approach the world; it’s the why behind certain of their behaviors. We’re all born with our temperament; it’s not something children choose or that parents create.

Before asking how best to parent a highly sensitive child, please read from beginning to end to know a few things concerning a highly sensitive child.

Your child's high sensitivity is about your child's temperament. Temperament describes how children approach the world; it's the why behind certain of their behaviors. We're all born with our temperament; it's not something children choose or that their parents create.

The study has it that sensitive children are commonly born with sensory processing sensitivity (SPS). It is an inheritable child's temperament trait​ that is inextricably tied to the nervous system's structure. So, in that sense, highly sensitive brains( both children & adults) process information more thoroughly. By being more sensitive to their environment, these individuals are better able to detect opportunities (e.g., food) and threats (e.g., predators, danger)​7​. It is a good thing and is considered one of two strategies that evolved to ensure the survival of the human species.

In addition to having a more thorough brain, highly sensitive people also have a more sensitive nervous system. Their reflexes are faster, and they are more affected by pain, medications, and allergens. That is to say that their body is designed to detect and understand, more precisely, anything that comes into contact with it.

So, permit me to tell you that sensory processing sensitivity is not an illness or a disease. It is a normal kind of life, too, for the individual that is designed to have it. Parenting a child with sensory processing sensitivity comes with unique challenges. Day to day, the small details of life loom large. Some parents are already struggling to understand a highly sensitive child because they don't know the reason behind it. Some parents have started thinking that their child is possessed. So, you have to be patient enough to learn about any child that is showing any sign of this.

Some parents of sensitive children often wish their kids were less fussy or overly sensitive. Big challenges often lead to big rewards because having high sensitivity is not a shortcoming. High sensitivity is one of the characteristics of gifted children. They are just like that because of their uniqueness. Parenting your highly sensitive child is important because they are differentially sensitive to their environment and upbringing. In studies, sensitive children thrive more than non-sensitive kids when they have positive childhood experiences, but they also suffer more health risks if they have negative childhood experiences​.

🎯These are some of the things you might see your highly sensitive kid do unconsciously.

✅They easily get angry and cry a lot.

✅They ask a lot of questions.

✅Highly sensitive kids think with their hearts as they sympathize with others. Logic doesn't apply.

✅They are talkative and would like to be appreciated by their peers. But when people offer them a negative comment, they may be easily offended.

✅These children prefer to be alone and spend more time by themselves.

✅They work hard to ensure that they are perfect in their work.

✅They trust their instinct when making a decision. So, don't get angry when they prefer their things.

✅Sensitive kids have a keen sense of observation and understand people well.

✅They love animals.

✅These kids do not like horror movies.

✅They like to work in closed environments where they are not visible to others. 

🎯How can I parent a highly sensitive child without being frustrated?

✅BE PATIENT

Having intense emotions when overwhelmed is a trait of high sensitivity. When it happens, sensitive children may take a long time to calm down. Give them time and emotional support. Be patient enough to understand why they feel the way they feel, and don't always yell at them when you see them in that way. 

✅ACCEPT AND BELIEVE THEM

Parenting a highly sensitive child requires a "goodness of fit." When parents accept their children for who they are, that is always a good fit. Acceptance is an important first step in supporting your highly sensitive child. It will also prepare you for the journey ahead. Recognize that your child is not weak and doesn't need to be "roughed up. " Accept and love them for who they are. They are uniquely made that way for their life; accept it and start early to build it positively.

Not only do you accept that your child is sensitive, but you also recognize that they experience the world in different ways. Believe your child when they say something hurts or scratches; it does, even if it doesn't bother you. A lot of parents are guilty here.

✅USE POSITIVE PARENTING TO DISCIPLINE

Positive parenting is good for any child, but especially for sensitive ones. For highly sensitive kids, positive discipline strategies yield disproportionately positive results, while harsh discipline yields disproportionately negative results​. You see why I kept shouting or yelling. If your strategy for correcting a highly sensitive child is by always yelling and shouting at the child, Iou will soon send that child to an early grave. I didn't mean death, but the child will become dull, withdrawn, and a shadow of his/herself. Use conversation method, question, and answer. 

Use gentle discipline instead of punishment (especially physical punishment) to teach. Strict discipline or tough love will not make a sensitive child tougher; it will only damage their self-esteem and increase their sense of shame. Don't punish your child without telling that child while you punished him/ her.

✅BE AWARE OF YOUR "STERN VOICE."

Loud sounds can be especially bothersome to sensitive children. They can become overwhelmed very quickly when you raise your voice in yelling. Minor complaints can turn into temper tantrums or meltdowns if yelled at. These kids are also more sensitive to criticism and mistakes of their own. Often, they don't need punishment to know they've done something wrong. Sometimes, a simple comment is sufficient.

They are also cautious and thoughtful. The details of an event or question often take them longer to process. When you ask a question, introduce new situations, or wait for them to decide, be patient. Practice will make them better over time. Initially, they may refuse, but with time and patience, they will eventually build up enough confidence and jump in.

Just go and sew the oversized cloth of patience. You need. If you have reached here, smile at me 😍. You are indeed loved. It's not easy ooooo.

✅HELP THEM ADAPT

As your child gets older, they will have to adapt to the real world, where most people are not sensitive. So, start early to help them adapt to their environment, encourage them to try things out, and teach them problem-solving skills and management skills. 

At home, help them by giving them a voice. Speaking up and expressing themselves are not easy things for these kids. Encourage them to turn up their volume so that when they are out in the world, they will be heard. This was what made me introduce affirmations to my kids. To prepare a stage for them to learn how to express themselves before they join the multitude. Give them tasks, encourage and motivate them as they try to get them right. If they fail things, encourage them to try again; if not, they will lock up.

✅ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD'S EFFORT, NOT ABILITY.

Highly sensitive kids need plenty of encouragement to thrive. Praise your child's effort, not ability, so that they believe they can improve with practice and are not limited by their present level. The best way to get the best of your highly sensitive child is by encouraging them. Use gifts and so on to get them to do things when they start to show that other side of them😍 There are more but let me stop here for now✍️

In conclusion, if you have a highly sensitive child at home, count yourself blessed. All you need to do is to take it easy and control your emotions, too, when they start acting. Hold them and ask them questions or calm them down. One super amazing thing about them is that they are super intelligent. You need to be their friend for you to discover another unique part of them.

Thank you for reading through.  

©Favour Uchendu.

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