Are you the parent of a child who seems to feel everything to their core? You know the child that takes everything personal, even natural disasters and war? Parenting such a caring, emotional and loving soul can be tiring, frustrating and heart breaking. Here are some tips to help you and your child.
Let them relish in their imagination- Play is healing for children. Up until adolescents it is a child’s primary language. Let your child play and create fabulous imaginary worlds. This is helping your child work through the issues that are bothering them. Play also helps children release pent up and excess energy. If you are parenting an adolescent get him or her involved in something creative; draw, paint, write, photography. Encourage them to listen to music. Music is a great tool for adolescents to help them process their feelings, helping them feel connected to others.
Remind them they are loved- Children are easily impressionable. Have you heard the metaphor, children are like sponges? Well they are, they are soaking it all in. Help them soak in the good stuff. Remind them that they are loved. Remind them of how wonderful they are. Children need to hear that are awesome, just because. This goes for adolescents too!
Talk to them, help them process- When something happens that your child takes personal talk to them, on their level. Find out why they are so hurt. Help them see the positive. Don’t down play or take away the pain. Talk about why it might have happened, is there a lesson that can be learned? Did they play in a role why they are upset? Help them work through the pain. If it’s a war or natural disaster, help them take the “me” out of a situation and see the situation as just something that happened. With adolescents you can get really deep and start exploring philosophical theories. This is not a debate, listen and create a safe space for your child to express herself.
Let them feel and help them release-When your child is upset about something. Let them process the emotions. Let them cry or stomp their feet (this helps release energy and stored emotions), even yelling is okay, as long as it isn’t at someone else or saying harmful words. Have your child go play outside, ride her bike, go to the playground and play (again movement helps to release energy and stored emotions). Have your child draw or color. Having your child do something is helping move the emotion through. Again this goes for adolescents too, have them take up a sport, encourage them to write or draw. Creativity is a fabulous outlet for children and adolescents.
Remember, your sensitive child is a teacher of compassion and a hope for the future. These beautifully sensitive children remind us that love is unconditional and that we all hurt. That is okay to hurt for someone else as long as we don’t take that hurt on as our own.