I wanted to talk today about a common misconception that a lot of my HSC parent clients face when they think about teaching their child responsibility and follow-through (and to just freakin' get ready on time).
Look, as someone who grew up getting paid for her A’s on report cards, it’s hard for me to write this because cash in the bank felt good in my childhood/teen years, (despite having my first job at age 12). But what we as parents don’t often realize, is that these rewards (be it stickers, money, prize boxes or praise) actually lead to long term struggle.
The logic makes sense on the surface. Work hard, get a reward, work hard again, get another reward, etc. Parents suppose that it will help build a connection that hard work reaps benefits, makes you feel good inside, and builds self-esteem and a sense of feeling capable. What this pattern actually leads to, however, is the exact opposite.
Highly sensitive kids are especially vulnerable to...
As parents, we know the importance of watching our budgets to make sure our family's financial needs are met. But I also know parents of highly sensitive children are considering more than just money when it comes to raising their child.
You're watching the minutes tick by while your child continues to meltdown, knowing you will be late for work again. You're seeing the pile of clothes laying in their closest because they “just don't feel right” to your kiddo. You know how much energy you lose every time another meltdown starts.
But do you ever consider what this is costing your highly sensitive child?
Today, I'm discussing three different costs that you probably haven't considered when it comes to raising a highly sensitive child.
When your highly sensitive child is melting down once or twice a day, you already know the hours that are being lost. But what about the EXPERIENCES that are being lost? I'm not talking about...
I hear this from parents I speak to all of the time, and my calls with the last several parents who enrolled in my bootcamp solidified my need to talk about this.
And it’s a tough one to say out loud since I am a therapist and I love my profession, and I love supervising and teaching therapists, and it’s also true that there are a ton of therapists out there who don’t know jack about how to work with highly sensitive children.
So that leaves you…
Dropping your kid off for therapy thinking this will decrease their anger.
Wondering if the person you’re sending your kid to knows exactly how freakin’ frustrating it is to deal with your kid on the daily.
Feeling like a sh*t parent because your kid’s therapist’s suggestions are just NOT going to work for your family.
Feeling like a sh*t parent because you can imagine these suggestions would work for the parents of the other kids this therapist works with.
The list goes on.
You often struggle with how to help your HSC move about their day when their worries are HUGE all the dang time. It makes sense, then, that your go-to is ‘let’s talk about it later’ or ‘ think happy thoughts to distract you.’
You hope that your child will forget about what’s bothering them, and genuinely, you’ve seen it happen before, so it’s not always a delay tactic because you’re not in the mood/feeling confused how to handle it/have no time to spend 20 minutes on this/just don’t feel like it/your other kid needs to eat (have bum wiped/wants to lick your face/poke the dog in the eye…you name it).
But then there are the times when it royally backfires, leaving you wiped out and with bald patches where you (metaphorically I hope) yanked out all of your hair.
The truth is, most of the time your child is not ‘forgetting about it’. With a mind wired to move faster and use more of its power ALL OF THE...
Based on my experience working with children with explosive behaviors either due to a severe trauma history or mismatched parenting dynamic over the past 11 years, and in my awareness and training of the research on sensitive children, the mental health system is not just broken in serving this population, it can be quite destructive.
I say that because I’ve spoken to and served parents around the world in my career who struggle to support their children with big emotions and who have trusted the mental health system to serve their family to greater peace in their home and they are left empty-handed. I have personally also lost 2 family members to suicide, and another to severe drug addiction, and have a 4th family member who still struggles with intense emotions so I know this space intimately.
In my practice we serve families and children with explosive behaviors as young as 2 via tele-mental health, and have done so consistently years before the pandemic.
If you’re a parent who is certain your child is an HSC, and have been trying to stop the daily meltdowns or lasting irritability…
There’s a hard way to create peace, and there’s a fun way to create peace in your home.
The hard way is the ‘random research’ model.
Reading, Googling, and listening to all sorts of books, podcasts and videos is exhausting, costs time, money and is draining on your whole family.
You’ll need to sustain your child’s attention for every coping skill you teach…and eventually your HSC will stop trying with you. And you (and your spouse) will resort to yelling, ignoring, walking on eggshells, and punishing.
But there is also a fun way.
The fun way is through play, validation, and by breaking down shame gently for your child.
Play is the language of children, it’s the only way to actually teach a child and expect your child to retain the information.
Children don’t change their...
This morning as I woke up grateful for family snuggles with my 3 year old.
I was also acutely aware that many black families don’t have that privilege without a worry in the back of their mind of when their child’s innocence will be robbed.
Robbed of the safety of walking down the street.
Robbed from speaking up without threat to their life.
Robbed from life.
As our country sits divided, it is my privilege and honor to speak up against racism.
Because to me there’s no line in the sand when it comes to racism.
Our children need us to lead them to notice their emotions and recognize how to process them, without letting their opinions cloud their judgment or impulsivity.
That’s the core skill deficit for those who cannot listen to people who are hurting, and instead choose to refute and invalidate the experiences of others.
And that is a DEADLY skill deficit.
So, as a white business owner, I speak out. This is not a political issue. This is a life or death issue....