It’s a common phrase in positive parenting, isn’t it?
Has an awesome ring to it– If your child feels better about themselves, their lives, their relationships, they will succeed.
This promise leaves you holding the bag when you’re parenting a Highly Sensitive Child stuck in the meltdown cycle, however, so let’s cover why this parenting phrase is FALSE for your kid.
HSCs want to feel better, of course, but they are missing the capacity to generalize their skills.
So, when you follow the premise of just creating more positivity in your home to solve the meltdown cycle, you are still parenting your child like a non-Highly Sensitive Child.
Getting yourself out of the way (eliminating lecturing, criticism, increasing praise, etc) is highly effective for parenting emotionally regulated non-Highly Sensitive kids.
But it’s only one part of the puzzle for parenting an HSC, especially one who is having daily meltdowns, freak outs or shut downs.
You know this.
If you’re already trying to convince your kid everything is going to be ok, that life is full of silver linings, you’re probably also walking on eggshells to increase the odds that things go according to your HSC’s plans.
You’re likely anticipating your child’s demands to prevent the meltdowns.
And this creates a cycle of exhaustion for you, and a level of skepticism in you when your child does indicate effective behavior.
Because for you, the automatic thought is: “is this a fluke?” or “I didn’t teach him that”... and you start wondering how or if he will repeat the behavior you want to see.
There’s no blame here- all of your worries are also symptoms of the meltdown cycle.
The bottom line is that helping your child keep a positive mindset doesn’t teach your child how to manage disappointment when they feel it.
So if you’re noticing your child’s skepticism that things will work out for them, pay attention.
A child has to believe things will work out well for themselves to feel good about themselves…
Which brings us full circle to the beginning phrase– children who feel better do better…
When you have a child whose skill set is dependent on your mood, your actions, and their mood– is that really a sign that they’ve generalized a skill to stay regulated safely?
So what does work to get out of that cycle?
You need to start changing how you see what’s possible for your child.
You are the catalyst for change in your HSC, but that does not mean only you control their likelihood of success.
Both things are true– you need skills to help your child learn to regulate their emotions safely AND your child needs skills to accept reality, and feel capable amongst challenge enough to get creative about solving problems.
And that has to be taught systematically- you can’t fix that global issue in the family dynamic by being reactive and teaching coping skills about wearing scratchy pants, and then coping skills about friendships on the playground.
Your child needs to feel capable in any situation of challenge, not just ones they bring up to you.
You know that– because your HSC’s inner world is complex- and you know they’re not sharing all of their worries with you.
So you can’t tackle the issue by just adjusting the ones they share with you. Those are the leaves on the tree.
You need to start at the root, and the soil for the tree to thrive.
That’s where we come in.
At MTC we help parents systematically eliminate the daily meltdown cycle.
We are so effective at helping parents do this because quite frankly, everyone else in the field does the opposite- they are reactive, and teach solutions to the ‘problem of the week’.
THIS is why the work we do feels unconventional, atypical, and might bring about a healthy dose of skepticism.
But let yourself be led by curiosity in speaking with our team rather than doubt that this would work for you.
Because after serving over 350 families out of this meltdown cycle, we know who we can help.
So gift yourself with the certainty that your family can live a completely different life too– what are the odds that you’ve come this far and this isn’t a match?
Only a phone call with our team will tell– if our team isn’t a fit for your family’s particular needs, we’ll let you know and tell you what will work.
Book a call with my team today: https://www.megghanthompsoncoaching.com/talk
For families with high school aged teens: https://www.megghanthompsoncoaching.com/teentalk