Two parents, two different plans, two different perspectives about parenting your HSC… I hear from parents all the time that they disagree on how to parent their Highly Sensitive Child.
This makes the problem worse because Highly Sensitive Children, as all children do, thrive on consistency. The bigger problem is when both parents differ, but only one parent sees there’s a problem that needs to be solved.
When we take a closer look at why this is, we have to notice a big difference between the parents who succeed at solving this problem and the parents who stay stuck.
Now, I have to caveat this— both parents, when they’re ready to fix this, KNOW it needs to be fixed, but often disagree on the how, this isn’t a problem that leads to feeling stuck— those parents often take action to solve the problem and know following a proven system allows them to do so without the headache and missed opportunities it costs to figure this out on their own by experimenting on their kid.
…If these parents are stuck it’s because the action they’re taking is ineffective.
The BIGGEST problem I see in couples raising an HSC who continuously struggles, is when one parent thinks everything is going fine, and the other is working like hell to find a solution.
Because what they don’t realize, is that half of the “strategies” being used by the one parent who doesn’t see a problem are typically what enables the problem in the first place.
Now this disagreement has nothing to do with whether your relationship with your spouse is solid-though when parenting becomes a point of contention we all know how that drives a wedge in the relationship.
What I’m talking about here is the loss of faith one spouse feels when the other doesn’t notice a problem.
This slowly eats away trust.
It diminishes confidence, which creates a “new normal” for your family.
Your family then chooses to continue dealing with the meltdown or irritability pattern because one parent doesn’t see that there’s a big problem, the other parent stopped screaming from the rooftops about it, and then stops updating the spouse daily altogether.
It’s the equivalent to an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, only you two have your heads in different holes.
…The problem becomes pervasive.
And at this point, your Highly Sensitive Child picks up on the lost hope.
He no longer feels a strong center in the family.
And when this happens, he questions his ability to solve his own problems.
This leaves to more learned helplessness. The parent who doesn’t see a problem sees themselves as a “fixer” and is able to change the dynamic quickly.
…But what they don’t realize is that they’re building a sense of reliance on their problem solving skills for their child that doesn’t actually teach resiliency. It teaches dependence.
When we discover that both parents want consistency but don’t know how to reach it, and want to take action to get out of that place of “not-knowing-how”, the family fares better.
We see parents finally taking action to get on the same page clearly know how to help each other. Clearly know how to coach each other. And clearly know how to support each other instead of criticize or shut down.
This results in truly MODELING what you teach your child. So, if you’re ready to solve this problem, and you don’t know HOW to get your spouse on board, work towards changing your level of certainty that a problem exists.
Stop choosing to brush it under the rug. Break free of your spouse’s perception that everything’s fine while your child suffers, and support your spouse in learning more about the personality trait and how it fits your child.
Slow down your own emotional intensity so you can hear, (and poke doubt into), your spouse’s certainty that there isn’t a problem.
Because we both know that the biggest regret you’ll have if you don’t fix this now is not that you chose to have a disagreement with your spouse. It’s that your child is suffering and his parents don’t see that he is even struggling.
This creates his tendency to go inward— to think he’s “fine” which leads to body aches (headaches, stomachaches, etc); or to lash out on others that gets him in trouble. And when this happens he feels shame.
Shame that demotivates him. Shame that tells him not to try— what’s the use, and there’s no point to take action towards joy.
That’s where the regret settles. It’s what neither of you want. It’s possibly how one or both of you were raised. And without fixing it now, the cycle will continue for generations to come.
Focus on being ready. Not that you both have to have the answers on what will work to fix it, but that you both know it needs to be fixed. ASAP. YESTERDAY.
Book your call here to ensure you give yourselves the time to get clear on where you are now, and what needs to happen to solve the problem once and for all.