Every child is similar in ways like that they are curious, full of energy and limitless enthusiasm. But children are also different in many ways too. So parents have to adopt different parenting styles according to the nature of the child. Though there are some common parental rules, the personality of your child does to a large extent dictate your reactions to various situations in your parenting journey. If your child is sensitive, your approach would probably be less disciplinary and tenderer. With intelligent and proactive parenting, you can turn your child’s sensitivity from a source of anxiety to a source of strength in their personality. Here are some ways to parent your sensitive little one in such a way that you bring out the leader in them and help them view their own sensitive nature as strength.
You will slowly understand your child’s individual personality as they begin to express themselves to you. The first step in being able to nurture and parent a sensitive child is to acknowledge that they are sensitive. Trying to toughen them up to make them more easygoing might actually end up causing them damage. This might also call for a mindset change on your part to view this quality as a positive one. Many creative thinkers who have marched on to be great artists, leaders and visionaries are sensitive people. This sensitivity lends certain sharpness to their character in being able to read emotions. So understand and embrace this trait in your little one.
Children who are sensitive are greatly influenced and affected by their surroundings. Try to create stability to whatever extent possible. Then teach your child to draw strength from it to face uncertainties that they cannot control. Over time, teach your baby to create that well of stability within themselves so that they can deal with life and everything that comes with it. When a sensitive child learns to overcome hurdles like changes, they also end up building resilience. The ability to bounce back despite trying circumstances is one of the most important qualities of a great leader. When trying to create or influence to a group of people, the ability to create, manage and learn from change becomes very important. So teach your child to be aware of their feelings, to learn to be stable from within and view change positively.
Sensitive children bond with certain people more than some others. As a parent you can note your child’s preferences to help them make more connections suited to them. Most of the time, your child is drawn to other sensitive children. Such groups formed by shared traits enable kids to learn from each other and deal with life as a community. It will also help your child find their voice in a space that is safe and nurturing. After they pick up the skills to lead small groups, they can venture to spread their wings in larger or diverse groups.
Your baby’s ability to feel something is so strong that it may frustrate you at times. However, sensitive children are also highly aware of emotions. This awareness if channelled properly could make them very empathetic people. For example, your little one may grieve over the loss of their pet much more than other kids the same age. Teach them to value their affection for the pet and help them move on. You can try to channel their extra time to volunteer at a pet shelter so that they realize and understand that there are many animals out there that need the love and care of your child. This awareness of their own feelings will also help your baby be aware of others’ feelings. This empathy is one of the foremost qualities of great leaders. You can lead a group of people only when you are aware of what they want.
When your child’s best friend shifts to another school and your little one can’t stop crying about it, instead of asking your baby to just deal with it, gently ask why it upsets them so much. You might find out that your baby worries about how to spend time during recess especially since they love talking to their best friend. Gently ask your child what else they would like to do during that time. Suggest something new that may actually excite your baby a lot. What you will have done is help your baby understand their own feelings better, look for solutions and probably see the blessing in each situation that may seem disadvantageous. This quality of seeing the silver lining in every cloud is a great advantage through life. Cultivated early, it will help your baby see the positive side of situations thereby helping them become leaders wherever they go.
When in the middle of a meltdown, sometimes it could be a good idea to focus on something else. Maybe your baby is hungry or cranky but unable to express it. A hungry baby is usually more irritable than usual which you may mistake as being sensitive. So try to go over the usual suspects like hunger, sleep etc before you conclude that your baby is upset. If you are outside, try to distract your little one for the time being; like offer them a meal or play a word game in the car. A change of scene always helps. This is not to say that you avoid the issue at hand. You can always talk about it later when everyone is calm and in the mood for sharing thoughts.
In the end, your attitude when dealing with a sensitive child also plays a role in how successfully you might be able to change what may seem like a weakness to strength. But this is the case with everything about parenting as your baby looks up to you as a role model. So take care of yourself too while you are in the process of dealing with your precious little one.