Your daughter signed up to bring chocolate chip cookies to the school bake sale.
Being generous is an attribute worthy of recognition, but after an hour of tears because you didn’t buy the right chocolate chips, and then the anxious car ride over so she can get the table next to her “best friend in the whole world,” you wonder if such generosity is all it’s cracked up to be.
If you have a deeply feeling child, you can relate to the trials and tribulations associated with navigating such big, intense emotions. However, there is an up-side you may have never considered.
Children are amazing.
Despite similar environments in upbringing between siblings, they each develop such unique and diverse little personalities – or big personalities in some cases.
One of which is a child who is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) which, according to Simply Psychology, is:
“…someone who is thought to have increased or deeper central nervous system (CNS) sensitivity to multiple stimuli, whether this be physical, emotional, environmental, or social.”
Christina Crawford, writing for Scary Mommy, found her middle child to be an HSP just like herself.
Realizing this not only gave her a special connection with her son, but she also recognized he was mirroring many of the same traits she had herself – both the good and not-so-favorable.
“We feel things intensely. Therefore our expressions — joy, sorrow, frustration — are also more intense.
Many of his characteristics drain me, and he triggers me a lot. His behaviors easily push my buttons, and I inevitably lose my cool with him, more so than with his brothers.”
The innate challenges that come with parenting a child with a big personality and powerful emotions can be overwhelming at times.
Raising a tiny human is hard even with the most compliant of children, but relying on a good support system and finding what works best for the individual child will do wonders.
Which leads us to all the incredible gift those with HSP possess.
As Christina recognized in herself and her son:
“…when I start to get down, I remind myself that he also has my quick wit and that his inherited emotional complexity can be an enormous asset. He is highly empathic, and his regular examinations of life lead to astute (and hilarious) commentary about the absurd world around us.
Being deeply feeling is a superpower that he and I share. We both have deep and fulfilling friendships from being perceptive and highly attuned to others’ feelings.”
Try to remember all these positive traits when you’re in the heat of the moment and you can turn that scowl into an introspective grin.
To help your little HSP get through the tough times with a bit more ease don’t skip naptime if they are young and get them out of their head by going outside as much as possible.
Being highly sensitive can be a rollercoaster for both you and them – but learning to put your arms in the air, screaming when it’s tough, and laughing together after you’ve made it to the other side will make the journey full of memorable moments you wouldn’t trade for the world.
(h/t Mommy Underground)