by Tasneem Dhinojwala
Is it really difficult to bring up a child who is sensitive? Here are a few pointers to ease your job as a parent
Every parent wants to do their best when it comes to the upbringing of their child. There are no fixed rules or a written manual on effective parenting, as each parent-child relationship is different and unique. And what with the ever-changing fast-paced world we are living in today, parenting is no more an easy job. And even more difficult, when you have a highly sensitive child.
The challenges thrown in by the stress of a modern lifestyle, nuclear families with both parents working, makes it even more daunting for some. But is it really difficult to bring up a child who is sensitive? Not really. With a little effort, empathy, patience and a different handling, it will no more seem so. Here are a few pointers to ease your job.
The first and most important part is to recognize whether your child is really sensitive or is it just a tantrum. And if it definitely is a sensitivity problem, than what are the things that affect him/her. But even before this as a parent you need to understand being sensitive is not a weakness. Rather it is a strength, a gift in a human being that can be used as an advantage. Believe in this yourself first, before you start handling your child. Once you are clear about this, be observant of your child. Notice the things that make your child recoil into a shell, or make him/her aggressive and rebellious. And then respond to it accordingly.
2. A tight hug?:
Children respond a lot to physical touch. So love and nurture your little ones with care. A tight hug, a kiss or a cuddle can really work if your child is agitated. Calm him/her down with a loving touch, instead of scolding or shouting. The little one is already fighting a strong wave of turbulent emotions inside that little head, your insensitivity will further aggravate that mental state. Focus on their strengths and appreciate the things that they are good at.
Emotional connect with your child is extremely important. Agreed, at times it can be difficult after a hard day at work to be patient with a child who is constantly throwing tantrums. But reacting otherwise will worsen the situation. Understand and empathize. Listen to what is the problem that has led to your child behave in that manner. Then react accordingly.
4. It is important to create positive outlets for your child’s outbursts:
Let him/her engage in activities that calm him/her down or divert the mind. Enrolling in music classes or art activities, or even gardening and pottery for children who can manage are good options. Sports activities will also help in channelizing the energy and emotions in a positive manner.
5. Problem solving to be taught to children early on in life:
This gradually helps them in figuring out how to deal with situations that cause an emotional upheaval in them. This can be done through role playing, meaningful games, activities or stories. You can also teach them techniques on how to control their reactions. Provide them with alternatives to keep themselves occupied if suppose they have a tendency to create a ruckus in public areas.
6. As a parent you also need to discipline your child:
In the name of love you cannot overlook this fact as it might result in an ill-mannered or an undisciplined child. Be strict but in a gentle manner and be firm in your dos’ and donts’. Do not waver once you have set the ground rules. Children are smarter as they will immediately know how to work around you to get something. Understanding your child’s needs and disciplining him/her is a simultaneous job. You cannot overlook one while trying to do the other.
Once you are clear about these things, bringing up a sensitive child will be more fun and will even prove fruitful to you in your journey as a parent, as each new day will bring new learning to you as well. Happy parenting 🙂
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