I don’t have the answer to that question, but it is something I pondered whilst writing a debate article for Brain, Child Magazine on the topic.
I argue that you should listen to your gut feelings when it comes to parenting. I am sure that those niggling feelings you get when you are making a decision, or when you hear about an issue, are there for a reason.
I certainly haven’t trusted my instincts my whole life. It’s something I have learned to do – particularly when it comes to parenting. I’ve grown to understand that my instinct is usually spot on. I’ve learnt from experience to trust what my feelings are telling me, even if it goes against advice from those around me, against popular opinion. Even if it means I end up being THAT parent.
Whilst I was putting my thoughts together for Brain, Child I wondered if my faith in my parenting instinct is related to being a highly sensitive person. Is my faith in my instinct related to the fact that I notice more around me than many others, that I process information more thoroughly and deeply than many others? Is it related to picking up the emotions of others around me? Is it related to the fact that I am honed in to my sons’ emotions? Instinct is not knowledge, it’s a feeling – where does it come from?
I tend to know almost instantly if I am comfortable with a situation or not, whether I trust something or not. Is it instinct that guides me? Or is the fact that I am highly sensitive guiding my instinct?
Over to You: Do we all have an instinct we should trust? Olga Mecking argues we don’t – she doesn’t rely in her parenting instinct because it has let her down. So why do some parents rely on their instinct and others feel they can’t? Has being highly sensitive got anything to do with instinct? I would love to hear your thoughts here or on our Brain, Child article.