Parents of highly sensitive children doubt themselves often and deeply. It’s hard to raise a child who often needs handling in a slightly different way to their friends and classmates. It’s sometimes hard to swallow that a HSC’s instruction manual differs to the children of your friends. There is judgment. There are questions. Sometimes co-operation and support are hard to find. We ask ourselves often whether we are doing the right thing asking for exceptions to be made, treating our sensitive children slightly different than our non-sensitive children. Are we spoiling our children or helping them?
Maybe instead of doubting ourselves we should ask this question: What is the parenting goal with a highly sensitive child ? Are we trying to mould them to be like other children? Do we want them to bury their sensitivities? Do we want to teach them to get over their aversion to noise and bright lights? Do we want to force them to deal with situations and environments that cause them stress? Do we want to toughen them up for their adult lives? Do we want them to stop wearing their heart on their sleeves?
Hopefully the answer to all these questions is no. So what is your parenting goal?
My goal as the mother of highly sensitive children is not to raise them thinking they need to be fixed, but to let them know they’re perfect as they are, to help them find the tools that work for them, and allow them to be authentic.
My goal as the mother of highly sensitive children is not to change them so they have an easier path in the world, but to provide the support so they can continue walking even when they meet obstacles on their path.
My goal as the mother of highly sensitive children is not to take away all the bumps in the road ahead of them, but to prepare them thoroughly to travel over the bumps they face.
My goal as the mother of highly sensitive children is not to chip away at my sons so they’ll fit in the round holes they are expected to fit in, but to instil a level of self-confidence in them that means they are comfortable living life as a square peg.
My goal as the mother of highly sensitive children is not to shame them for their tears, but to help them understand their tears are a release for the sadness they feel and that understanding their emotions is critical to their well-being.
My goal as the mother of highly sensitive children is not to ensure they adapt to their environment, even if it means wilting in the process, but to change their environment so that they can blossom.
My goal as the mother of highly sensitive children is to provide them with a safe place to be who they are, for my arms to be the one truly safe place they can fully let go after a tough day.
My goal as the mother of highly sensitive children is to make sure my children understand there is no such thing as normal, that every child is unique and thank goodness for that!
My goal as the mother of a highly sensitive child is to love them. Love them for who they are. And ensure they grow into adults who love themselves.