For many, this year has been a whirlwind of intense emotions, loss, grief and disruption. And many opportunities of growth have posed themselves for parents.
In that avenue, this year has been one of witnessing hundreds of parents reaching out for help, accessing it, setting their sensitive children up for success while simultaneously learning how to set boundaries for themselves. A feat for parents of sensitive children to begin with, and in a pandemic, an even bigger achievement.
The Challenge Of The Pandemic For Parents
Now more than ever, your children are looking to you to see how they can respond to fear. Your priority as a parent is to stay strong, guide yourselves, and focus on love as we lead our children to manage emotions from a place of compassion.
This disruption to the family dynamic while the country creates safety in a pandemic isn’t going away for many months. If your child isn’t emotionally available for learning in a new setting, they can fall further behind in their schooling as well as in their relationships.
Overwhelmed and overstimulated sensitive children cannot demonstrate the empathy they so deeply feel. This creates a stop-gap in their overwhelm, which bottles up in a vicious cycle of meltdowns.
Breaking The Cycle
Breaking that cycle starts with you as a parent.
So often we see parents get stuck in a pattern of protecting their sensitive children from their emotions, only to tire themselves out and swing to the other side of the pendulum into pressuring them to keep it together…
…All from a place of love, but without strategy, you can exhaust yourself easily, and the love you feel for your child backfires when you’re frustrated.
Guilt sneaks in when you yell again, and this can paralyze you from zooming out and looking at the big picture to get out ahead of the meltdowns and prevent the cycle.
Many parents go to an automatic process, thinking: “how can I do this better next time?”
However automatic, this is still a fear based process. You cannot stop fear-based meltdowns with fear-based parenting.
An Alternative For Parents
Wise action comes from love, not fear. Not overthinking, not rumination, not spinning through your options in your brain a million times over until “this passes.”
Because the truth is that if you don’t step out of your own head, and into your heart, your worries actually become ALL you can think about.
And that certainly doesn’t solve your problem, nor help your HSC creatively learn how to solve theirs.
So if you see your HSC imploding (hiding, running away, struggling to communicate until you PULL it out of them harder than it took them to pop their baby teeth out), or exploding, which we often talk about regarding meltdowns, then this is crucial for you to master.
Many parents have significantly struggled this year, and those whom are able to take these challenges in stride all did so with the three following priorities:
- They were decisive. They decided to avoid the vortex of negativity as the media and their newsfeed was freaking out with the coronavirus crisis. They committed to focusing on on what they could control: their parenting relationship. (They stayed safe, they followed government regs re: the virus, and they turned off the news.)
- They were coachable: They not only took the strategies we teach and applied it, but when it didn’t work, they didn’t make it harder by questioning every reason behind the approaches we use, nor did they quit after their child struggled to follow through with expectations the first time.
- They were resourceful. They changed their schedule to input new routines. They asked for community support to triage their child’s needs. They asked for guidance on how to get grandparents on board with new parenting strategies that buck the traditional “suck it up parenting” that our grandparents are used to. They approached life with a “can do” attitude. They remembered their decision to have children, and their hope to show their child a world of possibilities, and they used that to fuel them in creatively solving problems when their child had multiple meltdowns in a day.
The ability to creatively solve a problem means taking quick, decisive action, stretching beyond your comfort zone, and reaching out for opportunities to receive help. NOT in thinking over and over and over about the best, most right option.
This is where you will stay stuck.
Focus on your goal, not your fear.
You do this by noticing your emotion in your body. Not by correcting your thoughts. Doing that KEEPS you in your head!
If you’re emotionally compelled to take action, (very different than emotionally compelled to hide!) then LISTEN to that! It’s your intuition (or God, the Universe, Source, etc.) talking…
…And your intuition, even if it’s a tiny voice right now, will tell you what you need to hear.
If you want more direct support regarding what action you need to take, I suggest you watch my free training in the link in my bio.
Image: Elizabeth Wales – Unsplash