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Are you Parenting a Sensitive Child?

She sees someone glance at her a certain way and panics, internalizing experiences of judgement.

She hears a friend comment that the color “Pink is too bold,” and stops wearing pink (her favorite color).

He reacts with hurt feelings when you accidently bump into him as you’re rushing out to work in the morning.

I have parents who come to me saying “Ashley, I just want her to be able to get past it and not take things so personally.”

Yes, I hear you parents.

I was a sensitive child. I'm a sensitive adult too - the Universe gifted me with sensitivity... My parents would tell me I was too sensitive. They wanted ME to change my behavior. Yet, they didn’t give me the tools or strategies on how to shift the way I received the sensory information I got from my environment. Why? Because they didn’t know it themselves! We can’t give our kids what we don’t already have.

The difference with me being a sensitive adult today, is that I have acquired a large toolbox of skills and strategies to help me navigate my life experiences. This doesn't mean I don't have challenging days. Some of us simply need more support.

I find in coaching parents with sensitive kids, is that there is strong focus on wanting to change the child’s behavior (reaction). But you see, the reaction is the tip of the iceberg. It’s observable, while everything underneath the surface of the water is not visible; emotions, beliefs, values, trauma etc. And so trying to work with the thing at the tip of the iceberg wont’ actually help us address the roots of our responses.

And… everyone is different and unique! Some of us were meant to be sensitive! If all of us were the same and responded the same to different life situations, the world wouldn't be as exciting and vibrant.

Sensitive people can become expressionist artists, poets, dance artists, and even activists who want to change the world. They can become some of the best counsellors or coaches in the world who deeply relate to others and are empathic. They can become world-renown motivational speakers. There are infinite possibilities for us.

I use a cool module with kids called “I Honor Me.” In this module with kids, I share a story about the Sun, Wind and Water. The Sun wishes to be like the Wind, the Wind like the Water, and the water like the Sun. And the story goes on to explore how each of them are unique and play an important role on this planet. Without the Sun, there would only be darkness on the earth and no plants, hence no food! Without the Water, we would not survive – we need water to do and be what water is. Without Wind (air) we could not breathe, no animals and no plants would exist. So each of us is unique and play a unique role on this planet. Instead of wanting our sensitive kids to be less sensitive, we can instead nurture their strengths and find the superpowers in who they already are. How? Well this is what I help parents and kids with in private coaching sessions.

AND, kids still need to develop the life skills of how to manage their emotions and thoughts when they do start internalizing a “dirty” look, or side glance, or start moving into self-judgement and judgement of others. Children will benefit from understanding how they process feelings, thoughts and how they/their body moves into reactions. And learn what they can do to manage all this. In order to do this, kids in my coaching programs go through several sequential modules that build on each other to develop a deeper understanding of how all this works. Parents get to learn all this too while also learning how to support their sensitive child in life.

Are you ready to lean into support on this? I invite you to book a FREE Confidence Consult for your child and Parent Consult for yourself. As school starts, some spots for coaching on weekends and Parent coaching in the mornings, have opened up in my schedule. School can be challenging as social situations come up and challenges sprout. Coaching has influenced kids and their families in incredible ways, and I can be part of your family support network. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours in Confidence,

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