No two children are the same. True diversity in humankind can be observed when we see children in groups- there are the active ones, the dominant ones, the introverts and the sensitive ones, to name a few. Research has shown that sensitivity is a genetic trait. Most kids who are sensitive begin exhibiting the trait at about the age of 16 weeks- if you’ve had an infant who wailed inconsolably after a stranger’s visit, you may have caught the early signs. How do you handle, and most importantly nurture, a sensitive child?
1. Accept Sensitivity as a Personality Trait
As we’ve mentioned, sensitive children are born that way. Trying to make them ‘strong’ is not going to work out very well. Instead, acceptance is key. Sensitive children usually grow up to be people who are turned to other people’s emotions and make very good friends. They have a keen love for causes close to their heart, and the potential to see good causes come to fruition.
2. Don’t Tell Them to Stop Crying
In public spaces or parties, if you find that your child is crying at the drop of a hat, you may be tempted to solve his problems for him. This just kills the child’s confidence in his/ her own abilities. Try not to jump in right away, and don’t tell him to stop crying, or there will be consequences. Try to take him aside and let him have his meltdown in peace.
3. Divert Them
This is one trick that works for everything. Thankfully, most kids are distracted easily- what is a teacher’s nightmare is a boon for parents. When you find your child sulking about one thing for too long, try and divert her attention to some other activity- get her to go out and play, or interest her in some other toy or game.
4. Try to Find the Underlying Reason
More often than not, it’s not the colour of the cupcake frosting that has caused a meltdown. There is usually a different reason running in their minds, right under the surface. Try and get to that reason, and see what you can do about it. As kids get older, it may be a good idea to encourage them to speak to someone they trust or write down their true feelings in a diary.
5. Has Your Kid Become Sensitive Suddenly?
Many changes that may seem natural to us, like going to school, sleeping in a separate bed for the first time, having a new sibling or shifting to a new school, are periods of emotional upheaval for children. It is a passing phase. The best you can do in such circumstances is let them get used to the change and give it some time to settle down. Change is painful, but it is the only way to grow.
We hope these tips help you keep your sanity when your kid is having his latest meltdown. Whatever happens, know that each kid has a personality that is still developing, and you are not always responsible for every single thing they do.