Do you have an introverted or highly sensitive kiddo? Maybe a Beaver, Meerkat or Panda? If so, you’re probably well aware of the challenges this type of kid faces. After all, they are often feeling emotions like guilt and shame more intensely than other kids their age. And when they make mistakes, it can be hard for them to move past the feelings that come with it.
But don’t worry! This article will help give you 4 ways to help your kiddo navigate through their big emotions after they mess up in a way that is effective for them and their sensitive natures. Here we go!
#1 : Stay calm and use a gentle voice
One of the first things you need to do is stay calm and try to not overreact. Take a deep breath before you respond! The last thing an introverted kid needs in this situation is a parent getting emotional or yelling at them. This will make their already-sensitive emotions go haywire, making it even more difficult for them to recover from what they did wrong. Remember: You are the one with the fully developed brain and your child is coming to you for help. If you make their mess bigger with your own emotions, your child now has TWO problems to deal with. If you remain calm and choose your words wisely, you’ll be more successful in helping them and they will likely continue to feel comfortable coming to you for help as they grow.
#2 : Use empathy, not guilt
Guilt (not Shame!) can be an effective tool to help kids understand that their actions have consequences for themselves and those around them. However, when working with an introverted child who is sensitive by nature – this emotion may only cause more harm than good. This type of child likely already feels badly about what they did. They probably even feel bad about things they have thought about doing but haven’t even done. Generally, these kid’s genuinely want to do the right thing and can be really hard on themselves. So while it is important to make sure they understand the consequences of their actions, be gentle and come alongside them as best as you can.
#3 : Help them make it right
Depending on the situation, your sensitive kiddo’s brain is likely flooded each time they do something wrong. As their parent, you get to coach them on what action they need to take next. For example, if they have been careless with their words or actions towards a friend or sibling and need to apologize, offer them some guidance on what that might look like. If they accidentally broke a neighbor’s window, coach them in talking to their neighbor and show them what to do and say.
#4 : Give them a hug and tell them you love them no matter what
It’s important to balance the firmness of your words and actions with a lot of love because big emotions can be scary for sensitive kids. Repeat those three magic words often: “I will always love you.” This is essential encouragement when they are navigating through their big emotions. It reaffirms that there is someone in their life who has got their back and reminds them that you are a safe and helpful person for them to come to when they are scared or in trouble.
Your child’s emotional growth is your responsibility. It might not be an easy job, but the payoff is huge! Invest the little bit of extra time it takes to parent to their specific needs and your child will grow up with increased confidence in who they are and what they are capable of.
Not sure if you have a sensitive kiddo or not? Have them take our FREE quiz at https://knowandlove.com