Being a highly sensitive parent can be challenging at times. What do I mean that term? Well, we tend to feel everything our children feel; boundaries can be challenging for us — while we're busy taking care of our children, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves.
As a highly sensitive parent, I've read the various, great and helpful articles out there about how to cope with the challenging aspects of such sensitivity.
But today, I thought it was time for a slightly different angle. Luckily for us, sensitivity comes with many benefits. In particular, here are five ways you can own your sensitivity, and harness its power to be a more mindful parent:
1. We use and trust our intuition when making decisions.
Let's face it: us sensitive types are good at all things having to do with feelings! Sure, because we're so sensitive, we can be insecure and may struggle owning our "gut." But part of that is because we're so in touch with our gut feelings, and can sense them as they arise. Recognize that power, and tap into it!
So next time you have to make a decision for (or with) your child (what school to send him/her to, for instance), get really present with your emotions. Go into your body, take a few deep breaths and feel. Does a certain option feel like a "yes," a light or tingly feeling? Or does it feel like a "no," a heavier feeling?
2. We communicate intuitively with our child/children.
I believe every human has the ability to communicate intuitively and telepathically. But for us sensitive types, it's easier! We are more aware of our super-subtle feelings and it's easier for us to fine tune our behaviors to match these feelings.
If you've never tried any of this before, it's helpful to know that to communicate with another person's soul or higher self, you'll need to have a strong connection with yourself first. This makes sense, since the "antenna" for this kind of non-verbal communication is inside of you and you receive signals through it.
When you're trying to communicate with your child (especially about something more serious), try centering your energy first. Then connect with your heart, or wherever your "antenna" is. Keep your focus there, and then you'll be better able to connect with your child.
3. We are able to help our child/children release and clear energies.
Because we are more aware of subtle energies, we can easily pick up on energy, especially if something's wrong or out of alignment for our child.
The following practice is particularly helpful for helping your child to release negative energies: Relax and ground yourself and then look at your child with your eyes closed. Become aware of his/her energy field. If your child is upset, for instance, you'll likely notice something unclear in their energy field.
Imagine a bright white light entering from the top of their head and gently flowing all the way down, clearing anything that is no longer needed on the way, and then radiating out brightly. Note that you can do this same exercise for physical spaces like bedrooms, and even classrooms.
4. We incorporate the wisdom of meditation into our parenting.
Because we know it works. We are more inclined to focus on the present moment, rather than allowing any hiccups along our parenting journey to derail us and our moods.
As a kind of maintenance for my peace of mind, I like to set aside particular windows of time to cultivate calmness and confidence in my energy-field during the day, so I know that I will be engaging with my child from a place of stability and clarity. I practice this feeling when everything is quiet around the house, so I can call forth this feeling when things get intense.
5. We know the importance of grounding.
Sensitive people know the importance of grounding ourselves. Grounding helps us feel balanced, safe and better prepared to cope with every day life.
Things get messy when we're not able to feel grounded in our bodies. And since we learned how to do this, we can help our children to recognize the power of grounding too.
For my son, taking showers, playing outside, hugging or massages are great ways to help him ground into his body and keep him more balanced.
Use the tools and insights you've learned over the years and try them with your kids. If they don't thank you now, they certainly will later!