Getting dressed in the morning. Winding down for bed time. Separating from you. Getting along with their siblings. Finishing homework.
There are so many areas of day to day life that can be a struggle for families. Sometimes there are so many little struggles that it feels like life with your child is a constant battle. It’s an overwhelming place to be, and it can be hard to imagine things improving, especially since it can be hard to see where to start.
When I taught writing, I spent a lot of time coaching my students on just getting started. They would face the blank pages of their notebook and freeze because they really wanted to write something amazing. I shared with them the idea that the perfect is the enemy of the good, and that the way to get started was to put something down on their paper. Anything. Even if it was “this is stupid” or “I don’t know what to write.” Just get started, and then keep going. You can make it into something beautiful later, but for right now, just let your ideas come out into the world.
It’s kind of the same thing here. When you feel overwhelmed by the constant battles and you don’t know where to start, try making a list of the challenges you face each day with your child, big and small. It’s a concrete action, and you have everything you need right now to do it. All you have to do is sit down and write it out.
Seeing the list written out helps you release the responsibility you might feel for keeping track of it internally. It also helps you really see what it is they are struggling with. It allows you to look for themes, and it allows you to assess what their biggest challenge is at the moment. Then you can focus on that and drop the rope with the smaller challenges. Even if it’s uncomfortable, even if it feels “too permissive,” focusing your attention on the biggest challenge and setting the others aside will let you devote your attention to solving the big problem. And it’s totally possible that when you do this, the little problems will fade away on their own.
That’s my challenge for you this week. Take the time to write out the recurring challenges you and your child are working through, focus in on the biggest one, and let the rest go. Then, once you do this, leave a comment or send me a message on Instagram and let me know what that one thing is.
The invisible challenge
After you’ve made your list, I want you to double check yourself. Did you include overstimulation as one of your child’s challenges? The struggles faced by highly sensitive children vary from individual to individual, but there is a common thread. Because highly sensitive children are taking in so much more input, they are much more likely to become over-aroused or overstimulated than less sensitive children.
We tend to think of an overstimulated child as one who has gone into melt-down mode, but there are other ways it can show up. Understanding and addressing this can make resolving the other challenges you are facing with your child so much easier, I’ve created a free download to help you do just that. Just enter your email address below to claim your free guide, “Is Your Child Overstimulated? What to Look For and How to Help.”