Over the past few months, I have been happily working with parents from around the globe especially regarding their stubborn children. One of the moms, Maggie, explained her daughter to me like this: My daughter just refuses to do certain things. One day, she’ll stamp her feet and not budge to go to school. How is this possible? When I was little, we just did what we were told and went to school.
So what I find so interesting is the trend of highly sensitive children to display a high level of stubbornness, be strong willed and absolutely refuse to do certain things. It is this quality (along with others) that has emerged in these children that isn’t captured by their highly sensitive nature but is something else…What is it? And what do you do?
The Stubborn Streak
Stubbornness is considered the “showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something” per dictionary.com. This feels right. What I find emerging in highly sensitive children beyond sensitivity is the energy of defiance. They rely on their inner wisdom, what I call intuitive intelligence versus outside authorities. In other words, these highly sensitive boys and girls cannot be cajoled by people outside of them – they are inwardly motivated and when they want to do something, they will.
So what do you do when your highly sensitive son or daughter digs in her heels? I have three simple suggestions that work for me:
Our highly sensitive children aren’t just sensitive. They are a collective of highly capable, intelligent, gifted and yes, stubborn beings who were born to do great things. I realize these also aren’t the easiest kids to parent, teach and counsel however they hold within them the potential to be great. Not just good but truly great. Of course, a lot of this rests on our shoulders and how we nurture their greatness, support their unique gifts and help them channel their stubbornness in productive ways.
By Maureen Healy
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Maureen Healy, author of Growing Happy Kids, popular speaker and leader in the field of highly sensitive children continues to work with parents and children globally. Come and participate in her free monthly teleconference or learn more at: www.highlysensitivekids.com, or www.twitter.com/mdhealy