Mentoring Children: How Highly Sensitive Children Can Thrive
Sensitive children can succeed through mentoring.
Posted Jan 22, 2015
If you want to go somewhere,
it is best to find someone who has already been there.
Sensitive boys and girls are often called dramatic, overly emotional, or difficult. They may be all of those things at one moment or another. However, they are much more than a momentary challenge. It’s their same sensitivity when learned how to use and direct that can become their greatest asset. Of course, the challenge is that if you want to learn how to do that, you really need to learn from someone who has been there.
Mentoring: The Missing Link
Mentoring isn’t a new idea. However, it’s far more effective than therapy for a highly sensitive, intuitive, and strong-willed child. Said differently, it doesn’t carry any of the “baggage” that children feel with therapy such as:
- Something is wrong with them
- They need to be fixed
- Their feelings and behaviors aren’t okay
Mentoring “flips the script” on therapy and comes from a positive place (akin to positive psychology). The undercurrent of mentoring is that you are healthy and with some guidance can navigate this world easier. As we all know, life can be challenging, but it is especially so when you are young, new to the world, and highly sensitive when the world isn’t.
Connecting your child to an older mentor with a similar nature who’s been successful can be life changing. Suddenly, they realize they aren’t alone. One of my mentoring clients, Olivia, in second grade had “mean girls” picking on her. Her initial reaction was to cry, which made everything worse. So working together, I taught her breathing techniques that “really worked” in her words to calm herself. Olivia learned to respond from a calm place and stand up for herself (the mean girls are gone!).
What I have come to understand is that mentoring works because children want to feel better. They just need some guidance and someone to lead the way.
The Success Curriculum
Whatever field you are in, you go farther with a mentor. This isn’t rocket science, just look at Oprah who had Maya Angelou or Johnny Deep who had Marlon Brando. When there is someone wiser who truly understands your personality, strengths, and development areas as well as having traveled the path themselves, they can help you move forward with skill and create a life that really works. It’s no different for our sensitive children. Iif they can find a mentor, they can learn to succeed in this not-so sensitive world.
© 2015 by Maureen Healy
Maureen D. Healy is an award-winning author and leading voice for highly sensitive children. Her global mentoring program has helped children across the U.S., Europe, N/S America and Australia. You can learn more: www.highlysensitivekids.com or @mdhealy