I love reading Dad blogs. It may sound obvious, but I don’t know how many times I have found like minded people struggling with, or who have struggled through, the same issues I am dealing with. This week, two blog posts really hit home for me.
We have been having such a struggle with The Girl lately. Everyday seems to end up in tears for someone in this family, and she is usually the unlucky recipient. Both Mom and I have been short with her, and our tempers flair pretty easily.
I won’t dwell on the details, but suffice to say she is going through some stuff. Probably not unlike most of the stuff a 3 1/2 year old with a new sibling goes through, but we can’t help to think that she is more sensitive to the world around her, and as a result her reactions to things are more intense.
I was so happy to read I have highly sensitive Okapis at Two Okapis. So much of that piece sounds like us right now, and he helped give our sensitive child theory some context as part of the piece deals with some research and theories about highly sensitive people.
High sensitivity really comes from a highly attuned nervous system. The best example I read was that when an average child walks into a room they see the room, the people and maybe the furniture. But when a highly sensitive child walks into the same room, they notice the people, the room and the furniture, but they also notice the details of the room, the mood of the room, the mood and feelings of all of the people and it can be overwhelming. It is why they might be afraid of large groups or feel â€œshy.â€ It is likely they are not shy as much as overwhelmed by all of the stimuli they have been receiving.
That is The Girl.
One recent concrete example of this perceptiveness happened last weekend. We went to watch her cousin play rugby and, somehow through all the scrums and flying body parts, from high atop the viewing stands, The Girl notices one of the girls on the field wearing a yellow Lance Armstrong bracelet. It took me a few moments to find it. I couldn’t see anything. Somehow she managed to zoom in on this minute detail. She is like that and, like Two Okapis, I sometimes forget that. The Girl experiences life at a higher level of detail than most and that in itself has to be overwhelming. I need to cut her some more slack.
The second post was from Paul Abra over the the Island Parent blog, who reminded me that:
On occasion we, as parents, find ourselves exasperated with the behaviour of our sons or daughters. During a temper tantrum in a store or being mean to a sibling. Whatever the situation, however “rotten” the behaviour, we must somehow overcome our frustration or anger and show our unconditional love for the child. Often when we’re dealing with difficult children, they and we lose the sight of the fact that we love them.
Too true. Thanks Dad bloggers. You guys really help me keep it all in perspective.