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Are you raising a highly sensitive teenager?
Welcome back to Episode #7 where we’re going to explore some of the characteristics of a highly sensitive person and offer you an antidote that cultivate her resiliency and empower even the most sensitive young lady to firmly advocate for herself.
Let’s begin with a snapshot of what it means to be a highly sensitive person.
Author and Researcher Elaine Aron coined the term “highly sensitive person” in the early 1990’s.
And offers these initial questions so you can get a feel for if your daughter may be sensitive.
Aaron asks …
- Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
- Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
- Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
- When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?
If these questions and scenarios sound familiar to you, you and your daughter may want to listen to this episode together.
Because it’s important for her to recognize that you’re not alone and, sometimes life can send confusing messages, such as:
- busy, stressed out people are often viewed as more productive or more successful
- and constantly being on emotional overload is just part of the teenage landscape
Ah, I probably don’t need to tell you that chronic stress and emotional overload don’t make you more productive or more successful.
So, rather than your daughter feeling exhausted and overwhelmed and trying to self-soothe with food, alcohol or massive amounts of media, lets offer her an ANTIDOTE.
The antidote is Self – K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E.
Self-knowledge is sometimes referred to a Metacognition because it’s art of paying attention to your thoughts.
And honestly, just learning what metacognition was a big life changer for me.
I wrote about what it was like for me growing up in an article, not surprisingly titled, Being Sensitive Can Be A Challenge … This Strategy Set Me Free!
You can head over to my website Cultivating Resilient Teens after we’ve gone over the Antidote.
The article is a quick read – and it’s posted under the Resiliency Reminder tab.
Okay, let’s dive in by breaking down the word KNOWLEDGE.
K – know that it is OKAY to for your daughter to say NO to requests that don’t fit her core values.
This may sound easier said than done, but she’ll feel more confident staying in alignment with who she is, rather than wrestling with the guilt and remorse that can come from doing something that doesn’t feel right to her.
N – never underestimate your ability to do anything – you can always combat your fear with courage.
For example, think of a time when you were nervous to try something and then things went really well.
If you find doubt creeping in, take several minutes to remind yourself that you’ve put courage over fear once, you can do it again.
O – own the messages your instincts are telling you.
Simply put, take the time to tune into your inner compass.
It’s there to steer you in the right direction, your job is to pay attention.
W – wonder about which environment is most conducive to your learning style.
For example, I used to join every study group because I didn’t want to miss out on anything.
But the reality was, I was way too distracted by everything that was going on around me. I’d have to go home and re-learn so much of what we talked about.
Maybe I figured this out the hard way, but sometimes you may just need to try something to realize if it works – or in my case, if it doesn’t work.
L – love yourself wholeheartedly by recognizing you have many, many layers.
Some things are going to feel easy and some tasks are going to challenge you.
Some days you’re going to feel like a million bucks and some days you’re going to have to work a little harder to find the attitude, mindset or mood that’ll keep your spirits up.
E – explore your unique gifts with a sense of curiosity.
I know it may sound a little woo-woo, but when you give yourself permission to look within, with a sense of awe and wonder, you’ll keep yourself from falling into the comparison or judgement hole.
D – discover where you can “find your people” or your tribe.
Covid is making this quite challenging for so many because at-home learning really limits your options.
However, a few of my clients have gotten creative and found safe ways to build the connections they crave.
And, with a little creativity and effort, you can too.
G – get honest with yourself about what you need.
No one can read your mind – that a good thing, right?
So, remember it’s up to you to practice saying what you need.
Like, “I need some time to chill out by myself.”
Or, “I really need a break from scrolling through my media, let’s do something else.”
E – enlist family and friends to support you.
You don’t have to figure this out by yourself.
Try talking with people you trust and brainstorming options that will help you better understand yourself.
Then, try your new strategies, one by one, and pay attention to whether they’re doable and effective.
Because here’s the deal, when your daughter is able to embrace who she is, she’ll feel more confident to:
- advocate for herself
- tackle difficult conversations
- welcome life’s new adventures
And there are so many adventures ahead of her.
If you’re not sure how to help your daughter tune into her gifts, I can help.
Head over to my website, cultivatingresilientteens.com and click on the Work with Shawna page.
I look forward to connecting with you.
And lastly, the next three podcasts are going to be short and sweet, but clear and helpful.
We’re going to identify the top three behaviors that keep your daughter from reaching her full potential and offer effective, proven tools and strategies to break those habits.
Okay, that’s it.
I’m excited to connect with you again next week.
The Highly Sensitive Person Questions | Elaine Aron | Website Link:
Blog Article on Cultivating Resilient Teens | Posted In: Resiliency Reminder
Ready to get your daughter the support she needs? I can help, click on: