Thursday, March 15, 2012

choices and a sensitive boy

Josiah is a very sensitive boy.

I was not expecting how hard trying it would be to parent such a highly sensitive child.

Don't get me wrong…he's incredible.

He is full of compassion. He is compliant, charming, SO funny, and bright.

I love his silly spirit and the way he talks about Jesus.

But, he is very tender hearted.

James and I strive to be "intentional parents". We try to make sure that we are intentionally teaching our children to be more Christ like. We have read the parenting books, and even taken an intense course called "Growing Kids God's Way".

At my MOPS group I heard this amazing speaker talk about parenting your children based on their personalities. We were even giving the opportunity to take a personality test on our kids. Josiah tested as an extremely sensitive child. It was awesome! And my eyes were opened to the sensitive spirit he has. I even read the book the author wrote (which I rarely do). I'd recommend this to every parent with a desire to understand their child more.

And while we may not agree with everything we have read or heard, this has become one of the best things we have learned with how to deal with Josiah.

Too many choices leave Josiah feeling overwhelmed.

When Josiah has a day where he gets to choose his breakfast, choose his outfit, choose his cup, choose what cartoons to watch; I notice he's much more ornery. And when he wakes the next morning and I make the choices, his feelings are hurt. He feels like he is unloved because he doesn't get his way. But when we have gone days with no choices, he's joyful!

We make this decision to give Josiah very few choices because we LOVE him. We want him to understand that life will not always give him the chance to choose things. In school, he will not always get to choose what subject he learns, or what time to go to recess. These will be set. We don't want Josiah to feel hurt each time things are set for him.

This doesn't mean that we never allow Josiah to choose anything. He knows that it's a special day when I ask him "what do you want for breakfast?" And I tend to let him choose his shirt for the day. It's a balance with each child.

He has already changed so much from just one year ago. Today he's not the same overly sensitive child he was then.

Now Micah….well….we'll save him for another day. But we could give that boy 10,000 choices and it would not affect him either way.

It's all about the personality of a child.

So what about you? Do you parent each child differently?

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