Parenting an intense child can be frustrating and will test us as parents on a daily basis. High intensity kids feel everything deeply: the positive emotions (happiness, joy, delight) AND the difficult emotions (anger, sadness, hurt). You never have to wonder how a high intensity child feels about something because they show you by whooping, wailing, or raging! Did you know that a person’s intensity level is an inborn trait? Your child can’t change their intensity level. But you can (and must) help them manage their intensity so they grow up well-adjusted!
Here Are the 3 Things to Never Say Again to Your Intense Child
- “Why do you have to make a big deal out of everything?”
Your child doesn’t know why, that’s just who he is. Don’t make him wrong for being who he is. Teach him how to manage his intensity instead.
- “Don’t be angry.”
Anger is a normal, natural emotion. Everyone feels anger in varying degrees. Your intense daughter expresses her anger overtly and that might make you uncomfortable if you grew up believing that anger is a bad thing. Or if you are low intensity and easily let things roll off your back. Again, don’t make her wrong for being who she is. Teach her how to manage her anger. That’s your job as her parent.
- “I won’t be around you unless you can be pleasant.”
This one brings up painful regret for me. While I was raising my extremely intense and strong-willed boy, I would force him into isolation to deal with his rage. Oh, how I wish I could get a do over on that. What raging kids need most is to maintain a connection with their parent through their periods of intense feeling. One of the biggest gifts you can give your intense child is to learn to be calm and present with them at these challenging times. If your child will let you hold him, gently hug him until he discharges his difficult feelings. My son would never let me hold him at these times and so I felt helpless. But you can sit calmly and non judgmentally and just be present. Don’t disconnect at the time he most needs to feel connected. This may very well force you out of your comfort zone, but it will be so worth it, because by staying connected, you’ll be able to guide your child into self-awareness and self-regulation.
What do you think? How hard will it be to stop saying these things to your intense child? Share your challenges and successes in the comments, and please share this post on social media by clicking below. So many parents struggle with this. Let’s help our kids become the best version of who they are!