3 Things to Never Say Again to Your Intense Child

Intense, angry boy

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!


  • Kerry says:

    I so want to stay connected during my toddlers rages but he gets very aggressive and holding him would escalate things greatly. If I move away he follows me to attack me. Do you have any suggestions? We’ve tried everything to deal with the aggression. We have a Behaviorist coming in a few weeks but I’d love to get your thoughts in the meantime. My son has extreme dysregulation from toxic exposures in utero. Thank you!

    • Nancy Rose says:

      Kerry, staying connected is important, but keeping your son and yourself safe are as well. I would focus on safety first! If you need to separate from him, so be it, just try not to shame him or expect him to “pull it together” on his own.

  • Jennifer says:

    This post is exactly what I needed to read. I used isolation with my daughter for a while and looking back I wish I could do it over. Being so scared at such a young age is not fair. Thank you for this blog post. It was much needed. I look forward to your upcoming webinar!

  • Shannon says:

    I’m just bawling. I’m so glad I discovered you and your site today!

    We decided to try homeschooling again this year simply because his personality does not fit in well with school, BUT I’m pulling my hair out! We’re fighting and crying and hurting each other’s feelings. And I so needed this.

    I’ve always been good about allowing him his feelings. I’ve always told him it’s OK to be angry, but it’s not OK to express his anger by yelling or hitting or kicking or slamming doors. But I am very much guilty of the other two more than once. Not all the time, but more often than I care to admit.

    I’ll be soaking up everything you have to offer, and I thank God for leading me to you.

    • Nancy Rose says:

      Dear Shannon,
      I also thank God for leading you to me and my work! You are the very reason I do the work I do. We desperately want to do right by our children, but it’s so hard to know what is and isn’t good practice with kids who push our buttons and are challenging. Your love and passion for your son comes through so clearly, and I commend you for the depth of your feeling. I can and will support you every step of the way as you chart a new, empowering, loving and connected course with your precious son.
      All the best,
      Nancy Rose

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