Mentoring for parents of sensitive kids who are hard on themselves or have intense emotional outbursts
Meet your child’s tantrums, aggression, or self-judgment with the calm, capable confidence of a parent who knows what to do and say.
It may happen quickly.
Your sensitive child is happy one minute, and out of control the next.
It’s especially hard for your kid when plans change, or when they have a vision for how a playdate is going to go, and then things don’t happen exactly the way they’d expected.
Everything’s going well, and then BOOM! Something doesn’t work out quite the way they thought it would, and they go from zero to a hundred in 2 seconds.
Maybe your child vents their frustration and disappointment by yelling at their friend or a sibling. Or maybe your child holds it in until they get home, then unleashes it in a torrent of negative self-talk to you, their parents, e.g., “Nobody likes me!” or “Everybody hates me!”
You look on in disbelief as your sensitive and normally empathetic child screams their frustrated or angry words, or gets aggressive with the other child.
A gazillion thoughts and feelings flood your body all at once:
And where did they learn this anyways?
All you’ve ever done is encourage and praise your child. You haven’t been criticizing them. And you certainly don’t handle your frustrations this way.
How did they learn to deal with their frustration in this way?
I get how hard that is.
It’s totally anxiety-producing to think that your child might not have any friends.
And how will they ever manage at school or eventually a job if they can’t learn to go with the flow a bit?
As parents, we know from experience how limited our lives are if we don’t have self-confidence.
Maybe you’ve tried rationalizing with your child once they stopped yelling...
but it didn’t sink it at all. Nothing changed.
One of the reasons that this type of behaviour can be hard to stop without some help is because the parenting habits that cause it are subtle and kind of “invisible.”
In fact, many are actually considered “normal” or “good” parenting, because we live in a society that’s fairly judgemental and not-so-compassionate.
The truth is that many of the experiences WE had growing up, with our parents, teachers and other caregivers, fed into our own feelings of self-doubt, perfectionism, and being hard on ourselves.
And without even realizing it, we’ve “internalized” the beliefs and habits that keep us locked in those patterns. They’re subconscious. And that’s how we pass them on.
You’re probably sensitive yourself, and maybe your child’s emotional outbursts trigger you a bit, especially when you’re feeling time-pressure and can’t figure out how to calm them.
You may have struggled yourself with perfectionism, self-doubt or being hard on yourself (maybe consciously, maybe subconsciously). And because you love your child so deeply, you want things to be better for them, so you praise and encourage them regularly.
That’s why it’s so hard to figure out where this behaviour is coming from.
The good news is, with a little help to identify the habits that are causing your kids to be harsh on themselves, you can turn things around.
It’s possible to learn new parenting strategies that:
- Help calm the tantrums and eventually they become shorter and less intense
- nurture your children’s self-confidence and help them to be gentler with themselves. More compassionate.
And you don’t need a magic wand…
You may also struggle with:
- Your child is aggressive towards a younger sibling or another child and you worry about how to stop it and how to keep the other child safe
- Your heart sinks when you get a call from the school, daycare, or your child’s camp–because your first thought is that they’re in trouble again
- Your child doesn’t listen
- Your child talks negatively about themselves (“Nobody likes me”)–regularly enough that you wonder if it’s “normal”, or you should be worried
- Time outs, consequences, or having a thoughtful rational discussion with your child about their behaviour doesn’t change it.
You probably want:
Imagine what it would be like:
"Before Colleen, I was feeling hopeless, ashamed and fearful of my highly sensitive child's intense emotional outbursts, defiance and my inability to parent her in a way that didn't break her spirit or would scar her for life. I felt like I was out of options and typical parenting advice that well-meaning parents gave because it worked for their child never seemed to work for mine. The stress and frustration I felt from not being able to "control" my child made me resort to the same parenting style that I grew up with and it was a far cry from how I wanted to parent my own children. After a quick session with Colleen, her compassion and empathy gave me the reassurance I desperately needed and I was feeling hopeful about the future. Since our meeting, I've been able to calmly and respectfully handle any outburst and do so in a way that strengthens the connection with my daughter and give her the skills to cope in a much healthier way. I'm amazed by how quickly she responded to the techniques Colleen gave me and my daughter seems happier as well as I'm sure she senses I'm not as agitated or stressed. I'm so grateful for Colleen's kind, non-judgmental support as it's given me the confidence to trust my intuition and do what I know is best for my child and surrender the mainstream advice that doesn't serve me or my family."
— Krista Bauer, Mom of 2yo and 4yo, and Soulful Business Coach
1:1 mentoring sessions are a good fit for you if one or more of these is true:
After mentoring sessions, you'll have practical strategies that will start making a difference right away. You'll feel hopeful, confident and relieved as you watch your situation improve
One 60-minute session
4 sessions, 60 minutes each, with an email between sessions if needed