Friday, February 8

My highly sensitive child

Kole, our 4 1/2 year old, is highly sensitive. If you have not read the amazing book The Highly Sensitive Person or its "sequel" about children, it is a great one to pick up or, in our case, borrow from the library. Simply put, there is a very wide spectrum but a highly sensitive person is more aware of his/her world: pain, seams in socks, embarrasment, separation, loud noises...all of these would qualify. Because I am anything but highly sensitive (and, unfortunately, sometimes not sensitive at all!), for a lot of years I thought Kole may be trying to make my life difficult. I mean, I would think, "Buck up, buddy! Who cares if your shirt feels "crinkly"! What does that really mean anyway?!?" And what about the dread of putting snow clothes on every winter and the guaranteed tears that comes as a result?! It was all so annoying to me. That was my attitude pre-book. (There's a little "fleshly attitude" for you)

Well, after learning a little about children--and people--who are highly sensitive, I really began to see the legitimacy in their feelings (I mean, c'mon Danielle! When are a person's feelings not legitimate anyway! My social worker mom would be SO disappointed in me!!!) I began to parent Kole differently--and better. Now, I see the beauty in his sensitivity. That does not mean that when I'm in a hurry to get out the door, I'm not impatient over shoes that don't feel right, or that when the special Stride Rite seamless socks I purchased (at over $9 for a pack of 3) still don't ease his discomfort, I'm not a little perturbed. However, it really is a beautiful thing. Kole is incredible. He is the child that pulls me to him and says, "Mom, that necklace looks BEAUTIFUL!" He is the one that notices a pretty smell in a friend's bathroom. He is the one (his preschool teacher tells me) that looks after his classmate who has forgotten a scarf on their special Snow Day. And he is the one that today said to me from the couch, "Mom, did you know that I feel sad that I have so much stuff?!?" which began an incredible conversation about how much we have and how little others have...and how we need to do more to help.

Kole Joseph, I love you SO much, little man. Thank you for noticing all those things in life that so many of us forget. May I learn even more from you in the days ahead.

15 comments:

dinah said...

Danielle,
Our deadline for t-shirts would be around the middle of March. Just let me know when and I'm ready to purchase 7. Thanks again.

dinah

Zack & Rebecca Caldwell said...

wow- thanks for sharing that- I think your son sounds amazing :)

jeny said...

Danielle,
That was so special for me to read. I too thank you for sharing . What a precious little guy. Have a great week.

AND thank you for praying for me Wednesday. I felt the difference throughout the rest of the week. :)
love you!

Tara Beth Leach said...

Reading about your adventures in parenting make me excited and scared all at the same time! I love reading your blog though :)

Kristine said...

So we're playing phone tag.:) I love Kole's sensitive heart. Having a sensitive boy is the best thing ever. At times it can be the most frustrating thing but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I look forward to talking to you (hopefully soon). You know pregnancy brain, I might forget everything the Lord showed me any minute.:)

Rob & Candy said...

Hi Danielle! I can totally relate. Igor is also senstive. He tells me he cannot wear his bath robe because it makes him "tickly"... he won't wear certain coats or jackets and shoes have to fit a certain way. I can totally relate to - just wanting him to get dressed... but I wouldn't trade my sweet, sensitive boy for anything in the world.
Candy

Anonymous said...

I love Kole so much. Tell the boys we say Hi and to watch out for "the shark."
-J

E said...

How sweet. Made me all teary eyed!

Erica

Apryl said...

Daneille,
What a sweet post! Isn't it sad when we can't understand our kids because they aren't JUST like us? It's wonderful that you have found a resource that helps you to appreciate the unique little boy God gave you ;)

apryl

kflyingcircus said...

I think I have one of those children :-)

kristin said...

stopping by to day hi!

shawn and tisha said...

Your little boy sounds so sweet. :)
Tisha

Kellie & Marc said...

What a sweet sweet boy! :)

Gibson Family said...

Danielle,
Your post made me laugh...you are an amazing mommy :) Take it from me, I have a *huge* 14 year old "sensitive" young man that I'm blessed to call...my boy!! He's incredibly loving, forgiving, understanding, strong and confident in who God made him. He's the size of my hubby, but he still loves to cuddle with me and I wouldn't change him for the world!!! Watching him grow strong in the Lord is a gift :)
Thanks for sharing!!
Kari

PeanutButtersMum said...

Wow. Sounds like you're describing MY son! It's interesting to hear someone else's perspective on a similar situation!