Amy: How do you discipline a sensitive introverted child?
My child is a sensitive child, highly introverted and highly intuitive. I went to tell this child we were headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s and what resulted was them taking my kindle into another room and smashing it on the ground. I could hear it crash and break, which left me upset and over visiting a place they enjoy going? What’s going on and what can I do next time? H.N. Apple Valley, MN
Dear Kindle-less Mama:
I can see how this is a very hard one to understand so first off thanks for being willing to share this example. Next, let’s get to the heart of the matter. For a sensitive child in many cases it may be too big a leap to go from doing what they’re doing to “we’re going to Grandma and Grandpa’s”. Instead no matter what age they are turn these situations into a choice, which in turn gives them power and say. Choose two response you accept as an outcome.
”We’re planning a visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s, would you like to go now or in 20 minutes?”
Why this helps:
The child is not taken from 0-60 in one second, instead you’ve created steps, slowing down their mind’s jump to what’s coming and having to process everything in place of just processing only the next step. Most kids choose to delay and wait 20 minutes. In the event they need to prepare to go for the visit ask these questions too. Would it be helpful for me to find you in 10 minutes to remind you to gather your things for Grandma’s or do you want to take charge of that yourself? Listen and then STOP! If you keep asking questions it may overwhelm them because they are still thinking about how they feel about going in the first place. This may all seem silly to those who can roll with things but helping your sensitive child process things slowly keeps them from resisting and acting it out in what it feels in equal proportion at you, like smashing your kindle.