I was reading an article this evening where the author wrote about how her nephew is a sensitive child, and how his emotions are not something to be fixed, but rather to be helped along in learning to control and understand them.
I couldn’t agree more. Calvin is 3, he’s also 3.5ft tall and looks very much like a 5 or 6 year old child when playing with other kids. He is also very sensitive and some might say, overly emotional. This can sometimes cause problems. Often I am asked by other parents how old he is, and usually it is because he is acting like the 3 year old that he is, and he is dealing with some big emotions. He wants to play with everyone, he wants to be friends with everyone, and when faced with rejection, or a child who hits or pushes him away, he deals with is with great sadness and anger.
Part of me looks at these emotions and the way he handles them, usually with tears, and wants to toughen him up. But then I remember something, I remember that he is three, he is dealing with emotions that are sometimes much bigger than he is. There are adults, myself included, who are still learning to manage their emotions appropriately. So how can I expect him to stop crying if his feelings have been hurt, just because I may shrug off those feelings as an adult?
Right now I am dealing with him also not wanting to talk things over, he would rather deal with things by looking away, by crying and then eventually just needing a hug. I’m trying to get more response from him on a verbal level. I want to be able to discuss these overwhelming emotions with him, and perhaps to guide him in the right direction in handling them. I’m not trying to fix him, but he has to understand that sometimes, it’s just not the right time or place to cry.
This may always be a challenge for him. I know that I can sometimes be swept away by emotions, whether is be anger or sadness, but I have also learned ways to handle them. I hope he can get to that point as well.
Though he is sensitive, I can also see how empathetic he is. He may take another child ignoring him or not wanting to play, as rejection, but I know that when a child is alone, or seems to be sad, he is right there by there side to be the friend they may need.