It can be difficult to see your little one getting upset or emotional over things that don’t seem like a big deal to you. But it’s important to remember that every child is different and that some kids are just naturally more sensitive than others.
And I can feel you! Like every parent, you don’t want your child to be weak and fragile. You want them to be able to stand up for themselves and not get easily hurt emotionally. I experienced the same (we all parents experience this at some point), and that’s why I came up with the idea to craft this handy guide on how to toughen up a sensitive kid.
Some parents may find it difficult to raise a child who is sensitive to the feelings of others. Sensitive kids can often be the victims of bullying and they may struggle with self-esteem issues. They may also find it difficult to fit in with their peers, are more touchy from birth, take criticism too seriously and tear up more often.
And you might be thinking of changing your child’s natural personality, but you shouldn’t. Believe me, it’s an asset, and you must take care of it diligently by taking it positively and helping your kid cope with such challenges.
Okay! Before digging more deeply, I have quick nifty advice for you. Doesn’t matter what makes your kid weak; always remember that you are their parent, and it’s your responsibility to make them strong. So, give them a gentle push out of their comfort zone whenever you get a chance or feel like it. It will eventually toughen them up!
The InOut Side factor
In my whole parenting journey, I learned this simple tip for toughen up any sensitive kid. I called it InOut Side factor, which affects a child’s self-esteem.
The Outside Factor: How other people see your kid and how they treat them. Obviously, if he looks strong, tall, and muscular, nobody will gonna bully him, and naturally, he will feel a lot more confident and powerful.
The Inside Factor: How your kid sees themselves. It’s about his mental toughness and ability to cope with challenges, and I believe this inside factor is the initial spark to toughen up any sensitive kid.
Every kid needs to be treated differently, but it makes things so much easier when you divide the matter into two parts and work accordingly. As a parent, you should work on how tough they act on the outside as well as how they feel about them from the inside; that’s all mental toughness and self-esteem.
Parents can help their children develop resilience by understanding the child’s temperament and then adapting parenting styles accordingly; so that the kid can have good problem-solving skills, optimism, and social competency.
A parent may observe how their child interacts with his friends and whether he gets along well with his peers. Does the child express himself adequately when speaking to people he doesn’t know very well? It’s also helpful for parents to understand what makes their highly sensitive child uncomfortable or distressed so that they can better learn how to toughen up a sensitive kid.
Yes! Just make them realize their worth, give them a little push, help them, and see how strong they become! It will be more than worth it, I promise.
As discussed previously, somehow, I feel you can achieve more by focusing much on the inside soul, and ultimately it will reflect on the outside as well. That being said, the first nifty advice is, “The best way to toughen up a sensitive kid is to help them build a strong sense of self-esteem.”
Curious to know how to deal with hypersensitive child?
Underneath, I’m sharing some tips for parents looking for the answer to how to toughen up a sensitive kid. I hope these steps will give your sensitive kid higher self-esteem, optimism, and good social competency.
Talk to your kid about their feelings
This is probably the most important thing you can do. When you validate your child’s feelings, it helps them feel heard and understood. And when they feel understood, they are more likely to trust you and be open with you. This will make it easier for them to talk to you about their feelings and also make it more likely that they will listen to your advice.
Help them find a role model / Be a role model
One of the best ways to help your child build self-esteem is to find them a role model. This could be a family member, a friend, or even a character in a book or movie.
But what I believe is making yourself a role model for your kid, as kids learn by watching their parents (this will apply more effectively if you’re struggling with how to toughen up a sensitive kid or early teenagers).
Start with yourself, work on the areas that need improvements, and be strong and mentally tough. Sharing your stories and how you faced things in your life is the best way to make your kid toughen up from the inside.
Teach them it’s okay; everyone feels uncomfortable and has a fear of doing things, but it’s a long journey, so little steps can make a huge difference.
Teaching them mental toughness
One of the best ways to help your child build self-esteem is to encourage them to try new things. This could be anything from doing a new task, going adventure or trying scary things.
Give them challenges to accomplish; that’s the only way you can teach them how to be tough.
Teach them skills
Self-discipline, pulse control, and emotional stability are key skills you should teach your kid. If you ask me how? So again, it will be developed by taking little steps out of their comfort zone and gradually increasing the difficulty level.
On the front side, it’s important to understand and respect your kid’s feelings, but as a parent, it’s also necessary for you to teach them control over emotions.
Acknowledge your child that he can’t stop that other person but he is surely in control of himself!
Crying vibes, upset faces & all such emotions can be faded away with simple and consistent practices.
Furthermore, you can suggest some ways or encourage your child to invent his own coping skills; like humming a song or taking a long deep, and slow breath.
Make sure to work with your kid; that being said, the next tip is:
Sensitive kids need the love and support of their parents to help them learn good coping skills. Parents can offer this by engaging in age-appropriate activities with their children, helping them deal with bullies on the playground, and ensuring they don’t take things too personally. They may feel embarrassed or upset when dealing with tough situations, but parents should reassure them that it is okay to feel these things, as difficult as they may be.
P.S: Offer support only to build self-esteem, & do not try to fix the problem.
Teach them, “So what?”
Parents should look for teachable moments to help their sensitive kids become more resilient. When an event happens that is likely to leave them feeling anxious or upset, parents should help calm them down and then ask questions like “so what?” The child will learn that even when something bad happens there are ways in which he can move forward.
Moreover, you can suggest actionable replacements for those problems that he/she is facing.
Parents can encourage their sensitive kids to express themselves verbally. For example, they could ask the child about his experiences at school or what it is that he likes and then listen without judgment. Sometimes all a child needs is an opportunity to get things off his chest so that he feels less anxious. Parents should also teach their children how to process difficult emotions by encouraging them to express their feelings verbally such as through art or writing.
Also Read: How to deal with sulking child?
One of my favorite ways how to toughen up a sensitive kid is to REASSURE THEM.
Parents should remind their children that they are loved and cared for on a regular basis. This is especially important when a sensitive child feels upset or rejected by his peers or family members, as they may take these negative experiences too personally. Parents should reassure their kids that being teased or ostracized by others doesn’t mean they are bad or unworthy.
Parents should encourage their children to develop good coping skills by being supportive and patient while still setting limits when necessary. By offering love, support, and structure in age-appropriate ways, parents will help their sensitive kids become more resilient and equipped to deal with future challenges.
Provide them rewards
As a parent, you also have to practice something to help your kid become tough.
The best practice is to change your tone (if you do so!).
For instance, you can rather say, “If you eat veggies in dinner you will be awarded chocolates” instead of saying, “You can’t eat chocolates unless you eat veggies!”.
By creating such a reward system, you can help your kid in achieving milestones.
Setting Limits for Sensitive Kids
While parents should encourage creative thinking and avoid limiting their children in any way, there may be times when it is necessary to set limits and don’t be too relaxing.
Although flexibility is important, but a bit of flavor of toughness and challenge can lead to a tougher and more confident kid.
Parents should make sure not to shield their children from all possible challenges. Sensitive kids need opportunities to explore and learn new skills so that they can build confidence and overcome shyness.
So, Be flexible but! Set the rules…
The last, but most important (my favorite too). Gratitude.
Make them realize what they have, not what they don’t. Help them find opportunities to be thankful for the people and things in their lives. This will not only make them feel better, but it will also help them see the world in a more positive light.
Encourage your kid to express gratitude often. The best way is to make a gratitude journal where you sit for a couple of minutes and ask from deep soul insight about what greatness you have in your life.
By being grateful, it will help them to toughen up because they are building self-esteem, improving their emotional well-being, and developing a more positive outlook on life.
How do you deal with an emotionally weak child?
One of the best ways to toughen up a sensitive kid is to help him or her develop a strong sense of self-efficacy. This means praising your child for trying, even if he or she doesn’t succeed at first. It also means giving your child opportunities to face his or her fears and try new things. Finally, teaching your child how to deal with setbacks and emotional pain is important.
What is the toughest age of a child?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as every child is different. However, many experts believe that the teenage years are often the most challenging for kids, as they deal with a range of emotions and hormones. Additionally, peer pressure can be extremely tough for teenagers to deal with. If you have a sensitive teenager, it’s important to be there for him or her, offering support and guidance.
What are some tips for parenting a sensitive child?
Some tips for parenting a sensitive child include: being patient, setting limits, and providing support. It’s also important to avoid overwhelming your child with too much stimulation. Additionally, it’s helpful to encourage your child to express his or her emotions in healthy ways. Finally, it’s crucial to provide love and understanding. With sensitivity and care, you can help your child thrive.
Raising a sensitive child can be a challenge for parents, but there are ways in which they can help. Sensitive children need love and support while also being encouraged to face challenges. Parents should set limits when necessary, but also make sure to offer their children opportunities to express themselves. Reassuring your child that you love them is one of the most important things a parent can do for a sensitive child.
Definitely, resilience comes from the confidence that mom and dad are behind me for support. But raising such children doesn’t mean starting fixing their problems for them as it only results in the bad problem-solving skills of your child.
Instead, Help, Encourage & Support new ways to cope with sensitivity and low self-esteem.
If you sum up the whole idea, everything starts from the inside. How you see yourself, how grateful you are, and your emotional well-being impacts a lot on how tough you’ll be mentally.
And as I said in the beginning, it all starts with the role model. If you’re not there for them, no matter how much you work on how to toughen up a sensitive kid, it will all be in vain.
So be the one…, understand and acknowledge their feelings, challenge them on different occasions, and offer a bit of support but stay out of it. That’s all.
If you found these tips on How to toughen up a sensitive kid useful. Let me know by hitting the comment below.
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Mo is a home-based Mommie and a passionate journalist. She loves to help other moms to spend a good life.