Four Tips to Sensitively Say ‘No’ to Children. Part 1 of 2

I’d like to share a special experience that occurred in our weekly Highly Sensitive Person Resilience Group.  This particular story is about hurtful ways that our group members were  parented, and their desire to be better parents to their children.

People who were once strangers have bonded in this group so they feel safe to share their vulnerable feelings. We heal emotional wounds so that we can express our Authentic Selves, just the way God intended. Our hearts open as the Holy Spirit enfolds us with unconditional love. Experiencing this tender feeling of love with the group is what I cherish so much.

After brief check-ins, one person volunteers to be coached while the others learn vicariously.

In one of our sessions, a woman wanted to heal her family of origin wound that arose when her father repeatedly dismissed her feelings and her requests.

She felt rejected as a little girl, and she still feels that way as an adult.

No one else felt like she felt, or wanted the things she wanted when she was a child. Her strong-willed father made most of the decisions and her mother complied like a quiet church mouse. My client submitted to her father’s will, too, never really feeling loved by him. She didn’t have a sense of belonging in her family. This is typical of 50% of highly sensitive people. We grow up with insecure attachment styles.

Lack of secure attachment hurts whether we are a child or an adult.

We used Brainspotting and Internal Family Systems to help my client heal. Amazingly, within half an hour, she no longer felt rejected. She realized that she could include herself in family discussions instead of remaining non-assertive like her mother. She reflected, “It doesn’t make me inferior if my whole family makes a choice that I don’t like. I was out-casting myself.”

At the end of the coaching that night, another group member asked, “How can a parent say ‘no’ to a child’s request while helping the child feel cherished?”

A couple of mothers answered this question. You’ll read the first response below. I’ll share the second mom’s answer in the next blog post.

The following essay was written by a highly sensitive introvert who wishes to remain anonymous.

Like most highly sensitive people, I try to be the best parent I can be. I’m going to share my philosophy and four tips for saying “no” while helping my children feel securely attached.

My girls are ten and six years old. When it comes to declining their requests, I want them to completely embrace who they are and who they will become. This is what I do.

  1. My ten-year-old is a highly sensitive introvert so extra time and patience go a long way with her.
  2. I allow my kids to share their opinions with me. We communicate in a way that they can share respectfully, and I do the same in return. They don’t have to be angry and talk back to be heard.
  3. I explain everything to them in a way that shows them that when I say no, I am serving them. There is no “don’t do this because I said so.” Children learn every second of every day. They have so much they have to learn on their own in this world, so I try to explain things to them so they understand. I try not to make them guess whenever possible.
  4. I help my children calm their bodies and emotions. For example, when my oldest daughter is over-stimulated, she has learned to take some alone time to compose herself so she will feel better. It’s not a punishment. She has matured in her ability to listen to her body when it’s telling her to take a pause and breathe. It’s a great tool for her.

My six-year-old didn’t understand this at first. She wanted to know why ‘sissy’ wouldn’t play with her right that second. She wanted me to make her older sister play with her right then. I explained it on her grade level by giving her a situation and an emotion she could relate to. I made sure she knew her sister didn’t need a break from her, but that she needed down-time to re-center herself. Then I made suggestions for fun things to do while playing alone.

After a few times of this scenario, my younger daughter saw that her sister felt better after having time alone, and then she was ready to play again. My youngest started to pay attention to when she felt out of sorts, and now she occasionally asks for time to color or draw on her own.

I have learned to apply the same self-soothing process when my Inner Child feels harassed by my Inner Critic. My Wise Self calmly suggests that I take a few deep breaths, relax and ground myself. Operating in the zone of resilience helps me be a better parent, and as a bonus, it often eliminates emotional and physical pain.

I am so grateful that I learned these tools. I hope they help will you, too.

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Contact Benita Esposito if you would like help to heal emotional wounds so you can express your Authentic Self. Ask for a complimentary 10-minute get-acquainted session. Choose from individual spiritual counseling and life coaching, or you might like to participate in a Highly Sensitive Person Resilience Group.

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Author: Benita A. Esposito, MA, “Chief Trail Guide,” for Highly Sensitive Introverts on the Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self. Life Coach and Spiritual Counselor.

Bestselling author of The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self – available on Amazon.

Webinar: Assertiveness Training for Highly Sensitive People

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

• Why is it so difficult to stand up for my self?
• Why do I let people treat me so poorly?
• Is it selfish to ask for what I want when others don’t like it?
• How do I assert myself without hurting people’s feelings? Read more

Webinar: How Highly Sensitive People Can Find Peace in an Angry Storm

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

How do you feel when your family grumbles at you because your sensitive feelings have surfaced once again?

How does your body react when a friend rants at you? You know the feeling. You can’t understand what they are saying because your nervous system is overwhelmed. It’s hard to think clearly. It’s like a valve shuts off in your brain.

What do you do when a family member blasts you because you confronted him for kicking the dog?

Welcome to the highly sensitive person’s Achilles heel: criticism and anger.

Highly sensitive people often feel intimidated in the face of anger. We try to be understanding. But when people dump on us, we feel flooded. Our nervous systems freeze up or we explode.

Neither is a position of empowerment. Nor is it the highest expression of love for others or self-love.

But we have a conscience, and we feel bad when we don’t behave in healthy ways. Our pain motivates us to learn a better way.

In this webinar, we’ll explore how to:

• stop cowering or exploding
• remain centered when someone is angry with us
• identify what we’re feeling and manage our intense reactions
• help our loved ones understand us
• ask for other’s support to help us
• stop feeling rejected when people dump their frustration on us
• energetically protect ourselves
• assert ourselves, e.g., respect others and respect ourselves equally
• build our self-esteem
• identify and strengthen our HSP gifts.

WHO’S INVITED: Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and their loved ones who want to understand them better.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 8, 2019. 6:30-8pm Eastern

FORMAT: lecturettes, life coaching and spiritual counseling based on participants’ questions.

RECORDING: You may purchase a recording of the webinar for $39.00. Complete the Contact Page and ask me to email the recording link for this webinar. Specify the webinar title.

Make your $39 payment on PayPal.com to Payments@EspositoInstitute.com.

Facilitator

Benita A. Esposito, MABenita-A.-Esposito,-MA,-Licensed-Professional-CounselorI’m also a life coach, an ordained minister with AIWP and a spiritual counselor.

Want a preview? Watch my book video: The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self. Click here.

Webinar: Empaths and Highly Sensitive People

How to Set Boundaries to Prevent Overwhelm

We hold a monthly webinar for Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) on the second Wednesday of the month.

This group is a safe gathering place for HSP’s to receive support from other HSP’s and to experience expert guidance from a Highly Sensitive Therapist, Life Coach and Spiritual Counselor. You’ll gain tools so you can be happier and healthier. And you’ll be inspired by other high-achieving HSP’s personal and professional successes.

This webinar discusses the following items:

• What is an empath?

• How do you set energetic boundaries so you’re not so affected by other’s emotions?

• How can you use your gifts to help people in productive ways and maintain a solid sense of well-being?

• How do you know if you are feeling your own emotions or taking on someone else’s?

• How can you stop assuming too much responsibility for others’ lives?

• What are grounding tools to return to optimal functioning when you get overwhelmed?

• Why is a daily self-care routine essential for highly sensitive people?

RECORDING: You may purchase a recording of the webinar for $39.00. Complete the Contact Page and ask me to email the recording link for this webinar. Specify the webinar title.

Make your $39 payment on PayPal.com to Payments@EspositoInstitute.com.

To learn more about the services I provide for Highly Sensitive People:


1. Preview my bestselling book. Watch my book video at www.SensitiveIntrovert.com.

2. Purchase the eBook or paperback. The audiobook will be released soon on Amazon:

The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self

3. Visit my website: SensitiveIntrovert.com and take the quiz to see if you are a highly sensitive introvert.

Contact me for a complimentary 10-minute phone chat to see if we are a good fit to work together.

About the Facilitator

Benita Esposito, MA, LPC. 
I’m a life coach, ordained minister and a Christian spiritual counselor. I see Highly Sensitive People (HSP) adults (individuals and couples) via Zoom videoconference worldwide. I also lead weekend retreats for highly sensitive people in the North Georgia mountains and at the beach.

 

Highly Sensitive Introverts’ Strengths and Struggles

This is chapter 3 from the book by Benita A. Esposito, MA:

The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert:

Wisdom for Emotional Healing and

Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self Read more

Book Introduction. The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert

Wisdom for Emotional Healing and
Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self

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“The hardest battle you are ever going to have to fight is the battle to be just you.”
–Leo F. Buscaglia

This book will appeal to all highly sensitive people, but if you are a smart sensitive introvert who has struggled with anxiety, depression, trauma or relationships, you’ll especially relate to my memoir and teaching stories about the Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self. Read more