Sunday, September 23, 2012

My High Needs Toddler

My daughter is two. I adore her. My husband adores her. Her house is filled with toys. Her days are filled with crafts, projects, outside play, games, movies, reading stories, and tons and tons of love, hugs, kisses and cuddles from me. I am a stay at home mom. I give her my all, 24-7. 

Today we were playing tag/hide and seek (the toddler version where I hide behind a tree, she "finds" me, chases me, and catches me). We were laughing and playing and having tons of fun. All of a sudden her face turned sad, she walked away slowly and sat by this fence. Miserable.

This happens a dozen times a day. She won't tell me why. I have no idea how to start guessing. She has never been abused. Or yelled at. Or made fun of. Or been called a name. Not once. She has never been left alone to cry-it-out. She has never been physically or emotionally scarred. Her life is practically perfect. And yet sometimes she gets so, sad.

Dr. Sears describes "The High Needs Child" as strong willed, intense, super sensitive, persistent, easily angered, defiant, prone to power struggles and tantrums. They are also compassionate, empathetic, generous, assertive and determined. High needs children focus on the negative. They are also extra intelligent and have strong leadership qualities. (The Discipline Book Page 283). This is my daughter. This is my daily struggle. To help my high needs child thrive. To help her find sunshine when all she sees is negativity. To dwell on her good qualities and not let the difficult parts of her personality crush me...or crush her. This is hard. This is crucial. She is young. She is so easily influenced. Everything that I say and do (and everything I don't say and don't do) will impact this super sensitive child. For good or for bad. So much pressure. So much responsibility. So, so important. I must help my high needs child to thrive.

My daily prayer: "Dear God, please show me how."

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