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Raising a Sensitive Daughter

by Kay Ireland, studioD

Having a sensitive child in your family means you might spend more time mopping up tears and quelling fears that the average parent. You may have a child who is in tune with and respectful of the needs and feelings of others, even if she can be a little dramatic and socially awkward at times. Respect your daughter's innate sensitivity by focusing on the bright side of her personality, helping her to cultivate her talents while providing her with an emotional safe haven at home.

Appreciate Her Personality

While an overly sensitive outburst can disrupt your day and cause you to roll your eyes, it's important that you respect and accept your daughter's sensitivity. Instead of focusing on the negative parts of a sensitive child -- social anxiety, tendency to cry -- focus on the positive traits that come along with her sensitivity, such as creativity, intuition, getting along with others and a respect for authority. By focusing on and nurturing the positive side of a sensitive child, you can help boost her confidence and help yourself appreciate her natural traits.

Provide a Quiet Space

Sensitive children often have their emotions heightened when in large groups with lots of noise and in the busy atmospheres at home and at school. You can help your sensitive daughter unwind by giving her a calm, quiet space with some of her favorite things, suggests Maureen Healy writing for "Psychology Today." For instance, if you find that she's the most agitated after a long day at school, have her make a pit stop in a quiet space in your home where she can read or listen to music for a few minutes. The quiet "me" time can help your sensitive daughter unwind after a socially difficult day to reduce outbursts at home.

Discipline Gently

Your sensitive daughter doesn't need a heavy hand when it comes to discipline. Her sensitivity means she probably beats herself up over small infractions anyway. Instead, when and if you need to discipline your daughter, use "feeling" words that she'll understand. Instead of telling her that you don't like her attitude, try saying something like, "When you talk to me with that voice, it makes me feel like you don't respect me. Do you need some time to think about it?" She'll relate to your feelings and emotions best and likely won't need a harsh punishment afterward.

Focus on Strengths

Sensitive girls have a lot to offer your family and their friends, so it's a mistake to focus on the negative parts of parenting a sensitive daughter. Even if your daughter gets a little emotional or has trouble with social situations or criticism, there's a good chance that she's also very nurturing and creative. Offer encouragement and praise for those positive traits that she has through her sensitivity; she needs to hear that you accept and appreciate her. Acknowledging her strengths can give her the confidence boost she needs for social situations and to keep the peace at home.

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

Photo Credits

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