Picture this: you’re hanging out with other parents after soccer practice. Your kid is upset and came to you early. You try to comfort them, but instead of calming down, they start kicking and yelling. Ouch! That hurts. You stay calm despite the fury.
The tantrum continues, and your husband steps in, taking off the cleat that hurt your shin. He’s frustrated and just trying to get your kid to listen.
Can you sense the tension? Can you see how it’s tough to connect in this moment?
I saw a situation like this a few weeks ago. The tension was so strong. I could feel the mother getting tense as her son kicked with everyone’s eyes on them. Also tense, the husband just wanted the tantrum to stop.
I felt awful for the mother and father, who only wanted to help their kid. I also felt sad for the little boy who couldn’t clearly express his needs and get the connection he desperately needed.
In times like this, it’s natural for parents to worry about what others are thinking about their kid, instead of focusing on what really matters—the kid. Connecting with your kid in moments like this isn’t easy. But when parents can ignore the thoughts about what others think (which we all naturally have) and just focus on connecting with the kid, amazing things can happen.
We all need connection, but sensitive kids sometimes struggle to ask for it in ways parents easily understand. Sometimes, the way a sensitive kid asks for connection can create more disconnection than actual connection.
Being part of an expat family adds another layer of difficulty. New environments make everyone tense, especially if there are struggles with belonging. Sometimes, expat parents don’t speak the same language, creating communication challenges for both parents and kids.
Sadly, there’s no easy fix for these situations. But knowing that the tension we bring challenges our connection is crucial for finding a path to a stronger connection.
If you found this and other newsletters helpful, I’d appreciate it if you’d share the information with other expat parents with sensitive kids. Here’s the link: freebie.mirsadahoffmann.com/newsletter
Psssttttt… If you’re feeling more tension than joy at home this week, know you’re not alone. Recognizing the tension is the first big step in making a change. Your kid is lucky to have YOU!
YOU are ahhhmazing!