Earlier today I was on Skype with a 10 year-old highly sensitive girl named Jessie. She was telling me about how a girl in her gym class who said, “Jessie, No offense – but you’re not very good at basketball” and Jessie was stunned. She didn’t have anything to say. Not only were her feelings hurt and she was humilitated in front of her gym class but she was left speechless.
What I did with Jessie was role-play this situation over so she could come up with the scripts (language) to use when she needed to stand up for herself. Jessie is naturally a sweet, shy and sensitive child who feels things deeply. Sometimes things go in so deeply with Jessie that she cannot access language, and that’s normal. Helping her to have “ready made” sayings that feel comfortable for her when she needs to stand up for herself is essential to her positive emotional development. One saying was, “I know I’m good and we all need to pick someone together” versus letting the pushy girl pick the center for the team.
The good news is after a few rounds of role-playing, I began to see Jessie’s confidence emerge. What I suggest for any parent, professional or caring adult is not to undervalue the immense gain some role-playing might give your HSC.