Highly Sensitive Boys

raising-gentle-boysBeing sensitive oftentimes starts as a struggle in our not-so sensitive world. It may be doubly so if you’re a boy and you feel things more deeply. Of course, there are certain families and cultures where being a boy is still equated with being tough (not highly feeling). Today’s highly sensitive boy can only truly thrive if he learns how to embrace his gentle nature (emotions) and also develop his strength (physical, mental, spiritual) so he can be fully himself.

One of the things I’ve recognized is that sensitive boys who’re mentored (formal or informally) are better equipped to handle challenges, develop self-confidence and share their unique gifts than their counterparts who only learn by trial and error. Specifically, I believe sensitive boys need a mentor because many times:

  • Men in their lives may not be highly sensitive. They love little Larry or Luke but they may not instantly “get him” so helping him manage his emotions may not be their forte yet they want him to be strong and soft — something they might not have learned fully themselves.
  • Emotions aren’t necessarily discussed among men. Helping a boy learn how to skillfully handle their emotions and discuss them sets him up for more life success. Just today, I was on Skype with Noah who said, “thanks for helping me” after we role-played how to handle a particular situation.
  • They are different. Imagine being a zebra in a herd of horses. Now that’s how a sensitive boy feels in his classroom unless he’s in art, acting or some sort of specialized school for “zebra’s” where most kids are sensitive. Helping a sensitive boy embrace his sensitivity as a good thing helps him in every area of his life.

Over and over again I see how mentoring can be a life-changer for many boys, especially if they are struggling with outbursts, making friends, being teased, feeling confident and handling their intense emotions. Once you find someone that can genuinely help your child manage their intensity and turn their struggles into strengths keep that person on speed dial. They may not have all the answers but the support and guidance can be invaluable!

 

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Schools

Over the last week, I’ve had dozens of calls from harried parents on where to send their HSC next year for school. The concerns range from minor like little Lucy just “doesn’t fit in” to greater where children refuse to return to where they’ve been going. So to help you begin thinking about “the right school” for your highly sensitive child, please consider:

  • Every child is different – There are no “quick fixes” for HSC and school. One child may thrive at Waldorf, while another hates it. The important point is to understand what your child uniquely needs to thrive (i.e. type of structure, flexibility, emphasis on the arts) and help find a school that’s a positive match. One of my clients, Tom, is a top-rated tennis player at age 11 and he’s transferring to a tennis academy so he can play part of the day (i.e. channel his incredible energy, hone skills) and then complete his academic requirements the other part. 
  • School fit is imperative – One mom, Ruth, asked me today: “Do I need a special needs school for my son?” And the truth is your HSC son needs a school that values his sensitivity and gets him. Oftentimes this may be a non-traditional school whether it’s a charter or magnet school, which lowers cost or a private school is up to you. I have one family, The Ings, who transferred their son to paraochial school even though they aren’t Catholic or religious – it was just the best school in their neighborhood for their spiritual son, and he loves it. So thinking “out of the box” pays off big-time.
  • Creativity is key – HSC need schools that allow them to be their unqiue selves and share their voices. The enemy of sensitive children is a rigid curriculum, lots of testing (high-pressure, timed) and no room for individual expression.

Understanding what’s available in your area for schooling and then picking a school for your son or daughter takes effort. My suggestion is to involve your intuitive, likely opininated and highly intelligent HSC so they can “buy-in” to their new educational experience. Of course, show them only the schools that are really possible for them and get assistance as needed from a professional or caring friend that can really guide you in making the smartest choice for your child.

The Science of Sensitivity

download (3)Science is a way of thinking more than a body of knowledge.
Carl Sagan

One thing I know for sure is that highly sensitive children perceive their world differently, and respond in kind. There is growing scientific data showing that their brains are different, too. It’s not better or worse but with different tendencies. In Brain & Behavior, a 2014 study explained where highly sensitive people were studied using an MRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) machine. It revealed that highly sensitive people have an increased blood flow to the parts of their brain dealing with emotions especially when they are stimulated (i.e. shown photos of happiness, sadness, strangers etc.).

Although, this is one study it points to the bigger issue. Highly sensitive adults and children are biologically different than their “less sensitive” counterparts. Their brains are hyper aware of emotions and highly responsive to them.

In 2014, the New York Times also reported that autistic children have synapses in the brain that are not trimmed in adolescence leaving them with an oversupply (August 21, 2014). Why this is important is that it suggests a biological basis for their oversensitivity to noise, and a similar thing may be going-on with our highly sensitive boys and girls. Said differently, your children experience and respond to their worlds from a deeply personal yet biologically driven place.

Science is continuing to catch up with commonsense. We as intelligent adults realize our children see the world differently, and what feels like “no big deal” to us is rather a “huge” deal to them. This is not just them acting out, but is actually rooted in their biological experience of the world and soon, I believe we’ll know that for sure.

Actually, I am going to go out on a limb and say that sensitivity will be detected in our blood in the future. It’s been my personal experience as a highly sensitive child, and now adult that I have never fit into the western medical model (i.e. lower base temperature, strange allergies, hyper sensitivity to anesthesia, contraindicated on many medicines, unusual blood condition etc.). I am not saying your children have any of this, I seem to be extra lucky (laugh here) with experiencing things so others don’t need to.

(Excerpt from Highly Sensitive Kids whitepaper, 2015)

Who are the sensitive kids?

Beautiful Girl on Floor Meditating

Oftentimes, I am asked: Who are the sensitive kids? 

Sensitive kids is an “umbrella” term covering many types of children. They may range from developmentally delayed (for example, autism) to intellectually gifted with an extremely high IQ. Being sensitive isn’t related to your development but is actually part of your true nature – inherent personality, inner self, characteristics, and mindset. Therefore many boys and girls who are born with disabilities (i.e. down syndrome, deaf, blind and more) are also highly sensitive.

Of all the varying types of sensitive kids, I work the most with developmentally regular yet sensitive children known in the metaphysical world as:

  • Indigos
  • Crystals
  • Star Children

Indigos are sensitive yet strong-willed children with a shared mindset. They tend to stand up for what they believe in and oftentimes say, “That’s not fair” because they came to make this world a place that works for everyone. Indigo is also the predominant energy coming to the planet now, and this fast-moving energy can go in either direction quickly (+ or -). So helping the indigos is one of my joys, especially since I have indigo energy. To learn more about these wise yet fierce souls, check out my book: The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids.

Crystals are the healers. They are the most sensitive yet don’t have the defiance of the indigo. Crystal children need an impeccably clean home environment and feel peaceful when things are in order as well as calm. Helping them create atmospheres that work for them is pivotal to their success.

Starlings (star children) are otherworldly and obssessed with outer space. They deeply believe their “home” is out there and have amazing intuitive and healing abilities. Actually, it’s very difficult to put into words these boys and girls abilities since they are multidimensional.

Being Sensitive

Being sensitive doesn’t give you a license to be a brat or act rudely. Sensitive boys and girls merely need to:

  • Learn how to manage their sensitivity
  • Develop ways to handle their intense emotions skillfully
  • Be easier on themselves (and others)

Just yesterday, I was working with a 9-yr old highly sensitive boy named Fox. I asked Fox, “How was you trip?” and he replied, “good.” I then asked, “Have you been on an airplane before?” and Fox immediately got angry and replied, “I’ve been on tons of airplanes. I’ve been to Taiwan, Canada, New York, Florida, Hawaii, China and Washington!” Of course, Fox didn’t intend to come off as a spoiled brat but that’s clearly how he acted in our conversation. I just said, “Wow, you are really fortunate to have traveled to so many places” and he said, “guess so” because he wasn’t focused on being grateful. He got upset that I couldn’t read his mind and instantly know that he was a well-traveled child.

Fox is an intelligent child but also one who hasn’t yet learned how to pause, take a breath, and respond from an intelligent place. He is in the constant mode of having knee-jerk reactions and responding to life from a very emotional place. Granted Fox is nine years old, but that’s not too young to learn how to interact with others in a socially acceptable manner and to learn how to manage his sensitivity so it’s not a liability (which it clearly is at this point). Fox’s mom told me, “I wonder how much I should just let him be how he is and how much I need to change him.” What I encouraged her is that it’s not about changing her son but about helping her son make his sensitivity work for him – not against him.

The Path of Sensitivity

Over the last few weeks, I have received countless calls from parents and professionals asking me: What do I do?

Upset-child-by-Lotus-Carrol-Creative-CommonsBecause sensitivity doesn’t emerge sweetly or easily at first. It can be fierce and confusing. For example, I had a psychologist contact me about her 11 year-old client who refused to take the subway because of the noise. It was too loud and upsetting for her. Of course, this may not be a big deal if she was visiting New York, but this is her family’s primary mode of transporation. Or how about the mom who is scratching her head because her son, a 7 year-old gifted first grader, refuses to go to school? What does she do? Examples like this are endless because there’s more than just sensitivity going-on.

TURNING STRUGGLE TO STRENGTH

But to help point you in the right direction, I believe every sensitive boy and girl needs a mentor. They need to have someone with a similar nature who has been successful (therapist, teacher, mentor, wise guide) help them to manage their sensitivities, develop emotional and social intelligences as well as life skills. Of course, I love my global mentoring program but this isn’t necessarily a commercial for me – it’s an urging for parents and professionals to find “the right person” to help their child on their path of turning the struggle with sensitivity into a true strength.

What i know for sure is that being highly sensitive and intuitive was given to our children as a gift, not a burden. But to transform it into a true asset these children need to gain skills from someone who has been there and done that. Someone who has already been the alchemist of their life and can show your children how they can navigate this not-so sensitive world with more ease. The path really has been paved, you just need to get them on it.

Aura Colors

AuraDaVinci2-264x300

Children and animals oftentimes see personal energy fields (lights) around people. These lights or colors are referred to as the aura. The color of your aura can share vital information about your personality and life path. Just this week, I got to meet with Pam Oslie, author of Infinite You and Life Colors, who has gone on Dr. Oz and CNN to discuss aura colors. Her expertise on this subject was refreshing and also her ability to “read me” was spot-on since I have an unusual aura and she picked up on many of the nuances. I was impressed.

KIDS WHO SEE AURAS

When I was little I saw auras like many children, but as time marched on I learned not to see the aura. Intuitive and sensitive kids today are different though — they can learn how to see energy, and also ground their abilities in this world without “cutting off” their connection. They are born in a time where intuition is prized and it can help them navigate their world (i.e. avoid problems, streamline data, experience success easier). Of course, it’s not always easy having an uber sensitive system (mind, body, and spirit) but if you learn how to strengthen the gifts and minimize the liabilities life can be an amazing adventure. (remind me to tell you tree falling story!)

MENTORING SPIRITUAL KIDS

What I know for sure is that everyone, especially sensitive kids benefit from having a mentor to help them navigate this not-so sensitive world. It’s the whole reason why I created my mentoring program so that intuitive boys and girls can move through childhood with more ease, and get the awesome opportunity to be who they came here to be with their gifts intact, skills honed and self-expression celebrated. The time really is now for these sensitive souls to soar and it’s up to us to help them!

Sensitivity

Indigo-Children-aka-Crystal-Children-Test-Questions-Adult-too

What do I mean by sensitivity? 

This is a great question. There is a science of sensitivity, which explans how highly sensitive children and adults have highly responsive nervous systems. They feel things more deeply and respond quickly. Sensitive people tend to be more emotional, and have heightened perception (atmosphere, sounds, smells and other sensory input). Less sensitive people (for lack of a better term) might not think fluroscent lighting is too bright but for a sensitive adult or child this can be extremely uncomfortable. Oftentimes, I describe highly sensitive adults and children as having a smaller window of comfort and by widening that window we can help them thrive in this not-so sensitive world.

But when I discuss sensitivity, I am not simply referring to the common description as being highly emotional, responsive to sensory input or even selective about clothing or food (i.e. picky eater). I am squarely referring to sensitivity as something beyond a deeply emotional state to actually connecting with Source Energy. I am referring to their:

  • Intuition
  • Psychic Abilities
  • Creativity
  • Genuis

Well, there are plenty of professionals working with children on how to manage their stress and anxiety (okay, I do that too) but my main focus is how to help our highly sensitive and intuitive children succeed in this world without sacrificing their connection to Source. My goal is help our new children, teens and young adults move through their lives learning how to stay connected —- read, hold onto their intuitive connection — and also bring their unique gifts to the world with success.

Who are the indigos?

Who are the indigos?

(Excerpt taken from my book, The Energetic Keys to Indigo Kids, pg 27-30)

Indigo Kids are unique in that they hold two opposing qualities simultaneously: high sensitivity and fierceness. So they are extremely sensitive like the “highly sensitive children,” as defined by Elaine Aron in her book, The Highly Sensitive Child, but what differentiates them is their personality. I prefer to use the concept of “the indigo personality” to capture their shared characteristics, such as;

  • Are highly creative
  • Are extremely energetic
  • Are gifted in certain areas (for example, mathematical genius, poor reading skills)
  • Have a need for fairness
  • Prize honesty (almost above all else)
  • Feel equal to authority
  • Hate rules
  • Refuse to do certain things
  • Want special treatment
  • Are strong-willed
  • Waver between grandiosity and low self-esteem
  • May be prone to depression
  • Have high sensitivity (sounds, smells, touch, sight, etc)
  • Have sharpened intuition
  • Doesn’t respond positively to authoritative parenting
  • Have built in BS detector (immediately know dishonesty)
  • Tend to leave things incomplete
  • Cannot be rushed
  • May have fetish (for example, only want to wear princess dresses)
  • Like playing alone (unless with other indigos)
  • Get “hooked” on things and can’t let go
  • Are independent at times, clingy at other times
  • Seek meaningful friendships

Understanding the core characteristics of the indigo personality is very empowering. You no longer feel alone. Having worked with thousands of indigos, I can say that these attributes animate themselves differently in children but the indigo short summary is this:

  • High sensitivity
  • Giftedness (in at least one area)
  • Incredible creativity
  • Strong energy of defiance
  • Inner motivation
  • Intuitive intelligence (very high!)

When I told you early on that I beat to my own drummer I took it in stride. Now, I realize that I was merely beating to an indigo drum — which is unique, unusual to the mainstream, and deeply powerful as a force for change. Indigos see, feel  and experience life differently than thier more mainstream counterparts. They tend to have an usually high level of creativity, sensitivity, giftedness, and angry energy to channel.

This angry or warrior energy that defines many indigos isn’t a bad thing. It is the energy that breaks down broken systems (think: public school systems) and creates better ways of doing things. OF course, the challenge is to raise indigo kids to use their incredibly sensitive, highly responsive, and fierce energy as a force for good.

 

What I Believe

I believe that sensitivity is given to us as a gift.

I believe sensitivity can be an asset.

I believe that it oftentimes starts as a struggle.

But with guidance, you (or your children) can turn sensitivity into a strength.

I believe that many uber successful people on the planet are sensitive.

They have transformed what could be a liability into a true asset.

The way has been paved for us as creative, innovative, gifted and yes, sensitive people to succeed.

I believe that we can’t do it alone.

I believe that being mentored is one of the best ways to transform sensitivity into a strength.