Tuesday, July 1, 2014
The 5 Great Things About Intense Kids
Congratulations! If you are reading this, chances are you parent an intense child, teach an intense child or work with an intense child (or maybe all of the above). While it may be easy to focus on some of the downsides of an intense temperament, it's equally important to pay attention to the upside of intensity. And there is one.
In fact, we've pulled together five examples here:
1. No holding back. They express their feelings without holding back. It's hard to imagine these kids ever developing ulcers. If they are anxious or worried about something, they will let you know. If they are mad, you won't be left in the dark. If they are disappointed, you as well as the neighbor two doors down will hear about it. (Note: Anxiety can manifest as anger, agitation and more. Pay close attention to times during which your child becomes overly emotional. It may be their "normal", or it may be anxiety. Be sure to seek the input from a qualified and licensed behavioral health provider, if you suspect your child has anxiety. Like most concerns, the earlier it is treated, the better. Ask your family doctor for a referral.)
2. No questions. You always know where you stand with intense kids. If they are upset with something you did or said, you will hear about it. There is no question.
3. Sensitivity. They often have a sensitivity for things that others do not. They experience emotions with such ferocity, it is hard for those of us who do not share in their zest for life to sometimes understand. Help kids learn to embrace this sensitivity, without letting it control them. This can absolutely be done. Arming kids with the skills to manage anger and disappointment can go a long way.
4. It Goes Both Ways. To the degree that they express intense discomfort and disappointment, they give equal measure to the more upbeat feelings of joy and excitement. I like to think about these kids as "living large". If you love listening to the rafter-shaking whoops of an intense, laughing kid, remember the flip-side of that is equal intensity when things go south. It really can help you, as a parent or care provider to keep this in mind during challenging times.
5. They have the capacity for greatness. Every human being has this capacity, I'm a firm believer. Intense kids, even more so. They have so much energy, they need help learning how to channel it. Once they can do so, they will soar.
What do you see as the upside of having an intense kid? We'd love to hear about it! Share in the comments below!
More resources for intense kids:
Intense Kids and Sportsmanship
When Children Scream and Yell
The Care and Keeping of an Angry Child
The Making of a Mother (especially for mothers of intense kids)