The Proactive Parenting Coach Newsletter September 2018
The PPC Monthly Newsletter is finally off hiatus! Thank you for your patience this past year as my family took time off to make a move and get settled in our new home.
Since our last Newsletter we sold our home of 18 years, moved into a temporary home for 3 months, and then finally ended up finding and moving in to our new cabin home - in beautiful Idyllwild, CA USA. It has taken me a little time to acclimate and recuperate from the move, and minor surgery, but we are pretty much settled now and ready to get on with the next chapter of our lives. With the move to our local mountains we were looking for a slower pace, more peace, nature, family time, new creative inspiration - and more time to explore it. I am happy to say that we have gained all these things and more, and are very happy in our new home.
With our move now in the past, I am so looking forward to having more time to write and coach (my passions), organize Meetups in our new location, and just continuing to do what I love to do - share proactive parenting information, resources, inspiration and more, with other parents striving to support the special social, emotional and educational needs of gifted, highly sensitive, highly creative, and other unique-needs children.
I have taken a little more time in this month's Newsletter to write about my family and our move, because so much has happen over the last year and since our last Newsletter, and when you are raising a gifted, highly sensitive and highly creative child - many issues related to proactive parenting a unique-needs child will arise, so I've shared a little about our personal journey.
Another change to our Newsletter this month is that after the introduction, the remainder of the Newsletter will be accessed through a provided link to our newly created "The PPC Newsletter" page on the The Proactive Parenting Coach website.
I hope you enjoy reading this month's posts and articles!
Until next month,
Hugs & Happy Parenting!
Our Family - Our New Home
We made the move to our new home for many reasons, one of them being that my highly sensitive daughter feels most at peace in the mountains, many HSP's do. Another, was that all three of us were ready for a little more peace in our lives, less traffic, less house to keep up, and more time to explore each of our own versions of creativity. For Abbey, she's hoping for new inspiration for developing her characters, animating, writing stories and scripts for her animated series in planning. For my husband, in addition to remodeling our cabin and building himself a garage for all his woodworking and metal fabrication machinery, he has been looking forward to creating a line of rustic furniture, he has been thinking about doing it for a while now, and I think the mountains would be a perfect place for it. And for me, I'm hoping the clean air up here will clear the cobwebs out of my head and allow me even more time for doing what I love most - writing, and sharing about proactive parenting and how we can better understand and support the social, emotional, and educational needs of our gifted, highly sensitive, highly creative and other unique-needs children.
Our new town, Idyllwild, is known as an "arts" town, the world-renowned Idyllwild Arts High School is here. Families send their highly creative and creatively gifted children to this boarding high school from all over the world. My daughter won't be attending the high school, but they have some great summer programs that could support her career ambitions and our interest-based homeschooling that we hope to take advantage of. In addition to the school, we are looking forward to experiencing all that our new town has to offer, there is always a handful of unique art events on the calendar each month. I'm looking forward to exploring and sharing these events with my art-loving daughter, both of us are looking forward to sharing our new-found favorites with our Meetup friends on and off the hill.
*Last month after all the above was written, the Cranston Fire in Riverside County CA, USA was started by a lone arsonist. The fire came within two streets of our home, and we were evacuated for one week. All is well, we and our home are safe, but it has been a journey, especially for my highly sensitive daughter. I made a post to my personal Facebook page titled - Highly Sensitive People, Trauma, & Recovery - about her journey, I have copied it below to share with you.
HIGHLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE, TRAUMA & RECOVERY
My daughter Abbey had an especially difficult time this last week, when we returned home after evacuating due to the fire. She was fine during five days of evacuation, focusing on just getting home, and excited about helping animals and people in need after the fire. But, when we got home, she started to have post-traumatic anxiety. The worst of it, lasted seven days, seven days of off and on panic attacks, little sleep, us sleeping together, being afraid of the color orange or any change in the look of the sun or sky. For gifted or highly sensitive children, existential thinking is part of the package, part of their natural and inherent makeup - trauma can bring on terrifying existential thoughts about dying and the existence, or lack of existence, of the earth or universe. They say highly sensitive people feel things up to ten times more intensely than the average person. So, they have a harder time with trauma. It can take them a lot of time to get over a traumatic event, much longer than most people. They need to be able to express all of their fears freely, they need to be given the extra time they need for their body and mind to heal, for them to feel safe again. During that time, they may question whether life, or the pain they experience, is worth going through? Fear of, and other thoughts about dying, are usually just part of the panic or existentialism and will lessen over time as they are able to express all their thoughts and feelings, and heal. (Always see a physician if these thoughts continue or there is any doubt about their safety.) With support and acceptance of who they are and all they feel, they can and will get past the trauma. I always say, and have seen proven true time after time, about people who are hurting, dealing with trauma or other difficult emotions, “The only thing that can hurt them - are the things they keep inside.” Denying or minimizing fears and feelings only increases them, or pushes them down deep inside where they will stay and fester until they come back to cause even bigger problems later in life. Let them express their feelings freely - Verbally; talking - crying until they can cry no more - screaming into a pillow, Creatively; drawing out difficult feelings or using other mediums, or Physically; punching a pillow - throwing a ball - smashing something...the important thing is just get those feelings OUT! Don’t tell them they shouldn’t be afraid, don’t tell them they are silly for not feeling safe, don’t compare them to others who process their feelings quicker or in a different way - just accept that what they say is true for them, help them put a name to their feelings, show them true empathy, sit with them, and instead of giving advice - ask them...what can I do to help?
Since this last Sunday, Abbey has been doing much better, almost all the way back to her happy, positive self. Since the fire, we have been counting how many positive things have come out of this negative experience. By reaching out for support during a trial-some time - we found a community and congregation of amazingly kind and supportive people who wanted to be there for us, we were contacted by a rehabbing organization about Abbey possibly becoming a rehabber and helping abandoned forest babies - a dream of hers, and, Abbey applied for her first volunteer job at our local dog/cat rescue - and she was hired! She starts this Saturday 🙂 .
New Articles - The Proactive Parenting Coach
LACK OF MOTIVATION IN HIGHLY CREATIVE CHILDREN
Many gifted and creative children seem to be naturally, if not obsessively, drawn to building and creating games like Legos and Minecraft. Both allow the child to adapt the activity to fill a particular interest and explore those interests as well as their own unique ideas and creativity in great depth...A lot of learning takes place when kids engage in learning through what interests them, but, where this is especially true is with highly creative or creatively-gifted children...highly creative or creatively-gifted kids are often seen as lacking in self motivation or disinterested in school and learning in general. Luckily, there is a way to engage highly creative kids, and even get them excited about learning something new! Read The Entire Article Here.
From The PPC Archives
“ALL TRUE ARTISTS, WHETHER THEY KNOW IT OR NOT, CREATE FROM A PLACE OF NO-MIND, FROM INNER STILLNESS." Eckhart Tolle
Allow your children to daydream. In today's society many parents frown on down-time, prioritizing rigidity, structured lessons and a full schedule to improve their children's "chance in life." The problem is, this approach doesn't work for every child, and can actually be harmful to highly creative and highly sensitive children. Because of this, many...emotionally and creatively-gifted children NEVER - find their passion, having such great potential but living a life unfulfilled, and misunderstood. Highly creative and/or sensitive children need time to "waste time" - to daydream...to find inner peace and awaken their creativity. PPC Articles About Highly Creative Children: The Highly Creative Child & Supporting Imagination & Creativity In Gifted Children
Our Meetups/Support Group
BUTTERFLY DAZE & OTHER SPECIAL EVENTS! - HELD EACH SPRING/SUMMER
While exploring our new town we stumbled upon - Butterfly Daze! A fun and educational kid's event organized by the local State and County parks association. There are many events like this one scheduled throughout the year, organized around various themes; art, music, hiking, nature, kids, social events, and more. We are looking forward to sharing this yearly event and many others with our Meetup friends in the coming years.
COUNTY PARK & NATURE CENTER VISIT & HIKE! - HELD QUARTERLY
*Do you live outside our Meetup area? - I encourage everyone to consider starting up a Meetup of their own! We started ours 6 years ago with no organizing experience. It's easy to get started on Meetup.com, and it's a great way to meet friends with similar interests and find local support.
STRESS, LEARNING, AND THE GIFTED (2E) CHILD
Stress, Learning & The Gifted Child (also applies to 2E, Highly Sensitive and Highly Creative Children) is the story of a former educator turned homeschooling mother. Willis points out that educators have a tendency to respond to the behavior rather than to troubleshoot the underlying source of the stress...It’s clear that if our goal is learning—and not creating a homogenous population of similarly-skilled adults—it shouldn’t matter if one child needs to learn differently within the context of a classroom. Teachers may balk at the extra work created by taking students’ stress levels into account, but such proactive remedies are certainly easier to deal with than a chronically misbehaving child. Read The Entire Article Here
A BIT ABOUT EMPATHS
Many HSP's/HSC's (Highly Sensitive People/Highly Sensitive Children) actually take on the feelings of others around them. They say they can feel what others are feeling - in a physical and/or emotional sense. I have known two people like this from my own family, my sister Laurie, and now my daughter Abbey. I also have friends now who are like this, some people call them empaths, this phenomenon is also known as energy-sensitivity, and is often part of the makeup of gifted individuals. I'm not sure I agree with all the empath definition entails, but I know for sure those with energy-sensitivity can feel what others feel, and get overwhelmed with crowds because of all the stimuli that is coming at them all at one time. It is exhausting for the HSP/empath, they need a lot of down time to recuperate, and they can't block out what they feel, it would be like someone telling you to just block out the blaring music at a concert, it is not possible for them to block out the energy; emotions, feelings and intuition, they at times take on from other people. There are some mindfulness/centering exercises that can help calm the anxiety that can go along with having such high awareness and sensory and emotional sensitivity, but nothing can ever take their heightened sensitivity to others feelings away - nor should they want it to be taken away. HSP's/empaths, due to their high sensitivity and compassion for others feelings, are some of the most kind, gently, loyal, caring, and compassionate people on the earth. If you happen to know or are in relationship with an empath, you are one of the lucky ones. If you can look past their sometimes; jumpiness, anxiousness, "over-concern" for others, need for comfort items/zones, and time alone to recuperate, you will find you have an honest and loyal friend who will be there to love and support you - for life. Hugs, Julie.
Inspiration - For Parent & Child
There are no bad children ~ Only those with unmet needs or unresolved pain...