As the parent of an Empath, I have to say it has been quite the challenge bringing up my child in a world full to the brim with emotion and misunderstanding, in among my own self discovery of my own gifts and the growth and learning that goes with it.
My child started off life the same way as any other perfectly imperfect child. He socialized well with other children, he did everything to the chart as far as developing as a young child.
But at around age 2 something extraordinary happened. It was as if everything speed up, he excelled in everything! His speech was incredible, speaking full sentences and being able to express himself extremely well. I called him my little sponge, because honestly he soaked up EVERYTHING in his environment and launched himself leaps and bounds ahead of all his little friends. He was the most popular child with his peers, everyone wanted to be close to him, because he was such fun and was always off being SUPER busy at something. He just kept going and going and going. Where he got this never ending supply of energy from, I had no clue but it certainly had me run ragged and many, many people telling me he needed to be on drugs to calm his energy down. If only I knew then what I do now, i wouldn't have been so hard on myself as a parent, I wouldn't have wondered day in and day out, what i was doing wrong, and what if what I was being told was true, what if he did need drugs, what if he did have ADHD.
Well i flatly refused to believe it! Something inside of me said it's just not possible, I know he doesn't need drugs, it's something else and I was determined to find out just what that was at all costs. My son is an amazing sensitive, huge hearted little guy and this other side to him well there had to be a reason and I was definitely not going to listen to others about drugs, that was not even on my radar as a choice. I would find, research, read and study him and whatever I could find until I could help my son stay in balance as much as possible. As a parent that's all any of us want for our children, for them to feel loved and be happy. Well of course he's an empath, he just picked up on 20+ preschoolers never ending energy and then wiped himself out at the end of it, clearly not his fault just a lack in understanding on both our parts and or how to manage it.
Because of his learning speed I enrolled him in a Montessori because I thought well it would be the perfect environment for him and was all for teaching children amazing things from a very young age. He LOVED it, in fact he thrived on it. Looking back I believe the balance of alone time with socialising on a much smaller scale helped him immensely navigate empath waters.
As a preschooler I quickly learnt that the way to handle his never ending energy was to also match his sleep patterns to fit. Even though the child could keep going, it become VERY obvious that he also needed exactly 12 hours sleep a night to match. The problem was how to get him into bed? It was a fight every night, if i didn't get him to bed at the exact time he needed to, he could be up for hours. It was almost like if I didn't run to clockwork or their was an upset in his routine, by george did I pay for that for at least two days after, with his emotions all over the place, anger, grief, just completely beside himself, to the point where some days I would just have to shut him in his room and pray that the toys that would be thrown around the room and towards the door wouldn't in anyway hurt my little guy. I had no idea what to do as a mother with this, how to protect him from himself, how to handle those intense tantrums which could result in not four seasons in one day, but several different levels of emotion in a half hour and that was a smaller tantrum, some of the longer one's could go on for up to two hours, before pure exhaustion hit and he'd managed to identify with his own energy again. I now realise that as an empath child that 12 hours awake, 12 hours sleep was crucial to balance within his tiny little self and crucial to the empath as a way of refueling their tanks, so he could cope with the level of emotion in the world that surrounded him the next day and not suffer from chronic fatigue that i'm sure hits many empathic children amongst a myriad of other things they are drugged for.
It's amazing how quickly as a parent you start to adapt your own behaviour to cope with your child without even realising it. I realised after much trial and error that the only way to deal with the level of emotion that ripped through my child, was not to get angry with him, not to get frustrated with him but even though some days I was exhausted the only way i could calm him down, was to allow the emotion to rip through him in his own space, with no one around and when he had calmed down, to not get angry with him (because if I did, he would match it and give it back x 10 and then it may start all over again) but to just sit with him tell him how much I loved him and let him settle back into his own energy. Oh how I wish i knew then, what I do now, I could have helped him so much more. If there's one piece of advice I could give the parent of an empath now, it would be to focus on keeping your own emotions as level as possible when dealing with an empath child, keep calm, centered and focused on a positive outcome for both you and your child. That way you create a safe, peaceful space for them to relax and find their center again. Their behaviour on some level just isn't their fault, but it's up to us to nurture our empaths and provide them with strategies to help them the best way we can in an environment where if we can't homeschool them, they have to be a part of.
Well everything went semi smoothly until he hit school. Up until then he had been surrounded by smaller amounts of children and never a full day like at school, in fact he was still taking afternoon naps to rejuvenate after pre school for at least 2 hours every day right up until the week before he hit age 5. I was excited for him to start school as that never ending energy I thought was bound to slow down with a full day and no sleep. And he was so good at socialising and making friends, I thought he would be home and hosed. Oh how little did I know.......
©Rebecca Fox R.M.