Living with Intensity


“Like a plant turns to light, overexcitablity draws out a …person’s thoughts and behaviors….It is a lens that opens, widens, and deepens their perspective.” – Living With Intensity

Our saving grace these days

I WISH I had stumbled upon this book when my daughter was a child but because she didn’t express things the same way as our son, I overlooked what others may have seen as obvious.

Many of you have seen me start to speak out more about trying to help my beautifully active son. Time after time something may work for a moment but often seems more like a bandaid which has already lost its stick. In my search to figure this out, I stumbled upon an article suggesting this book…and cannot put it down. Each page sings the song of my children, some children I work closely with, my friends, myself. It doesn’t look at the symptoms as trouble and something to be drowned or silenced but instead sees them as secrets to a whole new realm – a way of opening their mind. It says the words I’ve heard my whole life (“too sensitive”) and those I’ve heard painted on my own children (“perfectionist, put in sports, etc) as clues to find a key to unlock an entire new realm.

I’ve been looking at this totally wrong. This isn’t a thing to suffocate and fix (neither can happen).

In younger years, I gave myself the luxury of carrying around a notebook and when inspiration hit me, no matter the time or place, I wrote. The world around would fade away and the pencil created a new one painted with language. I could not put it down until the feeling passed and the work was complete.

How have I not equated this to my own children?? Our son’s¬†inspiration comes in the form of energy. This is a sign – the same bubbling up feeling I have experienced – the same intense annoyance when someone disrupts that urge. In his world – this comes through as almost a breakdown when he has no outlet for energy, as mine probably comes out as moody.

This morning he wanted to numb his mind with TV and I wouldn’t let him. This came through as a frustration and attempt to not cry as he said he was bored and every suggestion I gave him failed. Finally I thought “use this” and started to ask him to find the missing number in the pattern,”2, 4, 6, __, 10″ or “20, 15, __, 5.” Suddenly, and almost as if he never was agitated, his mood switched and he became engrossed. Now, still with no TV on, he is happily skipping, playing with his sister, building towers and at peace.

This will not be what magically transforms normal discipline measures and corrective actions to now become successful. In fact, I highly doubt that will ever be the case, but it does give a new way of viewing and about 20 pages of references that provide an argument to what others may interpret as an excuse to allow my child to be overly active or the curse word of the decade – entitled. Neither is the case but given the option of giving your child swim lessons or throwing them in the water to figure it out and not jump in after if they start to drown, who wouldn’t pick the lessons?

So as I continue the search, I will post because as a parent, these are subjects we do not learn and per this book, if this is legitimate, they are not often taught even to those in education because this is a niche not a norm. Unfortunately the way his niche comes through will cause mass frustration if those around him do not attempt to understand and adjust their perspective. We are so fortunate his teacher is not one of the aforementioned and instead is a seeker of new ways and new tools.

This may not be the ticket, but it sure is reading like the right train. At least is gives hope and a breath to what is otherwise frustration.



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