High sensitivity is a genetic trait. Highly sensitive children are born that way. Their nervous systems are highly attuned to what is going on around them. Parents who are raising sensitive children would benefit from employing these highly sensitive child parenting strategies.
The term highly sensitive refers to someone who is able to notice more than others, processes more, and will just be more aware of what happens outside themselves.
Being highly sensitive doesn’t necessarily apply to intelligence.
Traits of a Highly Sensitive Child
You\’ll find that these kids are more likely to notice more things in their surroundings than other children.
Here are some characteristics of a highly sensitive Child
- Those with high levels of sensitivity observe their surroundings more and absorb more sensory information than others. This allows them to notice subtleties that others may not. They will pick up sounds in their environment and notice things others won’t.
2. Highly sensitive children also process information in a thorough manner. These children think and observe before acting.
3. Since they tend to operate very carefully and with a lot of conscientiousness, they tend to be quieter. In addition to being thoughtful and thorough, some are extremely creative as a result.
4. Highly sensitive children are empathetic toward other people. They adopt the emotions of those around them, even animals.
5. Social cues, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and emotion, are more apparent to them.
6. Children with high sensitivity can easily become overwhelmed with all the stimulation they experience. Unexpected or sudden changes to their plans are more likely to cause them distress.
7. Overstimulating them can trigger fatigue or overwhelm more easily
Is a Highly Sensitive Child a Real Thing?
Dr. Thomas Boyce explains that a good way to detect sensitivity in children is similar to what one does when one gets an orchid.
The majority of kids are like dandelions; they grow everywhere and are resilient. A more temperamental child needs a more conducive environment, but a highly sensitive child needs a perfect environment to be able to function.
Sensitive kids tend to notice the tiniest little details. If you change something in a room, they will pick up on that, and they are also more likely to remember the details of something.
You will find that they will take an interest in serious topics and ask questions in a very mature way.
Highly sensitive kids are more likely to have overwhelming reactions. In addition to sound, light, taste, and too cold temperatures, they are also sensitive to labels on their clothing.
How do you Parent a Highly Sensitive Child?
Children with high sensitivity benefit from learning how to manage and regulate their emotions. These kids experience emotions with heightened intensity, which may result in overstimulation, depending on their environment.
By fostering your children’s ability to manage excessive stimulation, you can help them remain regulated, and they may even learn how to avoid excessive stimulation in some cases.
How to Parent Emotionally Intense Children?
According to Dr. Thomas Boyce, When highly sensitive children grow up in a home without structure, they do much worse later in life.
Structure and routine seem to work well for highly sensitive kids. Children with high levels of sensitivity do best if they are raised in a very structured environment. Children who are raised in loving, attentive homes with routines that are consistent thrive. It is also helpful for these kids to have a predictable and consistent environment, as it helps them feel safe.
You can help your children cope with some of these situations by not letting them go hungry or overtired. Give him downtime after school to prevent overstimulation.
It is Okay for Boys to be Highly Sensitive
Sensitivity is not gender-biased. Boys and girls alike can be sensitive. It is not uncommon to see negative attitudes associated with boys being sensitive.
Unfortunately, we teach our boys not to cry and not to show any emotion except anger. For an extremely sensitive child, this is extremely difficult.
Especially for children who are more sensitive, it is important for parents to be aware of the advice they give their little boys about crying.
Parents can create an environment that is more conducive for their children and also allow their children to express their emotions without fear of repercussions.
The parents have the greatest influence on their children and thus play a big role in the way they frame things. Educating the child about expressing emotion and regulating their emotions can help the child feel validated instead of feeling shame and embarrassment because of their emotional outbursts.
Challenges Highly Sensitive Kids Face
Children who are Highly Sensitive face the challenge of finding a safe place to express their emotions.
The learning process for highly sensitive children involves finding their place in the world. This is exacerbated by the need to find a way to manage their emotions by learning to recognize when they are getting overstimulated and need a break. More importantly, they need to find a space to regulate their emotions when needed.
At their young age, they take on so much more than a person who is less sensitive or less vulnerable. They can become overwhelmed or stimulated a lot faster than most, thus, It is imperative to provide downtime for them to decompress.
You Shouldn’t Tell your Child to Stop Crying
When children are crying or sad, or when they are emotional, our response to them is crucial. Stopping a crying child by telling him/her that they should stop is not validating. You can offer them a hug when you acknowledge their sadness and tell them it\’s okay to be sad.
Help them by giving them tools to manage sad and stressful situations. Talk to them about taking a walk when they are stressed out or taking a big breath like blowing up a balloon in your stomach.
Engage them in mindfulness breathing exercises. To do this, let them lie on their tummies with a teddy bear on their tummies and have them lift the teddy up and down with their tummies
Should you Punish a Child for Crying
It is key that kids know their emotions are fine, but their behavior is not. Do not tell your child that he should not be sad if he is crying.
As a result of minimizing our children’s emotions repeatedly, they become less likely to understand themselves. Furthermore, they show more anger outwardly.
If the punishment for negative emotions is imposed, children are likely to be more reactive. You should discipline the behavior of your child, not the emotion.
Meltdowns, tantrums, and shutting down are common in sensitive kids. Often, this is the result of information or emotion overload from activities normally associated with kids. Due to the high levels of noticing, thinking, and feeling, this occurs.
It is crucial to establish a routine for your household when parenting a child with high sensitivity. When there is a consistent structure and routine in the home, as well as firm boundaries, highly sensitive kids will feel safe and will therefore flourish.
I hope you will find these Highly Sensitive Child Parenting Strategies useful.