“Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength, not weakness.” -Ignacio Novo-
Hands up if you are raising a sensitive child just like me. How do you know if your child is sensitive or stubborn? It’s really easy to misunderstand the two and deal with your child, thinking that they are stubborn.
Let me tell you what I have learnt with my child
Signs that you may have a highly sensitive child are –
- Sensitive and get overwhelmed by bright light, loud noise, strong smell, and coarse fabric, and believe me when I tell you this, I have one who hates loud noise even at birthday parties and shuts his ears and stands or wants to leave. I used to get worked up about it, but after reading through and understanding him better, I respect his decision and try helping him out. It generally fades away as they grow older.
- Hating coarse fabric and pulling out tags from their clothes is something I have heard mothers talk about. This is also a part of sensitivity in children.
- A highly sensitive child is often taken as one who is shy and an introvert. But you should know that actually, they are highly perceptive and notice the small changes in things around them.
- Do not like violence or violent behaviour and are extremely empathetic towards people and situations.
- Too much work in a short time can get them overwhelmed and rattled.
It is not easy handling a hypersensitive child, especially when they have meltdowns. If your child ticks most of the boxes above and you have a highly sensitive child, please pay more attention to them. Deal with them with love and patience, even when they are at their worst. It is an inborn temperament or style that is found in about twenty per cent of children and nearly all animals.
How Can You Help Them?
Understanding Their Emotions
It is crucial to deal with such children with patience. It is equally essential to understand their feelings and not react because they are clingy to you, and you need your space. Please make sure they can express themselves in words. It might be equally frustrating for your child as it is for you not to be able to tell you things properly and have you understand. You need to understand that. Since sensitive children feel every emotional strongly, they are likely to get over-excited, super angry, or very upset.
Find Outlets For Emotions And Downtime
Since these children get worked up by large crowds and chaotic environments, avoid over-scheduling them. Have space in your house for them to calm down like maybe their room where they can colour, hear music and be themselves. This will give them a chance at downtime and they will be able to unwind.
Avoid Harsh Discipline
Avoid labelling them ‘naughty,’ selfish, cry-baby, whiner, etc. Instead, use positive phrases like ‘kind-hearted,’ ‘kind,’ ‘intense.’ Give a reward for the behaviour you want them to have rather than punishing them for being loud, clingy or shy. Sensitive children are often very compassionate and kind, and dealing with them with compassion and love helps them deal with situations better and makes them listen to you too.