Highly Sensitive Child

How To Effectively Handle Your Highly Sensitive Child
In this article:
What is a Highly Sensitive Child?
The characteristics of a highly sensitive child
How to deal with a hypersensitive child?

Have you wondered why your child cries more often than other children over minor issues? You may have a sensitive little one. So now what should you do? Still can’t figure it out? Here is an article that will help you improve the quality of life of your child.
What is a Highly Sensitive Child?

A hyper-sensitive child is someone born with a sensitive nervous system, which responds quickly even in low-stakes situations that might not even register with others.

   Such a child is quick to react to everything. They think about things in-depth. They are easily overwhelmed by seeing others in emotional distress. 

  Such children are either very calm, introverted, and very easy to raise, or are very active, stubborn, and demanding by nature.

The characteristics of a highly sensitive child

Many parents are surprised to see their child overwhelmed or distressed. They may as themselves: “Is my child overly sensitive?” It is generally observed that sensitivity usually appears from a very young age. 

  Listed below are 12 characteristics of a highly sensitive child.


1. Full of sympathy

A HSC is very sympathetic towards others, and they always put others’ emotional needs in front of their own. As a result, they usually take on the emotional pain of those around them, which affects their physical, mental and emotional well-being.

2. Exaggerated reactions

HSC is easily moved by noise, smells, physical sensations, images, movement, and tastes, so much so that it affects their lives. Such sensitive children can be distressed or overwhelmed by certain noises or scenes.

3. Always try to make others happy

Since they do not want to hurt people, they always go out of their way to help others and make them happy. It is sometimes harmful to them because they will not take their own well-being into account.

4. Need alone time

A HSC may seem an extrovert, as they tend to be talkative and social, but they are also easily overwhelmed and therefore require some “me-time”.
   They need some space to separate themselves from the outside world.

5. Their heart rules over their head

They are so emotional by nature that they tend to make decisions with their heart rather than their head. They are prone to emotional reactions. 

6. They dislike conflict and violence

Such children often show intense distaste for violence, for example, in horror films. They will naturally stay away from quarrels and arguments.

7. They tend to complain

A child who is highly sensitive often makes a lot of complaints. These may relate to problems such as unpleasant clothing, seams in their socks, or even labels brushing on their skin. 

8. They dislike change

Minor changes in their room, house, or overall surroundings can make a sensitive child feel uncomfortable. They like things that stay the same.

9. Bad reactions to noise

HSC can often become startled when there is noise. A noisy environment does not fit these children.

10. Deep thinker

The child may often ask deep, provoking questions that can surprise adults. They also think a lot and observe the world around them. This leads them to ask a volley of questions that more often than not irritate others.

11. Animal love

The child may have a special affinity for animals. The death of a pet at home can leave them depressed for days. Their love for animals can be so intense that it can be heartbreaking to see anyone being cruel to animals.

12. Shy by nature

Highly sensitive children are very shy around complete strangers. However, when they get to know someone, they will usually try to befriend them and open up, although this can take some time.

How to deal with hypersensitive child?

Having a highly sensitive child at home is difficult at times and rewarding in other situations.

   Raising a HSC can be a challenge for parents. However, it is important that you understand them and accept them as they are. Your child is likely a very intelligent person and has a sense of humor. 

  They are very easy to be around and are great observers. They are gifted with an empathy for others that make them invaluable.

Listed below are some parenting strategies for a highly sensitive child that can help you cope with your little one’s quirks.


1. Allow them some “alone” time

The most important thing for a parent with a very sensitive child is to understand them and accept them as they are. A HSC needs their own space and time to recharge themselves. This can be as important as breathing.


2. Show some sympathy

A common question many parents ask is: how to help a very sensitive child? All you need is to understand and be sympathetic to them. It is important to understand that having HSC at home might mean more stares, more emotional flare ups, more pain, and more emotionally intense experiences.

       It is normal for the parents of such a child to feel upset from time to time and lose their patience but you need to work on acceptance.

3. Approval

Never apologize to people for the child’s emotions and sensitivity. They are born with it and every time they apologize to people for being how they are, they may feel that their emotions, sympathy, sensitivity, or the way they behave is somehow wrong. This can lower his self-esteem.

4. Gradually help them face their fears

Help them do things that they are afraid of or dread in a slow and gradual manner.

  This may help them overcome certain aversions. However, this should be done at a gradual pace and not in a hurry.
For example, a child may refrain from wearing a cardigan because she feels itchy in it. 

  You might ask her to wear it for a short time to get used to it and then praise her. If the sensation begins to go away, it may be worth keeping up. 

  Children may find it helpful to face some aversive stimuli when it’s not harmful to their well-being, but this should not be framed or used as a punishment.


5. Keeping a Pet

HSC love animals, so use their preference and make the house better by having a pet for them. 

  Having a pet at home will calm them down, and they will also have a companion to play with. You may want to watch out for allergies but beyond that, a pet is a great idea.


6. Do not use common methods of discipline for HSC

Using common serious methods of punishment such as yelling, and others will only make matters worse for a highly sensitive child. They can respond to this by screaming, crying, and throwing angry tantrums. 

  Therefore, disciplining highly sensitive children should be done differently. You should talk to them and emphasize aspects like consequences and well-being, helping them better understand themselves.


7. Talk to your child when upset

When you see your child crying, ask them why.  Talk to them when they are upset and validate their feelings even when you feel that the reason was minor. 

  Engaging in dialogue and respecting the child’s feelings is especially important with a HSC.


8. Help them stand against the bullies

Highly sensitive children might cry or be different from their peers, so they have a higher risk of being bullied by other children at school. In such a situation, first of all, teach your child not to be afraid. 

  If such a situation arises, tell them that they should put a brave face in front of the bullies and tell the teacher about it. As a parent, you should also go and talk to the teacher and the school authorities.


9. Do not try to change them

Highly sensitive children cannot help that they feel the way they do. They are born this way. 

  Thus, a parent should accept this and not try to change it. Attempting to change this sensitivity would only prove detrimental to the child’s overall development.


10. Accept your HSC and appreciate them 

A very sensitive child is endowed with many good qualities that you can be proud of. 

  You will realize that they are more caring, kind, and sympathetic to people and animals than many children their age. They are very sociable and can read a person well. 

  They are usually very creative and may become great writers / storytellers, actors and artists. Therefore, accept them and appreciate them for the person they are.


11. Help your HSC relax

You can introduce half an hour of yoga sessions or meditation to your child’s daily routine.

   Do it together to encourage them. Other strategies like enrolling them in an art class or anything of their interest, taking walks in the evening together, and implementing other calming routines can do wonders to relax the child.

12. Be physically affectionate

Giving the child a pat, a hug, or a kiss and saying you that you’re there them goes a long way to making them feel loved and safe.
Before following any of the above suggestions, it is important that you know what is best for your child. 

  Things that may work well for your HSC may not have the same effect on some other HSCs and viceversa. Therefore, understanding your child is necessary to help them to develop into a healthy, sensitive person.

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