My Child Is Very Sensitive: What Can I Do to Help?

My child is very sensitive! You're likely distressed by the fact that your little one greatly exaggerates situations. However, this is normal for many children who develop high sensitivity. You only need to learn to understand them and help them control their feelings. 
My Child Is Very Sensitive: What Can I Do to Help?

Last update: 09 December, 2019

All human beings have lots of emotions and some develop more than others. However, there are some who demonstrate their feelings much more. That’s why you or certain parents may say “my child is very sensitive.”

However, this isn’t necessarily bad; on the contrary, it has many positive aspects. Up next, we’ll show you a little more about them and how to help your children take advantage of it.

How do I know if my child is very sensitive?

My Child Is Very Sensitive: What Can I Do to Help?

There are many factors that can indicate that you have a highly sensitive child at home, who you should take care of with lots of love. These are the most important ones:

  • Sensitive children tend to be very affectionate. Hence, they need to be shown that they’re loved and cared for.
  • Their ability to feel is much stronger than normal. In fact, their feelings and emotions are so intense that they can be overwhelming.
  • Sensitive children are generally considered more mature than others. This is because they demonstrate deep understanding and empathy for others.
  • Additionally, anything that is done or said to them affects them too much.
  • Highly sensitive children will usually avoid tense and conflicting environments at all costs.
  • It’s very likely that they tend to suffer from fears.
  • They may have well-developed senses. Moreover, they relate aromas, colors, and flavors with specific moments or past experiences. 
  • They have very good intuition to recognize if someone likes something or not.

Positive aspects of children being sensitive

A small percentage of children are considered to have a sensitive temperament. However, this isn’t a disease or something that would classify them as odd. Thus, instead of saying “my child is very sensitive,” you could say “my child has a beautiful personality.” The fact is that highly sensitive children are able to perceive the world in a different way.

In addition, they don’t act on impulse; instead, they stop to think about all the possibilities. They know what pain is, so they avoid feeling it as much as they can. Also, they understand the suffering of others, so it’s common for them to console those who need it.

My Child Is Very Sensitive: What Can I Do to Help?

They’re usually very creative and intelligent. In fact, in their drawings, they reflect what they like the most or what affects them. This ability to be sensitive is necessary for artists such as painters or musicians.

What do sensitive children need to calm down?

Children who have very intense feelings may feel overwhelmed. To help them relax and calm down, you can take them outside to be in touch with nature. You could go to the beach, countryside, or park maybe.

Here are more important factors to keep in mind when it comes to raising highly sensitive children:

  • Ask questions such as: Can I help you in any way? What are you thinking about? How do you feel? What do you need?
  • It’s important that you listen to your children carefully every time you don’t understand them. Surely, they’ll tell you what’s wrong.
  • Don’t pressure them. They need you to give them time to adapt to new situations. Sensitive children have a hard time making changes. Moreover, when trying to join a group of other children, they’ll first need to observe for a while to interact at a later time.
  • You must also help them face adversity. For this, encourage them to feel safe with themselves, to say no when they don’t want to do something. Invite them to express their ideas and feelings without being ashamed. Besides that, encourage them to defend themselves when others make fun of them.
  • Teach them to be a little stronger as well so they don’t perceive difficulties as tragedies, but as opportunities to give their best.

In short, having very sensitive children isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s an opportunity for you to understand and develop a special relationship with them. Thus, you should understand them and love them as they are.

You may find it hard to understand their way of seeing things, but this is what they need the most. If you can’t understand them, who will? All children require their parents to accept them and always be with them; this is even more imperative for sensitive children.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Bujor, L., and Turliuc, M. N. (2014). “Personality, family correlates, and emotion regulation as wellbeing predictors”, Proc. Soc. Behav. Sci., 159: 142-146.
  • Davis, M. H. (1980). “A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy”, JSAS Catalog Select. Doc. Psychol., 10: 85.
  • Eisenberg, N. (2000). “Emotion, regulation, and moral development”, Annu. Rev. Psychol., 51, 665-697.
  • Rifkin, J. (2010). La civilización empática. Barcelona: Paidós.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.