Toddlers can be little drama queens. They throw themselves on the floor in the middle of the supermarket, they can act as if their whole world collapses when you refuse to give them candy and a discussion about bedtime easily escalates into World War III. But how then do you recognize the highly sensitive child?
There’s an essential difference between kids just being kids and kids being more sensitive than usual. Some children get more overwhelmed by the world than others. They experience everything more intensely and need more time to process everything. That can be quite challenging for parents. Knowing and acknowledging that you’re raising a highly sensitive child is the first step, especially because people that are highly sensitive are awesome!
But how do you know you’re raising a highly sensitive child? Look out for these clues.
Nothing goes unnoticed
1. Your child was hard to console as a baby. No matter how many times you swayed her, shushed her or swaddled her: your baby kept crying and crying. Your child may have been colicky or slept less than other babies. Whatever the cause is: high sensitivity is even apparent during babyhood.
2. Your child often puts their hands over their ears to block out loud or uncomfortable noises like sirens, alarms.
3. Clothing bothers your child quickly. A tag that itches, a seam that scrubs or a fabric that ‘doesn’t feel good’ are all reason enough to never wear that piece of clothing again.
4. When you lost your child at a birthday party you’ll probably find him somewhere in a quiet corner.
5. Bedtime can be quite problematic since your child has difficulties to get to sleep. Even as a baby sleeping was already a problem.
6. He or she doesn’t react to change very well. Quite the opposite, actually. No matter what the change is – daddy dropping her off to daycare instead of you, cornflakes for breakfast instead of yogurt – you can count on your little drama queen to make a big deal out of it.
7. It takes some time for your kid to feel comfortable in the company of others. Even if she knows those people well.
8. There’s nothing that goes unnoticed. If you went to the hairdresser or changed your perfume, your child is the first one to make a remark.
9. There are a lot of fears. Not only monsters under the bed: your little one can be freaked out by the mailman with the bushy eyebrows or strongly intimidated by the sound of a marching band. Storybooks or children television programs can be a trigger for reasons you might never really discern.
10. You can never hide your own feelings for your child, no matter how hard you try. When you’re upset, your kid knows and will ask what’s wrong or try to comfort you.
11. Your child doesn’t really enjoy playing with a large group of other kids. Instead, you’ll find him or her with a book or it’s favorite toy playing in solitude.
12. You’ve had lengthy discussions during dinnertime because your kid refused to eat a certain food because of its texture.
13. If you raise your voice your child gets startled.
14. Teachers and grandparents remark your child seems wise beyond their years.
15. From a very young age, your child asks deep questions about the world you may not even have an answer to.
Want to know for sure your child ticks all the boxes? You can take the test here.