ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Parent Toolkit for Highly Sensitive Children

Updated on January 8, 2016

Your Highly Sensitive Child (HSC)

Most parents notice their children are highly sensitive when their kids really seem to get other people's sadness or pain from very young ages, or when their children have frequent breakdowns.

Chances are, you might have memories of the same happening to you as a kid. You might not have felt understood, or you might have been an easy target for bullies because you were upset very easily and they knew they could get to you.

You have the chance to help your highly sensitive child learn the skills necessary for managing emotions Here are some "tools" to help you manage your little ones so they can develop into healthy, happy individuals.

Your highly sensitive child gets easily overwhelmed because she feels everything on a deeper level.

Tool #1: Respect

If you know your child is highly sensitive, you most likely realized your baby came out that way.

Highly sensitive people are born the way they are. When it comes to emotions, you might notice there is no in between with your child. He seems either really, really happy or really, really sad.

These are not mood swings. Mood swings are different than innate characteristics. Your child feels everything very deeply, so there might not be a middle ground for your little one when it comes to emotions.

Therefore, it helps highly sensitive children when they are respected for exactly who they are.

The following will not help show respect for your child:

  • Rolling eyes, or saying, "Not again."
  • Calling your son or daughter king or queen of drama (unless they do really well in school plays!).
  • Begin statements with, "You always..."
  • Lose your temper at your child's show of emotion.

This is not about you ignoring your feelings. At times, you could think, "Oh, no, not again." The trick is to keep it to yourself.

However, you need to work on why you think and feel that way. Are emotions really tough for you to handle? Do your child's meltdowns make you feel like a bad parent? Do you find the outbursts embarrassing?

These are all your issues to work on. Your child has no intention of embarrassing you, making you feel like a bad parent, or making you feel things you don't want to feel. Your child is just busy being him.

Ways to show respect are:

  • Listen closely to what your child is saying.
  • Allow some time for your child to calm down and help her calm down the best you can, like decreasing visual, auditory, or tactile stimulation.
  • Be willing and flexible enough to chalk up your child's behavior to having a bad day.
  • Realize your child's feelings are valid, even if you don't understand them.
  • Be there to help your child solve problems.

Tool #2: Find Your Inner Calm

Even during the eye of the storm, the calmer you are, the quicker the storm will pass.

Extra sensitive kids need a lot of help finding calm. Sensitive kids can also help us realize when we need help on our own stress management skills.

If you are not in the habit of taking deep breaths before you handle a stressful situation, now is a great time to start. Also, meditation often incorporates breathing techniques and has been found to be effective in easing stress and anxiety. Your calm will help your child.

Here is a simple, quick calm down method for yourself:

  • Breathe in for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of four.
  • Breathe out for a count of four.

It's simple, but it works. It helps activate the body's calming response.

Finding your inner calm.

Tool #3: Cultivate Acceptance

Every kid comes with their strengths as well as a set of challenges to overcome. If your child feels very deeply and gets overwhelmed by everything very easily, those are your kid's challenges.

You can foster an open, loving attitude by appreciating your child's strengths. Extra sensitive kids can sometimes have powers of observation that can seem like a superpower at times. They can be passionate, loving, caring individuals. They can lavish you with attention and are able to tell you openly how much they love you. As your child grows, you might find she can be a great source of comfort to everyone around her.

Get others to help! Often, pets are willing assistants to help calm down both children and adults.

Tool #4: Develop Your "Calm Down" Routine

If your child is overtired or physically taxed, he or she might have an emotionally bad day because of your child's tendency to become easily overwhelmed.

This will take some experimentation on your part. Does your child calm down easier by herself? Is there a song or DVD that helps your child relax? Will your child take some deep breaths with you to calm down? Do you think a cup of hot chocolate at the kitchen table with Mommy will help?

It will be very difficult to help your child if you don't know what set off the incident. Calming down should always be the first step. As long as your child is safe, take a moment to yourself to calm down, then work on doing the routine to help your child to calm down.

If you can help your child learn how to calm down, you're doing a lot!

Tool #5: Reinforcing Skills

Believe it or not, when you work with your kid to help her calm down, you are teaching your child emotional regulation skills.

For example, if your child calms down after a meltdown by herself in her bedroom, you can reinforce her behavior by stating, "Good job calming yourself down!" Give her a hug or kiss for a job well done.

For many sensitive kids, the calming down part is one of their challenges. In helping them to calm down, you are teaching your sensitive kids that it is possible for them to calm themselves down, that there is a land in sight in the vast sea of their emotions.

Develop and Stick to Your Plan

The tools provided in this article will help you develop your plan on how to handle times where your child is overwhelmed and needs help calming down, a great challenge for many sensitive children.

Because they feel emotions, pain, and stress on a deeper level than most people, they get overwhelmed easily, and when they do, it's more difficult for them to find their center.

In developing your own plan to manage the times where your child becomes overwhelmed, you are teaching your child important life skills, such as self-regulating their own emotions, and the ability to calm down.

Sum It Up

  • Extra sensitive kids can become easily overwhelmed.
  • Parents can be most helpful by treating their kids with respect and working on their own issues, such as stress management, or emotional issues.
  • It helps both parents and child calm down by having a plan in place to follow. Practicing this plan will help it become second nature.

What Are Your Calm Down Methods?

What do you do to calm yourself down when your kids are upset?

See results

What methods have you used with your sensitive child to get him or her to calm down?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)