Let’s be honest: being a parent can be extremely difficult. From being the one your child turns to when they’re upset, to being home with your kids day in and day out: no parent has it all figured out, no parent has it easy, and we’re all pretty much exhausted constantly. Figuring out how to parent a sensitive child can be even more difficult and trying, and can often make parents feel as though they have no idea what they’re doing.
Sensitive children are often very aware of what’s going on around them and are quick to notice changes in their environments. Sensitive kids may also be gifted intellectually and can be capable of demonstrating compassion at an early age. However, they may become overwhelmed very easily by noise, new situations, and groups. Here are a few tips that have helped me parent my sensitive three-year-old son.
Related: How To Deal With Your Biggest Parenting Challenges
How to Parent a Sensitive Child
- Recognize what triggers your child to feel overwhelmed. This can be anything at all, from a new situation such as going to a different playground; to a loud gathering such as a child’s birthday party; to a simple change in the daily routine. Being more aware of the stressors in your child’s environment can definitely help you better prepare your child for the day ahead.
- Be Responsive, but don’t dwell. It’s easy to tell your child to get over it, or to calm down. Unfortunately, as is the case with my son, reacting that way may just make the matter at hand worse. Instead, acknowledge what’s happening without giving the situation too much attention, and then move on: for example “I understand that you’re upset, but we have so many other exciting things to do today!”; or pretty much whatever works for you.
- Distract. Simple, but very effective. Sometimes I have to pull a hundred silly faces and tickle my son into oblivion, but eventually, he is distracted enough to move on from whatever it was that upset him.
- Focus On Strengths. For instance, my son may not be the most social boy on the playground and may not shine like some of the other children at certain activities – mainly because he prefers to stand back and observe, and he is shy. But he is athletically gifted, so my husband and I make sure to include activities that he can master into his routine, such as having races in the park, or climbing the jungle gym.
- Calm Area. This is something we’ve just recently introduced in our home. We’ve created a Calm Corner in the living room, with a cute dragon mat on the floor and a couple of my son’s favorite action figurines and books. When he gets overwhelmed or upset, a few minutes of calm seem to really help him.
- Acceptance. Easier said than done in this age of social media, with constant updates about everyone’s brilliant children on Facebook for sure. However, it’s important to realize that our sensitive children are just that: children. Just as we can’t change our own psychological makeup, we cannot change theirs either.
If your child is a sensitive one like mine, hopefully, some of the techniques that I use with my son will come in handy for you. Providing a supportive, stable and happy environment for your child will definitely help your child achieve a sense of balance in the world. Being sensitive is not a hindrance after all; in fact, it is a gift.
31 thoughts on “6 Tips That Will Help You Parent Your Sensitive Child”
I find tips 3 and 5 to be effective, I used to play as a sub-mom for my sister and my niece tends to be a lil’ bit more sensitive compared to her siblings. I would go for making faces and taking her to our favorite living room spot.
Oh, this is a great post. I will keep this in mind, sometimes my son is getting sensitive.
great options. i try and distract my daughter as well. it makes things easier sometimes.
This is absolutely a great tips, I need to share to my sister
These are great tips. My son is there sensitive one out of my two kids. He gets it from me. I try to be more careful in how I respond to him.
Coming from a big family, I knew from a young age that we all needed different things from my parents. I try to adjust to the needs of my own children, but sometimes needier toon.
Observance is the key. Observe and listen to your childs needs. Focus on their strong points.
These are all great tips! I will be sharing with my friends too.
Sensitive kids need a lot of patience. My Daughter was really sensitive when she was little. These are great tips.
These are great tip. I have a very sensitive child. I definitely agree with be responsive, it is so important.
My son has autism, so he is hyper sensitive about a lot of things. The calm area was a very effective tool for keeping him calm.
These are some helpful ideas. I can definitely see how you would have to adjust your parenting style to this kind of personality.
This is great information that is a must share with my daughter as she raises her child. Thanks! 🙂
As the mom of 4, I’ve learned how to parent each of my kids differently. I have one that is extremely sensitive and doesn’t handle transitions well. I’ve learned that keeping things structured really helps!
I would say with plenty of hugs and a bit of understanding. Our grandson is a very sensitive child and at time it is very hard to deal with just keep in mind its always a good time for a hug and even wen you have no idea how to fix things he does not know that try to understand, and have them help you figure it out if possible Great post there are many that struggle including me when situations arise
Thanks this is such an excellent read and wonderful tips i will be sharing with my friend who could use some help on this topic
That “calm area” is a great idea for me as well – I’m a “sensitive needs” aspie adult who would probably do well with something like that 🙂
These are all really great tips! It’s important that your kids have somewhere that they can go to calm down!
My kids were both sensitive children. These are great tips for parents who have sensitive children.
We focus and encourage the good. It helps to take a moment to take a deep breath and focus on the positive.
These are all fantastic tips and tricks to help when it comes to sensitive children. Truthfully I was a sensitive child and I know, while sometimes feeling like a curse, being sensitive is definitely somewhat of gift like you said. It helps me relate to people and their feelings a lot more.
A designated calm area is a super helpful tip – for all children, I believe.
These are all excellent tips. I can’t say that any of my kids were ever overly sensitive, but I can see how you would need to take a different approach.
I have to say that I had a very sensitive child and didn’t have all the resources there are today. You have great tips but from experience I’ll tell you if they’re having anxiety they should start talking to someone at an early age. Today my adult daughter is going for help and we’re finding that there were plenty of things in her childhood that you or I wouldn’t think were that bad but she says were terrifying and is causing struggle today.
That’s a really great point, thank you!
This is great advice. I struggle with this with my daughter.
I am going to check a few of these out. They sound like awesome apps.
This is all great advice for parents of sensitive children. Growing up can be so hard on children as it is due to the many changes happening rapidly during the early years and even more harder on children that are sensitive.
My oldest is quite sensitive. We almost do not want to scold her as she gets quite upset Frustrating at times, but I need to remember that at the end of the day she’s just a child.
This is why it’s important to listen and to observe what your kids need because one of them might be extra sensitive. These are very good tips and it’s definitely going to help a lot of parents!
As a previous child. 10/10 agree, keep me calm and bring snacks. <3