Raising a Highly Sensitive Child

My Sensitive Georgia…

From birth (which so didn’t go to plan by the way and was pretty much a nightmare from beginning to end)  Georgia has been demanding, highly emotional and very aware of her surroundings and the emotions of people around her.  She was what is commonly called a ‘hard baby’ and as I struggled so much with meeting her emotional demands (she constantly cried and was very unsettled) I felt like a very unfit mother and such a failure….hello PND.

Fixing her World…

Georgia is 9 now.  She is highly reactive to her surrounds, highly emotional and asks lots of questions to reassure herself. My heart breaks as I watch her struggle with anxiety and activities that other children her age do without even thinking, such as joining in on team sports.  I constantly try and ‘fix’ her world without becoming a helicopter mum. I did come to the point where I couldn’t do anymore  and was worrying I maybe doing more harm than good. I needed some direction and new strategies so I sought out professional help which was such an eye opener and helped tremendously.  I think at every session I cried. So yes, my HSC already has had a bout of therapy (aimed at kids) to help her work through some troubling thoughts.

One of the 15%…

Georgia is one of the fifteen percent born as a highly sensitive child. She thrives on routine and does not like changes. Her bedroom is her haven, neat as a pin and full of what is special to her. Easily overwhelmed by high levels of stimulation and the emotional distress of others, she is generally more mentally exhausted by the end of the day than her younger sister.

Georgia struggles with joining in a large group of people, she prefers her circle of close friends and family. Which is one of the reasons why I signed her up to calisthenics. A safe place where not only can she learn new skills, keep fit but also surround her with other girls her age who have similiar interests but without the pressure to form friendships as they’re all focusing on cartwheels, marching and spinning rods!

Time Out…

School days used to end in tears and anger as all of her pent up feelings, stress and anxiety as well as acting the dutiful calm student for 6 hours of the day were released. After her outburst we generally drove home in stony silence. She needs time every day after school to be on her own and recharge her batteries as being around people exhausts her. This is usually done with her head buried in her ipad, squelching her homemade slime or rolling around on the trampoline with her many cats!

It still makes my blood boil when people say to a quiet/shy/sensitive child ‘oh you’re not one of those shy kids are you?’ as if being shy is seen as a weakness and not socially accepted! Being sensitive is a wonderful trait, it is not an illness or a syndrome. Unfortunately, many sensitive children labelled as too shy, too quiet and too sensitive grow into adults (such as myself)  who believed they were not as socially normal as they’re confident, loud as life counterparts. Parents, teachers and such thought they were doing the right thing by trying to change them into someone they were not (hand held high here).

Handle with Care…

A highly sensitive child needs to have special care so their intense feelings and emotions are understood. Treat them carefully so they don’t feel anxious or a failure if something doesn’t work out. Highly sensitive children are highly creative, intuitive, possess surprising  wisdom and have buckets of empathy for others. All of which I see in Georgia every single day.

I am the first to admit I spend a little bit more time emotionally connecting with Georgia than I do with my other daughter, Hayley, who is more than happy to chatter away to her unicorns or to be quite frank, she prefers to spend time outside with her daddy ‘working’ the farm!

Georgia, like me, will be highly sensitive all her life. There is no ‘cure’ for this and why should there be? Like most labels given out, hsc  just want to be accepted for who they are.

The book The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron is the follow up to the author’s internationally best-selling personal development guide The Highly Sensitive Person

It is the first and only book for parents of highly sensitive children.

It provides parents with insights and information so they can understand High Sensitivity, and help their highly sensitive child thrive in the world.

It is important for these children to be understood so they can be helped to avoid the common traps of shyness and withdrawal that many highly sensitive fall into as they develop.

Contains questionnaire for parents to find out if their child has the traits common in highly sensitive children.

Discusses HSC’s at different ages – infant, toddler, school-age and adolescent.…