Last week we learned about the highly sensitive child. This week, we will try to understand him/her.
It’s important to note your child is not being dramatic.
Their senses are actually on overload. Some highly sensitive people have likened their experiences to living in a body without skin. New experiences are not inviting, they are scary. When your child’s worries are inhibiting him/her from participating in an activity, it can be helpful to think of all of the new factors you would experience when you go to a new location. Let’s use bowling at a birthday party for example.
First, you drive up, park, enter the building and look for the counter, say hello to the staff member, order your shoes, pay for the lane, pick a ball, etc. all before you even start to socialize with the other party-goers!
Highly sensitive children struggle to consider creative solutions to their problems.
As a result, they freeze or refuse new situations because it is too overwhelming to them. They struggle to think of what to do when they are uncomfortable in this new place to feel safe and secure. It’s safer to refuse and hope that mom or dad will let them stay home.
Where you or I can tune out the squealing children, bouncing balls rolling down the lanes, arcade games beeping, and music blaring, highly sensitive children struggle to zone in on the fun of the experience. They are trapped by all the noise, crowds of people, and those stiff shoes we have to wear.
Next week I will share how to help your sensitive child through a new experience.
Want to know more about the highly sensitive child, or another parenting topic? Let me know in the comments!