• Kathleen Phalen

5 Things My Highly Sensitive Child Taught Me

Any parent of a Highly Sensitive Child (HSC) knows the challenges all too well. The seemingly never ending, meltdowns over what would appear to be a slight inconvenience; the adamant refusal -while already behind schedule leaving the house for school and work-to wear shoes, socks, underwear or a particular sweater because they are uncomfortable; The constant anxiety and sweating of the small stuff, needing their food not to touch and be the “right”, luke warm temperature; mirroring your stress and frustrations by having another meltdown; and let’s not forget the myriad of social issues at school; this person hurt my feelings, she is mean, the teacher embarrassed me in front of the class, not being able to finish their work because “everybody is staring at them”, having sensory overload and throwing themselves on the floor in a fit, being in 3rd grade and being known as the cry-baby….still.

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With all the challenges that come with parenting a HSC come a tremendous number of gifts. The profound gratitude of bringing this truly gifted soul into this world can be awe-inspiring. When it is just us together, she will share a song she wrote on the piano (with no formal piano lessons) or recites a poem she wrote, draws an amazing picture with deep colors and details; tells me about the kindness she so readily showed others who were having their own struggles; or tells me about how she contacts her spirit guide, Cinda, and what advice Cinda had for her that day; I often wonder how I became so lucky to be her mom. It was difficult to narrow my list down, but below are the top Five Things My Highly Sensitive Child taught me thus far in our journey together:

  1. Always chose kindness: I have never heard my HSC say an unkind word to anybody. Quite the contrary, she goes out of her way to be kind. Whether it is comforting a crying class mate, giving somebody a sincere and spontaneous compliment; she is always kind. Empathy comes as natural as breathing to her. The idea of setting boundaries with her peers, asking them not to speak to her in a certain way because it has hurt her sensitive feelings is an impossible feat. She readily imagines herself in their shoes and can’t imagine saying anything to anybody about how their behavior upsets her, lest it hurts their feelings. This is why traditional forms of discipline like “Time Out” is overwhelming for a HSC. It feels like a removal of love, that their very being is being rejected. Usually just a private conversation is all the discipline I need to do about a behavior.

  2. Treat Others as You Wish to Be Treated-She consistently treats others the way she would like to be treated. It’s true; it is not a cliché it’s her innate and natural ability to feel empathy for others that she sees others as herself. My HSC is consistently aware of how she affects others and would never intentionally be rude to anyone. It’s true that during one of the infamous “Highly Sensitive Overwhelming Meltdowns”, she can appear rude, but she would rather sit out, stay home or not attend a play date, than to imagine she has hurt anybody’s feelings. Consistently, when I pick her up from a play date or sleepover I am complimented for her “impeccable manners.” Most HSC have great manners, are conscience of how they treat others and are very courteous.

  3. Keep Your Thoughts Pure- Our thoughts are sent out into the universe as electricity. Chances are, if you have a Highly Sensitive Child, they have tapped into your electric field and read your mind on more than one occasion. In my case, these were some of my worst, most loathsome thoughts. It was during my divorce from her father. I am sure I don’t have to explain myself to anybody who has been through that experience. Dr. Elaine Arons, the Psychologist credited with researching and bringing the term Highly Sensitive Person or Child into our awareness, lists the trait, “seems to read your mind” as an indication of a HSC. Take her quiz here to see if your child could be Highly Sensitive, or if could be Highly Sensitive__________

  4. Daily Communication With Your Guides or Unseen Friends- The memory still gives me goosebumps. It was during the solar eclipse on March 20, 2015. We were seated at our table discussing her absent father, a sensitive subject in and of itself. She was creating something and out of nervousness, I grabbed her pendulum. I asked her how to use it, and I was blown away at getting answers I intuitively knew to be right or wrong. I asked so many questions! I was so excited to finally know how to use another form of divination. I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and continued my questioning out loud. She turned to me with her big, soulful, wise, large eyes and said, “you know mommy, you don’t have to use your voice to talk to them (pointing to her throat) you can talk to them this way (as she pointed to the right side of her brain meaning I could use telepathy) We both felt a welcoming, loving energy fill the room. It was as if all of our guides were in the room with us. She recalled when she was 3, and she saw “angels with purple-but-see-through-wings.” She started crying, and she said “mommy I am crying but it’s not because I am sad, it’s because I am so happy right now. I used to see angels when I was young, but now I am seeing them again. All I had to do was ask Cinda to come here. Now I can see her when I talk to her!” She was 7 at the time she taught me this.

  5. Downtime is Essential- Life can be overwhelming for a HSC. They take in much more of their environment than non-sensitive children, through their heightened senses of acute hearing, seeing, feeling, taste and my HSC in particular, has a sixth sense that is very strong and often is alarming to her since the spirit world is visible to her. Sleeping in on the weekends, lounging about, not have too many things scheduled so she can create, listen to music or veg out is essential. The more times she is rushed out the door, the more upset she becomes which can throw off her entire day.

Interested in learning more? Here is a great resource to find out if you might have a Highly Sensitive Child.

(Sidenote the terms Highly Sensitive Person and Empath have become synonymous in today’s evolving world. Dr. Arons does not like the term, “Empath.” According to a video she posted, she stated it losses credibility and dilutes the respect from her years in academia and her decades of research in the HSP field. I can absolutely see where she is coming from, although for me, as a HSP, they are one in the same. Forgive me, Dr. Arons and thank you for researching & presenting evidence that gave a name to my experiences as a HSP)


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