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10 Common Highly Sensitive Child Symptoms

Sensitive children can be compassionate, kind and gentle, but their sensitive nature can make it challenging for parents, especially when the child is extremely emotional. Parents can become easily overwhelmed because their child cries often, or they require a great deal of attention.

Some children can be sensitive to noise, bright lights, textures, smell and more. They may have phobias of large crowds or certain scenarios. Many people believe that sensitive children are just shy, but there is more to it, which they do not understand. With a sensitive child, emotions can be intense. The child gets overexcited, overly frustrated, very angry or extremely afraid. For instance, many children cannot be too close to electrical appliances, computers, watches and light bulbs.

The highly sensitive child symptoms may be hard to identify as all children can get overwhelming at times. However, highly sensitive children usually notice subtleties in their environment. They have intense experiences, such as feeling emotions and sensations deeply. And they always seem to be overwhelmed, causing them to withdraw from activities.

This list of highly sensitive child symptoms will make it easy for parents to understand their child’s sensitivities and behaviors:

Symptom #1: Easily Overwhelmed

If your child cries a lot and has a hard time letting go of things, you can consider this to one of the highly sensitive child symptoms. The child will always feel frustrated or overwhelmed in many areas of their life. Even pleasant experiences can be overwhelming for the child.

Symptom #2: Stress and Anxiety

The child will constantly be thinking about his or her failure than most children would do at his or her age, which can result in stress and anxiety. The child generally responds to failure with profound distress and cannot overcome the issue. The child also finds it difficult to cope with criticism. If parents plan on harsh discipline, this can traumatize the child.

Symptom #3: Attention Seeker

Children tend to think they are the center of the universe and that everyone should revolve around them. Of course, there is nothing wrong with making the child feel special or feel they are the center of the universe, but there should be some limits. You need to exercise good judgment from your child care experience to tame the child’s behaviour.

Symptom #4: Tantrums

The child tends to have an unusual strong temperament. As all parents know, if the child does not get something he or she desires, the child is likely to throw a tantrum. But with a sensitive child, the tantrum can be overbearing, and the child can get very angry. These symptoms of a highly sensitive child can make parents feel confused and worn out.

Symptom #5: Overreacts

Highly sensitive children show intense feelings like mood swings, irritability, depression, meltdowns, temper tantrums, anger and frustration. This can be a handful for parents and might make it difficult for them to handle their child with care and comfort.

The child overreacts for any small situation and takes things too personally. They can react intensely to even minor events or routine situations. They even overreact to setbacks and disappointments.

Symptom #6: Hypersensitive

The environment is so important to the highly sensitive child because it can easily stress them out. Noise, crowds, bright lights and odors can irritate the child. While other children can manage loud, busy situations, the highly sensitive child can develop anxiety or panic attacks.

When the child is aware of the subtleties of their environment, there is a possibility that the child can be highly sensitive. At times, a lot of sensory input can lead to a meltdown.

Symptom #7: Negativity

Negative situations can impact the child, such as arguments, fighting, violence or even a horror movie. Apart from this, the child tends to focus on the negative aspects more than the positives. He or she will magnify these negative aspects. For instance, a bad day for them is a really bad day. The intensity of emotions also heightens with negative events.

Symptom #8: Complaints

Highly sensitive children tend to complain a lot or whine about the slightest of problems like itchy clothes or scratchy clothing labels. Dealing with complaints from sensitive children may not be easy, but there are strategies parents can apply to make it easy.

Parents have to first identify, learn and accept their child’s sensitive behaviors. Then they should research the right approach to support their child with their sensitivity.

Symptom #9: Fear

Highly sensitive children scare easily and feel fear most times. The child tends to withdraw from the event or activity, causing fear. They do not see the situation getting better and generally conclude that it is not safe for them. Being teased at school is a good example that can trigger the highly sensitive child to be scared and withdrawn from school.

Symptom #10: Dislikes Change

Highly sensitive children hate dramatic changes. The child dislikes change or big surprises and is more comfortable with a routine. They generally react badly to sudden changes in their life or routine.

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