As my little boy grows and challenges me, the more I realize raising a sensitive boy is much more different and can be difficult compared to my other two children who were outgoing. This isn’t a negative thing though just new to me, and I’m learning as we go.
How I knew I was raising a sensitive boy
I knew in my gut and heart from early on that I was raising a sensitive boy. My doctor and his speech therapist both would use words like introvert and shy at all his appointments. Just look at his reaction to meeting Ariel below 😂. He wouldn’t even look her way or acknowledge she was there. I firmly believe as mothers we need to trust our gut and intuitions as they are trying to tell us something. So many people just thought he hated them or something, and didn’t give him a chance to warm up.
Situations that let me know I was raising a sensitive boy
- He was very cautious and afraid of everything out of his normal routine. Loves routine.
- Reacts badly to sudden changes
- Didn’t like to try new experiences
- He was very shy around people, single or groups
- Startles easy
- Sensitive to touch, fabric, the difference between shorts and pants
- Didn’t like loud noises
- Doesn’t like going to stores where there’s a lot of people or new things
- Most comfortable in his parent’s or brother’s arms in any situation
- Pools and lakes made him very nervous, he also worried about his sibling’s swimming, splash pads were also a no go or anything else like sprinklers that could surprise spray him
- He doesn’t make friends easy, usually runs away, very shy
- Tried things at much older ages than other toddlers. (ex climbing the couch, slides)
- He only makes eye contact with people he’s comfortable with. Often pretends others aren’t around. Hides his face.
- His idea of confrontation or fighting with other children is to quietly say “sushhhhh”
- Reacts strongly to the emotions of others
Now That You Know Your Boy is Sensitive
Accept and Understand Your Child
The first thing I think to note that is important is to accept your child the way they are. This is what I did, I changed my mindset of feeling like toddlers are supposed to be one way, all the same, love being adventuring and learned to tell my self its OK to be different!
Parenting a highly sensitive boy (or girl for that matter) can be so very frustrating. Wishing they would handle situations better, fearless, eat and sleep better. But you need to remember your child isn’t choosing to feel this way to make you mad. They didn’t decide one day hey I want to be sensitive to just to annoy mommy. Dr. Elaine Aron believes that highly sensitive people have a nervous system that is highly aware and quick to react. They seem to be more easily triggered into a strong physical or emotional response than others.
Things We Try
We try to keep a calm environment at our house as much as possible and reminding his siblings that he doesn’t like to be surprised or rough house play helps.
I still encourage my sensitive boy to try new things but I don’t force him or push him too far. I know that if I introduce things several times, each time he progresses a little farther. The last time we were at the beach he wanted to be held the whole time. But by the very end of the visit, he was throwing rocks into the water while only holding our hands. One day eventually I know he will dip his toes into the water, but until then I just keep offering. He now climbs and goes down the slide all by himself and has a blast! Last year he wouldn’t even go down the slide sitting on our laps!
As for being shy with people, there is nothing wrong with that. I see it as a positive that he opens up when he is really comfortable with someone. I never force him to hug or be with someone he’s not comfortable with. We chose to wave bye and that makes him comfortable.
- “As a highly sensitive person, every little thing elicits a strong reaction in me.” – Tracy M. Kusmierz
- “High sensitivity is not a disease or a disorder. It’s not something that needs to be overcome or fixed.” – Jenn Granneman
- “Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is the society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”-
- “For a highly sensitive person, a drizzle feels like a monsoon.” – Anonymous
“Highly sensitive people learned early in life to try to control the external world as a way to attempt to manage their inner one.” – Sheryl Paul
“Highly sensitive people tend to have stronger emotional responses than others.”-Andre Sólo
Raising a sensitive boy is different but still amazing
I wouldn’t change my sensitive little guy for anything in the world. Everyone is different in their own way and he has helped mold me into the mom I am today. It has helped me learn patience and to be a lot more open-minded. Caring or being cautious should not be seen as a weakness or a bad thing. I know I’m not the only mom to a sensitive boy, Id love to hear what you do to help make your days easier. Let’s support each other and see the ideas below in the comments!
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