Dear Mom of a Highly Sensitive Child, I See You

a mom walks with her highly sensitive child

Dear mom of a highly sensitive child,

I want you to know that I see you and that you are not alone. When your child is sitting on the sidelines or melting down after school, I know how you feel. When no one seems to understand what you go through on a daily basis, know that I do because I have experienced it myself. I am experiencing it right along with you every day. Raising a highly sensitive child is an emotional roller coaster full of ups and downs, and I am strapped in the front seat of this ride with you!

Dear Mom, I See What You’re Going Through

It’s hard to raise a sensitive child in a tough world.   

People have trouble understanding your child and their behavior. You may be on the receiving end of misunderstandings and hurtful comments like, “They’ll grow out of it” or “They need to be better disciplined.” You struggle to defend your child from people who want to label them as difficult, defiant, spoiled, shy, or weak. Your highly sensitive child might not fit society’s idea of “strong,” but you know the amazing things they are capable of.

Your guilt and doubt are normal.

There will be days when you lose patience and days when you feel like a horrible mom. Are you doing what is best for them? Are you the best person for this job? Will they be okay? Will they have a friend to eat lunch with and play with at school? The fact that you are asking these questions proves that you’re an awesome parent. Your child is so lucky to call you mom.

You feel like you are walking on eggshells all the time, unsure of what will cause the next emotional outburst.

Will the bathroom have a noisy dryer? Will it be too crowded and chaotic at the birthday party? Will they have a meltdown after school? When frustrations and anger emerge, you are the person they let it out on. You are on the receiving end because your highly sensitive child feels safest with you. They feel your unconditional love. They know you will not judge them like the rest of the world.  

I feel your pain when it comes to clothing!

I know the frustration you go through when trying to help your child with seams in socks in the morning and clothes that are too tight, too itchy, or just feel wrong. It can be so hard to comprehend, yet you try your best to help them with a struggle that is so real for them.

The food aversions at meals, I know them, too.  

You worry that your highly sensitive child isn’t getting enough nutrition. You worry about what in the world you will feed them for the next meal. You dream about what it’s like to have dinner without your child complaining about a specific texture, taste, smell, or appearance. Will they gag on their food again? Will they ever eat anything but crunchy, soft, hard, brown, yellow, circle, square, or pureed food?!

I understand the intense emotions that you experience on a daily basis.

Your patience runs short as you fight off exhaustion from bedtime struggles and middle of the night wake ups. You assure them that everything is okay, but they need your presence to truly feel safe.  

I understand the heartbreak you feel when your child is scared to separate from you. Only you seem to know how brave they are for going through their day when everything is too much for them.

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I know your sadness when your child struggles to join in with their peers while other children run around carefree.

The jealousy that creeps up when you see other moms socializing at the park, the pool, or their child’s sports games, I know that too. Why can their child play happily while your child clings to you in fear? It’s a loneliness that other moms can’t comprehend.

I see your determination to be their advocate when it comes to figuring out ways to help your child thrive in a world that overwhelms their sensitive soul. You tirelessly work to figure out ways to educate school staff and teachers about high sensitivity. You do all you can to help them understand your child. I know the comfort you feel when people get it and the anger when it falls on deaf ears.

I see you struggling with your child’s fear of failure and your efforts to teach them that “perfect” is a myth.

Through the struggles, though, I also see the happiness.  

While the world may see a timid child, a mother sees strength. I feel your happiness when your child finds another kid that they connect with, and you see the amazing friend that they can be.

I see you bursting with pride when they accomplish something that other mothers take for granted, because their child accomplished it with ease.  

When your child can make it through an entire birthday party without getting overwhelmed, I recognize the significance of this victory!  

I understand your excitement when you finally find a brand of clothes or socks that your child will willingly wear.

I know the pure joy you feel exploding from your heart as you see your child finding the courage to try something that you know is hard for them. You see their confidence grow as they succeed. When they are not quite ready, you reassure them that they will get there in time.

With each new year comes new challenges. Some you can help with and some you will find they need to face on their own. They know that your love and support are constants they can depend on in a world that is always changing.

You are their voice when they can’t find the words, their strength when they aren’t brave enough yet, and their rock when they need to let all their emotions out. You see the quiet bravery that is invisible to everyone but you.

You are amazing. You are enough. You are the mom of a highly sensitive child.

Together, we face the challenges of raising a highly sensitive child. Get free access to my Highly Sensitive Child Resource Library for parents and join me in our Facebook group of over 1,000 parents raising sensitive kids.

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