Sending a Highly Sensitive Child off to School for the First Time

As we face ‘back to school’ here in the Netherlands I am reminded how lucky I am that my two eldest children return to school in pretty much the same state they left it last July. They will both have the same teachers for four of the five school days per week, they are familiar with the classrooms they will be in and their classmates remain largely unchanged. It’s a good recipe to start the school year off with. It’s a huge weight off my mind in comparison with previous school year starts.

The fly in the ointment this year is that my youngest turns four in October so he will be starting primary school very soon after the school year begins. And I am already braced for quite a drama as he transitions. But this time I am more prepared, I know more what to expect. I am ready. As ready as you ever can be to send a child off to school…..

7 Tips to Help Your Highly Sensitive Child Flourish in SchoolI’ll leave you with an article I wrote a while back published on Amsterdam Mamas which I hope will help those parents looking for ways to help their young highly sensitive child in school:

Sending a Highly Sensitive Child to school can be very stressful for both the parent and child. One mama gives some that she learned from her own experience with a HSC.

If I’d known two and a half years ago what I know now my son’s school life would have been easier. I’m the mother of a highly sensitive child (HSC) and as he grows so does my understanding of what he needs to flourish.

My son started primary school at the beginning of 2011. It was a rough ride from day one…..”

To read the rest head over to 7 Tips to Help A HSC Flourish in School.


About Amanda van Mulligen

Mother, writer, author, blogger. I was born in Britain but live in the Netherlands. I have three Dutch sons and a Dutch husband and I blog about Turning Dutch and raising highly sensitive children.
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7 Responses to Sending a Highly Sensitive Child off to School for the First Time

  1. C Norman says:


    The link isn’t working for the 7 tips. I searched the site it took me too and it couldn’t find the document.

    Thanks, Crystal

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Hello – your link is unfortunately not working… Do you have any alternative that I can read the complete article?

    Thanks, Julia


  3. Liz says:

    My HSC is going into first grade this year. He did great in pre-school and shockingly on the first day didn’t cry. Kindergarten was a different story and it totally threw me off since pre-school was so easy. He clung to me and cried so much that the teachers had to pull him off as I left. It was traumatizing for both of us. The same thing happened the first day of baseball practice and even summer camp at his school this summer. What I’m learning is that new experiences are overwhelming for him. Once there, he has a great time, but the unknown causes him anxiety. This year I am going to talk to his principal to see if he can meet his teacher and see his classroom before everyone else. Before our back to school night, before our open house…so that it is just us and the teacher. Hopefully this will help ease his worries.


  4. finelightness says:

    Dear Amanda,

    This is extremely helpful, thank you!

    We are considering a move to the Netherlands (Amsterdam or region of Amsterdam) and have an HSP daughter. I was wondering whether you could tell me which school you found good for your child.

    Thank you so much!
    Joanne and family


    • I live in Zoetermeer so I can’t advise on a specific school in Amsterdam. However, smaller classes, quiet spaces & huge amounts of understanding and support from school staff members weigh heavily.


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