5 Ways A Teacher Can Make or Break School for a Highly Sensitive Child

School is, and will probably always remain, a source of discussion and worry for parents of highly sensitive children (HSC). School is overwhelming for most HSCs and presents HSCs and their parents with a host of problems to deal with. A teacher can truly make or break school life for a HSC. Here’s how.

5 Ways A Teacher Can Make or Break School for a Highly Sensitive Child

1. The Willingness to Keep Communication Lines Short and Open

A teacher that is willing to talk to you about the highly sensitive nature of your child, and keep talking, is priceless.

A teacher that is willing to regularly touch base outside of the usual formal moments will make a huge difference to the school life of a HSC. If you are able to work out together what went wrong for your HSC during a specific day (or week) you are more likely to be able to help your HSC acquire the tools (or provide the environment) to cope better in the same situation in the future.

2. Accepting the Traits of HSCs

A teacher that refuses to accept that some children are highly sensitive breaks school for a HSC. It’s that simple. A teacher that refuses to accept that highly sensitive traits affect how children perform in school, how they experience their school day will negatively impact a HSC. Without a doubt.

A teacher that does not understand that a HSC behaves differently at school than they do at home will never truly get your child.

If the head of a school is not accepting of the idea of highly sensitive  then it’s probably not something that will generally be accepted throughout the school. Been there, experienced that. Moved schools.

3. Creating a Sense of Safety in the Classroom

If you are understood and have a good bond with someone it stands to reason that you feel comfortable, and you feel safe.

Feeling safe, protected and loved is the reason why a HSC will release their overwhelm at home, but rarely in other settings. That’s not to say that a HSC can’t feel safe in a classroom but a teacher plays a huge role in creating that sense of safety.

4. You Are Your Child’s Biggest Advocate But You Need Allies

As the parent of a HSC you will find yourself standing up for your child time and time again. And having your child’s teacher on your side will help tremendously. The last thing you need is to feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall every time you speak with your child’s teacher.

5. A HSC Has an Excellent Poker Face

If I had a euro for every time a teacher told me that one of my children is unreadable in the class I would be a rich mama. Okay, maybe not rich, but I could certainly treat myself to a slap up lunch.

My HSCs are great at hiding their emotions at school and exploding the moment they walk through the front door at home. It’s why communication with a teacher is vital if you want to improve the frequency of meltdowns at home. It’s also why all the other points above are important.

Something at school may be bothering your child. Something at home may be affecting your child in school. But a teacher will likely be oblivious because your HSC will not show or communicate their worries or emotions in school. But it helps a teacher to know all this if they are to get the best out of a child.

A teacher that is prepared to listen and accept things about your child that they cannot see will make a huge difference to your child’s school life. Dismissing issues they do not blatantly see in your child’s behaviour in the classroom will ultimately damage the relationship not just with you, but with your child too.


About Amanda van Mulligen

Mother, writer, author, blogger. Born British, Living Dutch. I have three Dutch sons and a Dutch husband and I blog about Turning Dutch and raising highly sensitive children.
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