Parenting a highly sensitive child (HSC) brings its own set of challenges. There will be people on your side who make life a little easier; there will also be people you meet along this parenting journey that make your blood boil…….
The Judgers and Doubters
Just when you need the support of your family and friends you find yourself being judged.
Those closest to you don’t get highly sensitive AT ALL. They mutter the words mumbo jumbo. Tree hugging is mentioned in the same sentence as highly sensitive.
“Highly sensitive? Rubbish. You’re just too soft with that child,” says your mother-in-law.
“Just bring him along to the party. He’ll be fine. You fuss too much,” says your brother.
“She only does that with you!” says your best friend.
You try to do it alone, because it’s just plain easier than dealing with the judgement and doubts.
For those first months, whilst your child still naps, the postman or package delivery will become parent public enemy number one.
After spending hours pacing with a highly sensitive baby in your arms your baby has finally stopped crying. A sense of calm has settled over you both and sleep feels close.
Until the doorbell rings out in the silence and startles your little one into a full blown screaming fit.
It’s the postman with a package for the neighbours. Again.
Similarly, the DIY enthusiast living next door to you can quickly become the most nerve wracking irritation when you have a highly sensitive baby in the house.
Just as your baby settles there is an almighty noise as the mother of all drills starts up to make a hole in next door’s wall.
We were home a week with my second born when the neighbours came round to tell us that they were starting the following Monday with a bathroom renovation. For a week workmen drilled tiles off the neighbour’s walls.
My baby did not sleep one second that week. Every time he stopped crying and dropped off to sleep the noise began again. I had never hated neighbours more.
The Teachers That Don’t Believe You
Your child comes through the door after school and melts down. Every single day. School is just too much. Too much stimulation.
The thing is your child holds it together all day in school. They only let out their overwhelm once they feel safe at home with you. The teacher doesn’t see anything in the description you give of your child’s behaviours once they get home.
“Lucy is a model pupil in school. There’s no issue here!” says the teacher smiling sweetly.
You know you are on your own.
The Person That Says Your Child Needs to Toughen Up
You’ve probably heard this more than once as the parent of a highly sensitive child. Hearing that your child cries too much, takes everything too personally and is in general too sensitive for their own good is the height of irritation.
Hearing someone say that your child needs to toughen up is beyond infuriating.