ReBeca asks:

What do I need to do for my 6 year old child?

She is so sensitive. She cries over movies, pictures of her when she was a baby, and over music. I have tried to put on soft lullabies at bed time and she just starts crying. I just do not know what to do.
In Topics: Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago



Sep 13, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hello ReBeca,

You are right to be concerned that your daughter is displaying some unusual sensitivities to events and stimuli.  First, you may wish to discuss this with her pediatrician.  Also, you may wish to ask the school guidance counselor to help her with some behavioral training in order to become less upset with things that tend to be "triggers".  In the meantime, you may wish to also give her some strategies to use such as role playing where she shows you photos or plays music in the role of MOM and you act as a child with less intense reactions.  

Also, note that some children can be more sensitive than others and this may simply be a normal personality trait for her.  Perhaps as she matures she will be able to absorb information and not be quite as sensitive.

Good luck!

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families

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Additional Answers (1)

Windy1 , Child Professional, Parent writes:
A very sensitive child is not an easy child to raise. Fortunately, certain parenting patterns can help this child mature into a creative, insightful person; and parenting patterns that intensify this child's challenges can be avoided. With especially supportive parenting, highly tuned "antennae" on the world could become a valuable tool. A sensitive child can easily become the kind of person who can tune into other people and their feelings, and she may develop a deep sense of empathy and compassion for other people.
It is all too easy to get drawn into reacting in certain ways that, unfortunately, only dig the hole deeper for you and your child. It's very easy for parents of sensitive children to swing from one extreme to the other. They may be quite empathetic, but not very disciplined about setting limits or giving their children structure. When this fails, they become rigid and strict, but not very empathetic. This pattern is understandable, of course. A parent may assume that if he or she were a "better" parent - more nurturing, more understanding, more patient, more responsive - then the child would be easier to live with. And so, the parent begins to indulge and overprotect the child. A mother may try desperately to calm her angry, crying seven-month-old with hugs and offers of juice and toys. Both parents may carry her around constantly, afraid to put her down for fear she will burst into tears again. They play with her continually and won't leave her with a babysitter for fear she will get upset. The parents of a sensitive three-year-old may find themselves spending hours trying to get her to go to bed - reading to her, playing with her, singing to her, rubbing her back. The parents of an eight-year-old who is upset at being rejected by a friend may respond by arranging play dates with other children, and offering a constant stream of unsought-after advice.

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