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If you have a very sensitive child...

(28 Posts)
irvineoneohone Fri 12-Jan-18 12:42:53

My ds(10, yr5) has very sensitive soul. He can't watch sad films or read sad story without crying. He shows great concern when he sees the baby crying.
Very emotional, cried when he saw the beautiful sunset or heard organ music in the church. He always gives me cuddle when he sees me hurt.
I thought it was a great personality to have.

Yesterday, we are playing, and I fake cried. He knew it was a fake cry. Still, he had tear in his eyes, which made me really worried.
I asked him, if he knew I was fake crying, and he said yes. But he said he just couldn't cope with seeing someone's sad face.

We talked about in depth, and I found out, that even he knew the other person was faking, he just couldn't cope with seeing someone cry, or show distress, and feels like he is suffocating, and his heart being squashed.

This is too extreme isn't it?
Tbh, he had many occasions in the past he was taken for mug.
At school disco, he has given money to a girl who said she wants something but cannot buy because she had no more money and she was really sad, after spending all.
He has given his favorite unused eraser to a boy because he really wanted it and keep pleading and told him that his parents would never get it for him etc, and (fake)cried.
He understands it's not real sadness/cry. But he still says he can't say no to those people. He says he just cannot cope with seeing other peoples's sad face, even he knew they are faking it.

Sorry for the long post. But I am utterly lost about what to do. I always loved his sympathy and kind nature, but I feel like he will be used by others if he doesn't change.
Is there anything that I can do to help him? He is very academic, and mature in one sense(has many life threatening health issues) but immature in other, and has some traits of ASD/ADHD.
I am totally feel lost at the moment....Any advice greatly appreciated.

irvineoneohone Fri 12-Jan-18 20:18:28


Strawberrybubblebath Fri 12-Jan-18 20:25:52

He sounds lovely. Don't try and change who he is it will make him feel bad about himself. He will learn life's lessons with your help and with his own experiences. Support him when he is sad but accept him for who he is.

FrayedHem Fri 12-Jan-18 20:39:00

My DS2 is a bit prone to taking on the worries of the world around him. With the peer-related stuff I would just really try and encourage your DS he should tell a teacher/adult as it isn't for him to try and fix. It's probably worth having a chat with the teacher too, as I know Yr5 is when they expect children to sort out what seem to be minor things themselves.

irvineoneohone Fri 12-Jan-18 20:58:42

Thank you.
I am just really worried about him being easy target for anyone who see his personality and use it to benefit themselves.

sirlee66 Fri 12-Jan-18 20:59:21

Aw what a lovely boy you have! No need to be worried. He will grow up soon enough and his emotions will pan out and develop as he grows.

You must be a wonderful mother to have such a caring young man.

irvineoneohone Sat 13-Jan-18 00:42:00

Thank you, sirlee, for such a lovely comment.

catkind Sat 13-Jan-18 01:13:33

It can be part and parcel with giftedness. Google hypersensitivity, emotional intensity etc along with gifted and you'll get lots of articles. I think some people genuinely do experience the world differently. The intensity that enables them to learn so much so quickly also makes them intense about the world in general.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sat 13-Jan-18 09:04:44

I was gonna say same as above. It’s part of his giftedness and the overexcitabilities that go with that.

irvineoneohone Sat 13-Jan-18 10:50:31

Thank you. Emotional over sensitivity, I can take. Could be taken easily for a mug, not so good isn't it... especially he already have so much difficulty in his life.

Thehogfather Sat 13-Jan-18 16:01:27

It could be personality combined with the clash between his intelligence and chronological age.

His thought process is beyond his years, but at the same time he doesn't have the life experience to back it up, so emotionally he's adding 2 & 2 and getting 5. Adult depth of emotion but from a child's perspective.

I suppose a bit like that in between phase for good early readers. They have the skills ( and in some cases the intelligence) to read and follow the plot of adult fiction but not the adult perspective to make it enjoyable iyswim ?

brilliotic Sat 13-Jan-18 16:10:02

Perhaps you need to trust your DS a bit on this. He may well do things (like giving away favourite toys to someone faking how upset they are) that feel to you like he is being taken advantage of. But to him it might be a case of weighing up his priorities differently.

So he 'knows' that the upset is 'fake'. And yet he chooses to give away his toy. Ergo, it is not because he wants to stop the other child from being upset, (he knows the child isn't really that upset in the first place). So why does he do it?

- Is he trying to 'buy' friendship? If that's the case, then he will grow to learn from experience that mostly this does not work (because the other children will indeed take him for a mug) but he might also learn from experience that trusting someone's intentions to be positive until disproven (and perhaps even giving them a second chance) can sometimes result in beautifully positive relationships. In fact, being very bright, he might have already learned this. Perhaps he is simply willing to give the other child the benefit of the doubt, because he knows he might be taken for a mug, but he also knows what he stands to gain; and what is a mere toy (that he risks losing for nothing) in relation to that?

- Seeing as he is genuinely distressed by the fake upset, is he trying to stop his own (real) distress by appeasing the fake upset, and the toy is worth less to him than getting rid of the fake upset (in order to stop his own, real, distress)?
In that case, he will probably have to learn one way or the other that people will use this to manipulate him. There is nothing wrong with his priorities (appeasing his own distress, over keeping a toy) but he may have to develop a bit more resilience to other people's fake emotions.

Either way, it appears that he is very much in tune with his emotions, and is very mature in that he does not base his own feelings on possessions. And he can read other people's emotions (can read what they are displaying, whilst at the same time recognising if what they are displaying is fake or real). These are both very positive attributes/abilities IMO. He may have to learn how to become a bit less easily manipulable, but it would be a real shame if that came at the cost of these.

irvineoneohone Sat 13-Jan-18 16:30:27

Thank you both.
It gave me a lot to think about.
I always knew he was very sensitive but just never expected to be this extreme.
Guess I have to wait and see how he mature with age.

Thank you again for great advice, everyone.

Thehogfather Sat 13-Jan-18 17:15:27

Just another thought, he's prepubescent age, which might also account for the tears/ increase. I know it's usually associated with girls that age, but you clearly haven't brought him up to think boys aren't allowed to show emotions or caring attributes, so no reason he couldn't be hyper sensitive at the moment due to age.

Dd once sobbed at around that age because she knocked a fairy bun from the cupboard and the dog ate it. Dd that doesn't have a sweet tooth and is normally very gung ho. A fairy bun that came with a bakery meal deal days before. And between tears told me that she knew we could replace it, didn't plan on eating it, and that the dog thought she'd given it him, but still felt sad.

irvineoneohone Sat 13-Jan-18 18:47:30

Thank you Thehog. Very helpful.

It really made me feel a lot better after reading all the comment from everyone.
Thank you all for taking time for me.

yosoyapplecider Sat 13-Jan-18 18:52:49

my 5 year old is exactly the same, he cannot stand to see anyone sad and is so so sensitive in many ways.
He worries about so many things in the world.
He is also very sensitive to loud noises or crowded areas he gets really worried.
He too is very intelligent academically and I do worry so much about him and try to tell him not to show his sensitivity at certain times as I worry about him being seen as a target for bullies.
I do absolutely love his personality, you could not find a sweeter boy but I just worry for him.
I think you are very lucky to have such a sweet and sensitive boy, I'm sorry I couldn't give you any advice as I'm in a similar situation.

KadabrasSpoon Sat 13-Jan-18 18:58:02

The Highly Sensitive Child book I thought was good. I haven't read the bits about older children as mine is 3 but might be worth a look.

irvineoneohone Sat 13-Jan-18 20:09:35

Thank you both.
I will have look at the book, thank you for suggestion.

ScreamitDreamit Sat 13-Jan-18 21:31:40

Your child sounds so so lovely.

If you'd spoken to my mother around 15 years ago, she would have told you the same things about me.

I am exceptionally quiet and as a child was really sensitive. She shielded me from anything bad as I would get upset so easily! For example, i got told off once by a teacher in year 6 and cried about it for a week!

As i got older I learnt the hard way not to let people take advantage. I'm still the same person but I know where the line lies in regards to how much of myself to give.

I'm training to be a social worker now, which is my way of channelling my urge to help people smile

Don't worry, he'll be fine in life, and the world is a better place for having someone like him in it smile xx

irvineoneohone Sat 13-Jan-18 21:37:41

Screamit, you must make such a great social worker.
Thank you for your lovely comment. It made me smile. smile

Pidlan Sat 13-Jan-18 21:37:46

Hey OP. Your boy sound lovely. Both my sons are like this. The eldest is now 12, and when he was about 10, I seriously worried about him- he cried a lot, was super sensitive, and, frankly, too kind! Then he went up to secondary school and he is still sensitive and kind, but seems to have grown out of it being a problem.
I'm hoping the same will happen with DC2...
I always think of it as, they will be really lovely men, though might find it hard getting there.

irvineoneohone Sat 13-Jan-18 21:41:43

Thank you, Pidlan. I hope my ds follows your ds's footsteps.

millimat Sat 13-Jan-18 21:44:45

My 11 yay old boy is similar, but not quite as much. He's not asd or anything, which was going to be my first question on reading the original post about your boy.
What I find tough is dh telling him to 'Man up'. Dh finds it hard to see his son is so different to him. I worry about ds being an easy target at high school.

HeadBasher2018 Sat 13-Jan-18 21:47:14

I don’t have any useful advice but he sounds completely adorable. Hope some of the tips above help you to help him.

irvineoneohone Sun 14-Jan-18 15:49:46

millimat, it's so worrying, isn't it? Secondary school is my real worry too. But on the other hand, I want him not to change so much. Just wishing he will be surrounded by good people who won't take advantage.

HeadBasher, thank you. Just a sympathetic post from someone like you is so much help for me.

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