Overly sensitive kids who have become sullen, angry or even explosive are often Highly Empathic Kids.
So you have a child that is struggling emotionally. They are anxious or angry or depressed and are not able to communicate why. You want to help but you do not understand what is happening….nothing you try is working and it feels like their frequent outbursts are holding your household hostage. Teachers, doctors, or even friends may be suggesting prescription drugs but that feels scary and you want to use alternative methods.
For a moment, imagine you are an empathic kid. You are sitting in a classroom, feeling your teacher’s tiredness and frustration. Now add to that the anxiety of your neighbor who does not understand the work they have been given. OK, don’t forget feelings of pressure or anxiety that classmates have brought from home. Nope, not done. You have personal feelings of anxiety because you are not keeping up with your own school work (…shocker) and you feel the low grade hum of unhappiness between your parents…..it’s unsettling. If that is not enough, you feel responsible to fix it in some way for everyone. You are an empathic kid and this can be just the tip of the iceberg. Think you might explode or withdraw? How about day 2 of this? Day 3? Day 50? Does this sound like your kid? Is this possibly what your child is experiencing?
Likely, if you have this empathic kid …..you are this empathic kid – all grown up and you have developed many ways of managing it. Though you and I both know there is a lot you have not been able to compartmentalize, screen out, ignore, and let’s face it…bottle up. Why would a child be able to successfully manage this, or even know that it is a possibility?
Additionally, some empathic kids do not have mechanisms to screen out noise, loud music, or the chaos of large crowds, etc. Remember those very late nights in the dance club when the lights, music and crazy friends ceased to be fun and began to feel like sandpaper on your brain? What if that was never ending? Oh yes, you are also judged as “overly sensitive” and “dramatic” when you can’t take it anymore.
OK, let’s soothe the nervous system a little. Now imagine being this same empathic kid with these same gifts and sensitivities, but life is much less dramatic …..peaceful – even fun. When strong feelings arise, you are able to recognize which are yours and which are not. You release those that are not – while feeling compassion without burden or responsibility. You have secret ninja warrior ways to create healthy energetic boundaries that honor and sustain you in your own experience! You no longer need to withdraw from a person or group you so desperately want to belong to…..oh yes, you understand that all people have a very real and human need to belong, so it’s OK. You feel empowered in your own life and it is not a radical experience….You feel safe.
What is between you and this reality? Some fun and simple training. This training happens with your parent/s so that they can learn along with you and support you when you forget or get overwhelmed. Too young to train? No problem….your mom or dad can learn it and use it with you, you will pick it up along the way and they will teach you so you can use it yourself. It takes a couple months of weekly online classes, possibly with others who are a lot like you… and life even provides endless free opportunities to practice! What could be simpler?