There are many books and articles for adult empaths, but what about children who possess this gift?
Often labeled as “too sensitive” or even “difficult,” their unique needs are often overlooked.
As a result, they can feel misunderstood and isolated from a young age, which can lead to low self-esteem and anxiety as adults.
Therefore, all parents should familiarize themselves with the typical traits and behaviors common to empaths of all ages.
Here are five signs your child is an empath:
1) They are prone to sensory overload:
This can result in feelings of becoming overwhelmed.
Your son or daughter might have strong preferences and aversions regarding smells, textures, and noises.
Very young children might not be able to tell you why they feel so overloaded.
Instead, they may “act out,” withdrawing from other people or even throwing tantrums.
If a child learns that they can escape a situation by behaving badly, they will resort to destructive behaviors as a form of self-preservation.
A child who is generally good-natured but prone to seemingly random outbursts might be an empath with highly specific triggers.
Common triggers include crowded places, sustained loud noise, and scratchy clothing.
2) They are unusually perceptive when it comes to adult emotions and relationships:
Young empaths show an emotional sensitivity beyond their years.
For example, you might think that you are hiding your stress or anger after a hard day at work, but your child will still be quick to pick up on your feelings.
They are also good at detecting tension between two people.
If their parents are fighting behind closed doors, they will still realize that something is wrong.
Don’t try to hide your problems, because your child will conjure up worst-case scenarios in their heads, causing further distress.
3) Assuming adult responsibilities:
Empaths of all ages like to care for other people.
Unfortunately, they have a tendency to adopt the role of caretaker to an inappropriate degree, even when doing so places their emotional health in danger.
Child empaths worry about other people’s problems to the point of making themselves ill.
They take an unusual interest in adult concerns, such as the family’s financial situation, and may try to address the problem themselves.
4) They frequently suffer from vague physical complaints:
Young empaths may become overwhelmed by the strength of their own emotional reactions.
This tension can manifest in the form of physical symptoms.
These include a stomach ache, feeling sick, unusual fatigue, and headache.
Of course, if your child feels ill, you should take them to a doctor.
However, if they repeatedly suffer the same symptoms but their doctor can find no cause, consider the possibility that the problem is emotional rather than physical in nature.
Left unchecked, these physical symptoms can interfere with your child’s school attendance, thereby causing further problems.
5) They have a strong affinity for nature and art:
Most children love to play outside. However, young empaths are especially at ease in the natural world.
If your empath child appears tense, an hour outside in a quiet park or forest will help them relax.
They will also appreciate water – lakes, rivers, and the ocean soothe an empath’s soul.
Empaths are often creative.
They gravitate towards artistic pursuits as a means of expressing their feelings.
If you have a sensitive child who enjoys making art or music, encourage them;
it’s a healthy coping mechanism that can help them deal with their emotions.
Raising an empath
If these signs sound familiar, your child is probably an empath.
This is great news; the world needs more kind, caring people who want to help those in distress.
On the other hand, empaths often find the world a difficult place to be.
Therefore, child empaths require careful parenting if they are to flourish.
Raising an empath child can be a challenge, even if you are an empath yourself.
Their high sensitivity is a gift, but it can also leave them vulnerable to manipulation.
It’s especially important that you teach them how to set and maintain their boundaries, and what to do if someone tries to exploit their innate kindness.
You don’t need to be an expert on the empath experience – although some background reading would help – just offer your time and support.
Keep an open mind when they talk about their experiences, and let them know that you’ll always be on hand to offer encouragement when they feel overwhelmed by life and the world around them.