Understanding the Mind of an Empathic Child
Empathic children are often misunderstood as being different, but not easily diagnosed with any common disorder. The truth is, it is not a disorder but a gift.
Understanding the mind of an Empathic child is so important in helping them use their gift as a positive rather than a burden.
Is your child sensitive to crowds or loud noises? Do they get upset easily for no apparent cause? Are they withdrawn or isolated?
As parents of Empaths, it can be very confusing to know what is actually happening. Especially, when we don’t realize that the child is an Empath. We can feel lost and helpless.
The child may feel like they don’t connect with anyone and suffer from deep feelings they don’t know how to handle.
An Empathic Child’s Point of View
When I was an infant, I screamed when my mom took me out in public. I was perfectly content in my room alone, but in any kind of crowd, I screamed. The Doctors told my mom I had sensitive ears.
I wouldn’t go to some people as a child and did not like certain people to touch me. Then there were others that I’d go to immediately with not problems.
My mom picked my nanny because I reacted to her so strongly. The minute I saw her, I immediately climbed into her lap and didn’t want to leave.
I remember when I was 3 or 4, I was playing with a group of kids when a new boy walked up, wanting to play. I immediately knew he was not an energy I wanted to play with.
I whispered to my sister to not let him play with us, but she told him he could. He had not heard me say anything to my sister, but a few minutes later, he threw a rock at my head. I was rushed to the emergency room.
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When I was around people, I could feel their unresolved or repressed emotions. They might be smiling and saying kind things, but I felt what was underneath.
As an innocent child, I automatically translated these emotions into being how they felt about me. If they had repressed anger, I felt as if they were angry with me.
If they had repressed self-hatred, I thought they hated me. I walked around feeling like I’d done something wrong a lot of the time.
I began to mistrust most people because their actions never matched their true emotions. So, I put an invisible wall up…aloofness. I loved my family and friends but I kept a part of myself protected at all times.
This was a learned coping mechanism because I didn’t have any others to use at the time. Even though I was a seemingly popular and well-adjusted kid, I carried the idea that there was something wrong with me deep inside.
Feeling the emotions of others all of the time left me feeling pretty broken without a reason to go with it. My family was loving and supportive so it didn’t make sense.
I learned to channel a lot of the emotions through dance which I started at the age of 2, and it helped immensely.
Not all Empaths have an outlet and carry the burden deep inside, later presenting itself as mental or physical illness.
Even though on the outside I was coping, there always seemed to be a heaviness in my heart.
I even developed illnesses that others around me had and PTSD from a boyfriend that had been in the war.
I would pick up different mysterious issues by association because I hadn’t learned how to work with the energy.
I just thought it was all mine and I wondered why I couldn’t just be “happy” like some people.
Turning The Burden Into a Gift
Much later in life, I learned about other people like me. They were called Empaths.
I learned that we all experience life this way. Then, I learned what I could do to turn it into something positive.
Ways to Help Your Child:
Understanding– Explain to them what an Empath is and how these characteristics are not a bad thing. Understanding that we are not broken or to blame is huge.
Boundaries– Help them to create boundaries between them and others. Have them picture a white bubble around their body that only allows only love in and out. This will help them start to identify what they are feeling and the emotions of others. It will give them space to be able to see it and release it.
Physical Expression– They might not know how to express what they are feeling because there are no stories around the emotions. They have picked them up from others, so they may not make sense.
For this reason, dance, yoga, and martial arts are so good for moving the energy out.
Otherwise, it can build up and create illness, mental distress, or chronic suffering.
Grounding in the Body-In my opinion, grounding is the most important. For Empaths, it is important to do this first thing in the morning, and regularly.
It is so important to anchor in and be able to release energy. Make it a game. For different grounding exercises, go here.
To Summarize Understanding the Mind of an Empathic Child
They are highly sensitive and run other peoples’ repressed emotions through their own nervous systems, not knowing the difference between them and others. They often personalize these emotions translating as how others feel about them. They can also internalize them and feel like the world is harsh or unsafe.
You can be a major support for your child by remembering these things:
- Physical Expression
Thank you for reading.
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Misha Almira is a shamanic healer. meditation teacher, and full time blogger.