How To Help Children Who Struggle With Self-Consciousness And Feel More Easily Slighted



Highly sensitive children tend to get hurt easily and struggle with self-consciousness. So how can you, as a parent, understand and support them? Read on to find out.

Is Your Child Too Self-Consciousness?

Talia (4) hates when we talk about her, even if we are praising her, like telling her what a good job she has done or describing one of her accomplishments to grandpa.

Highly sensitive children are more keenly focused on how others see them. Like Gabriel, who refuses to participate in any class performances; and, Jonah, who didn’t want the kids or the teacher in the swim class to look at him. They get very uncomfortable when any attention is called to them, even when parents or other adults are saying complimentary things. It feels overwhelming to be under any kind of scrutiny. But how can parents deal with such sensitive kids?

What You Can Do:

1. Avoid praise.

Instead, focus on the process. You can say something like, “You worked really hard on balancing on your scooter. It felt uncomfortable to wobble but you kept at it. Now you are riding on your own. Looks like you are really enjoying that”; instead of, “We are so proud of you! You are riding your scooter all by yourself!

Children Who Feel Consistently Rejected By Their Parents

2. Respect your child’s wishes as much as possible.

While Stephanie explained to Jonah’s swim teacher his discomfort with attention being focused on him, the teacher still had to watch him. But she refrained from praising or correcting him aloud. When it came time for Gabriel’s most recent school performance, his parents could see he was very torn. He wanted to sing with the group – he loves singing – but he still felt very anxious.

As they brainstormed what might make him feel more comfortable, he came up with the idea of standing at the very end of a row and facing away from the audience, which he did and was thrilled about.

Also read Raising Resilient Children: 5 Parenting Strategies To Know

What About Children Who Tend To Feel More Easily Slighted?

Leo (4) is very keen on his classmate, Nadia, and only wants to play with her. When Nadia allows other kids to join their pretend play, Leo starts to pout and complains to his teacher that Nadia is not being kind.

Highly sensitive children tend to take things more personally. They are also inclined to misinterpret others’ actions. They filter their experiences through a victim mindset as if they are primed to be hurt in some way. This can make peer and sibling interactions challenging.

What You Can Do:

1. Validate your child’s feelings.

Remember, validating is not the same as agreeing. It is acknowledging their perspective. You can say “When Nadia plays with other children, you feel rejected. I understand. You like it best when you have her all to yourself.”

Listen To Anything Your Children Want To Tell You

2. Reality test.

You can guide your child by telling them, “It turns out that people can have many friends. While I know you feel rejected when Nadia is playing with other kids, that is not what it means to Nadia. I know you prefer to just stick with one friend, and you want that to be Nadia. But Nadia wants to have several friends. Everyone is different.

Also read 14 Ways A Narcissistic Grandmother Can Harm Your Children

3. Help your child problem-solve.

“Would you like to find another friend to play with, or do something on your own? Let me know how I can help.”

This article is part of a series on understanding and supporting highly sensitive children. You can check out other installments in this series, here.

Wriiten by: Claire Lerner
Originally appeared on: Lerner Child Development
Republished with permission
Self-Consciousness Pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

3 Questions To Empower Your Children

Questions To Empower Your Children

If you are thinking how to empower your children, then you’ve come to the right place. When it comes to their experiences at school or life in general, these 3 questions to empower your children can be really helpful. Let’s find out how to empower your children, and which questions to ask.


It takes away children’s power to tell them what to do or to belittle their challenges.

Asking them questions activates their inner power.

Ask, “What have you tried? How did it work? What else can you try?”

What’s the first thing you do when your child tells you about a

Up Next

5 Best Toys For Your Kids That Are Absolutely Free

Best Toys For Your Kids That Are Absolutely Free

Do you want to know about some of the best free toys for your kids, even best toys for your newborn? Playing with your kids are some of the best times you will ever spend with each other. Even though getting them toys from the market can make them happy, there are some “toys” that can make them even happier. Explore some of the best toys for your kids that are absolutely free.


Everyday objects—including your own self—make the best toys.

No matter what age your child may be, your attention and enthusiasm are more valuable than any toy.

Great toys trigger imagination, but many toys inhibit the imagination by prescribing one way to play.

Up Next

5 Things To Say To Yourself During Tough Parenting Times

Tough Parenting Times: Powerful Things To Say To Yourself

Staying calm when handling your children, especially when they’re throwing tantrums and are emotionally charged up, can be a tough task to deal with. Tough parenting times can sometimes take a toll on you, and in order to manage that effectively, these are the five things to say to yourself during tough parenting times. Let’s explore that, shall we?


When children cry, have a tantrum, or act up and it can’t be “fixed” right away, it’s easy for a parent to feel helpless.

People who feel helpless often act impulsively.

It’s powerful to assume that a child’s troubling behavior is an attempt at communication.

Up Next

How To Become A Better Father And Create Lasting Memories With Your Kids

How To Become A Better Father: Tips and Tricks

Wondering how to become a better father? It’s a question that has echoed through the ages, as fathers play a vital role in shaping the lives of their children. 

The journey of fatherhood is a unique and rewarding experience that requires patience, love, and a deep commitment to personal growth. Let us explore the essence of a good father and provide actionable tips on being a good father. 

Whether you are a new dad or have been on this journey for a while, this guide will serve as a compass to help you navigate the challenges and joys of fatherhood.

Who is a Good Father?

Up Next

When Your Grown Child Hurts Your Feelings: 9 Healing Strategies Every Parent Needs To Know

What To Do When Your Grown Child Hurts Your Feelings: Tips

As parents, we invest our hearts and souls into raising our children, nurturing them with love, support, and guidance. However, as they grow into mature adults and carve their own paths, the dynamics of our relationship inevitably change. When your grown child hurts your feelings, whether intentionally or unintentionally, it can often be difficult to cope with.

This can leave us feeling confused, saddened, and unsure about how to navigate these emotional challenges. So today let us take a look at what to do when your grown child hurts your feelings so that you can heal yourself and your relationships.

How It Feels When Your Grown Child Hurts Your Feelings

Imagine this: You’ve poured your he

Up Next

7 Ways To Heal From An Emotionally Unstable Mom

Emotionally Unstable Mom: Things That Can Help You Heal

Is you mother emotionally unstable? If you have an emotionally unstable mom, dealing with the effects of it can be challenging to say the least; it often leaves you with traumatic memories and complex emotions. However, you need to find ways to heal for your own emotional and mental well-being.

Explore 7 strategies that can greatly help you cope with an emotionally unstable mom.

Related: Raised By A Borderline Mother: Signs, Types, Effects, And How To Deal

Up Next

Bad Husband But Good Father? 8 Tips On How To Be A Better Dad And Husband 

Practical Tips on How to Be a Better Dad and Husband

Being married to a man who is a bad husband but a good father is a complex and challenging experience. It’s a situation where the joys and struggles of parenting coexist with the frustrations and disappointments of a strained marital relationship. So how to be a better dad and husband?

Today, we will try to gain a better understanding of the psyche of a bad husband but a good father and shed light on how you can encourage them to be both a better husband and father. Let’s dive in.

Who Exactly is a Bad Husband and Good Father?

A bad husband can be someone who falls short in their role as a partner. T