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Family Matters podcast: Understanding your highly sensitive child

A child wears noise-cancelling headphones at a car race. Getty Images

LISTEN ABOVE: One in five Canadian children are considered highly sensitive. Registered psychologist Tammy Auten-Dye helps us understand what the world is like for a highly sensitive kid. 

My seven-year old son despises sweatpants. If he can’t wear shorts then he only wants blue jeans. He will wear jeans to birthday parties at trampoline parks and on long bike rides. His go-to tobogganing outfit is denim under his snow pants.

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READ MORE: What does it mean if your child is considered ‘highly sensitive’?

He says sweatpants are itchy and uncomfortable. I say they are practical and kid-friendly. And I believe mom knows best.

That was until I met Tammy Auten-Dye, a registered psychologist. I’ve since moved all the sweatpants out of his room.

I have a highly sensitive child.

Christine Meadows’ son will only wear jeans. Christine Meadows/ Global News

“Something about that feeling, whatever that is for him, is giving him a bit of sensory overload on his legs. It affects the way he moves and how comfortable he feels moving,” explained Auten-Dye.

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WATCH BELOW: Some parents of highly sensitive children say their kids are often misunderstood. Kim Smith has more on the challenges they face.

Click to play video: 'Challenges of parenting highly sensitive kids' Challenges of parenting highly sensitive kids
Challenges of parenting highly sensitive kids – Apr 2, 2019

According to Auten-Dye, highly sensitive children are more attuned to their environment and the people around them. They are more aware of colours and sounds or even the textures on their clothing.

She encouraged me to give in to the fight over pants.

“If we can let him choose what feels most comfortable for him, his whole internal system can calm itself and he can be happier and freer throughout the day,” said Auten-Dye.

Auten-Dye is our guest this week on the Family Matters podcast. She talks us through what the world looks like for a highly sensitive child. She also offers up some tips for approaching the subject with your child’s teachers and coaches.

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Connect with host Kim Smith:

Email: Kim.Smith@globalnews.ca

Twitter: @Kim_SmithTV

Facebook: facebook.com/kim.smith.765

Connect with producer Christine Meadows:

Email: Christine.Meadows@globalnews.ca

Twitter: @CMeadowsGlobal


Want more ways to keep up to date? Check out the Family Matters podcast! If you haven’t subscribed yet — what are you waiting for?

Subscribing’s easy! Here’s how…

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  • Open the Apple Podcasts app, search for Family Matters and select it from the list of results.
  • Once on the Family Matters page, click the “Subscribe” button to have new episodes sent to your mobile device for free.
  • Click the name of an episode from the list below to listen.
Family Matters podcast: Understanding your highly sensitive child - image
  • Open the Google Podcasts app, search for Family Matters and select it from the list of results.
  • Once on the Family Matters page, click the “Subscribe” button to have new episodes sent to your mobile device for free.
  • Click the name of an episode from the list below to listen.

 

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