A highly sensitive child is often bright, articulate, creative, and insightful, easily able to tune into other people and their feelings.
She may display a deep sense of empathy and compassion for other people.
Perhaps she is a budding artist, a future novelist.
And yet, she is also clingy and whiny, sometimes bossy and demanding.
Sometimes she's all of these at the same time!
She throws long tantrums over seemingly minor issues - shoes that feel "funny," familiar cereal that suddenly tastes "different."
She shrieks furiously when you leave her with a babysitter, even one she knows well, grabbing desperately at your legs as you leave.
Her teachers complain that she is "scattered" and seems to pay attention to too many things at once.
It's no wonder that parents of such youngsters feel frustrated, helpless, angry - under the thumb of a mercurial, moody "prince" or "princess," as some describe their children to me.
To help you understand this child, I will spend the next few blog posts to walk you through how she may look and behave at different stages of development. You may recognize many features of your child. Of course, every child is unique, and you may see only a few similarities. If you are feeling discouraged, rest assured that I will soon discuss ways to approach your child's challenges.