Ask Dr. Jean: Touch and Frustration


(Arti Freeman) #1

Dear Dr. Jean,

My daughter is very sensitive when it comes to touch i.e. another kid brushing by or accidentally knocking her. She says ‘ow’ but it doesn’t hurt. She’s starting to hit me when she’s frustrated or angry. Says she’s sorry right after and kisses me. Teaching her breathing and calming techniques aren’t really helping.

Anonymous (Parent)

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(Dr. Jean Clinton) #2

It’s hard to be sensitive in a world that doesn’t get it…Research tells us that in fact, many children are more sensitive to touch and sounds, smells and sometimes even emotion. We learned a lot about this when our second daughter was born and she didn’t like the feel of lots of her clothes, socks having lines in them, tags on clothes being ‘itchy.’

When she was very little and couldn’t express her feelings we had a heck of a time figuring it out. We were saved by reading “RAISING YOUR SPIRITED CHILD” by Mary Sheedy Kurchinka. We learned about sensitivity, intensity, persistence and more as well as language around seeing them as her natural way of engaging with the world. We learned that she was “MORE” intense spirited etc.

When we understand that she is not doing things on purpose (to drive you crazy!!), then you can find ways to help her recognize her sensitivity, her intensity etc.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough! It changed our relationship with our daughter and I’m sure will help you too: