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Temperament Trait Strategies: Sensitivity

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 04:56pm
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Sensitivity : On The Temperament Wheel, is your child high or low? 

Low Sensitivity – this child is blissfully unaware of things that bother others.  These children don't easily pick up on interpersonal signals. They misread others obvious cues.


  • Provide a secure place for your child to go to when she misreads others obvious cues.  This will help her feel safe enough to start to learn what went wrong.


  • Use imaginary play to encourage your baby to label feelings and become more familiar with how others express emotions. (For example, tell him, "This is how a mad cat meows…and this is how a sleepy cat meows.")


  • Teach your child to recognize other people's feelings. For example, "Daddy is tired."
    Provide emotion coaching in empathy. For example, "Mommy hurts. Give her a kiss."  This helps your child become more sensitive to other people, and how to show her own emotions appropriately.


High Sensitivity these children react strongly to even mild lights, sounds, textures, tastes and pain.  They are super sensitive to even mild stimuli, and are profoundly distressed by thunderstorms or wet diapers.


  • if you see emotional or threatening situations that may overwhelm your child, help to prepare him in advance. For example, if a thunderstorm is coming, stay close to your baby and talk about it calmly and soothingly. This will help him learn to stay calm when a scary situation arises.  It is also helpful if you can provide your child with a variety of relationships that are soothing and nurturing. This helps him find the world to be a safe place from which to explore.


  • encourage your child to express her feelings—particularly when she's playing. (For example, tell him, "This is how a mad cat meows... This is how a sleepy cat meows.")  This helps her become more comfortable with and less threatened by other people's feelings.


  • Set limits very gently.  Highly sensitive children often just need "that look" to stop them in their tracks.   Being too stern can upset them way beyond what is needed to teach them.  By doing this your child will want to please you and learn from you.


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