Kids come in all shapes, sizes, and with a vast array of personalities. As a mother, you could find yourself with one confident, independent, outgoing child, only to have another and realize they're the complete opposite. And while every child, and every parent, is different, I feel confident saying that there are things only a mom of a sensitive son knows. Trust me. I have an incredibly sensitive son, myself.
Well, I guess, technically, both of my kids are sensitive, but in very different ways. My oldest — who just turned 11 — is more dramatic and theatric than sensitive. She's less likely to feel feelings in a big way, and more likely to express her feelings in a big way so the spotlight perpetually shines on her. She has a big heart, but it can sometimes get lost in her constant search for attention.
My 6-year-old son, however, is sensitive in ways that remind me of myself when I was a child. He's introverted at times, but extroverted when he has to be, quiet until he isn't, and extremely cognizant of the world around him and how he fits into it. He's not like his sister, just as I wasn't like my brother, and though it takes a different kind of parenting to guide my son though certain situations, I'm happy he feels so deeply and isn't afraid to show it. So with that in mind, here are some things moms with sensitive sons know all too well:
It's Ok To Pass Up Invitations
When you have a sensitive son, it often means rearranging plans, canceling at the last minute, or saying "no" to an invitation altogether. It's not necessarily because my boy doesn't want to be there, but because overstimulation can negatively affect him, making him retreat into himself (or me), or too cranky to get through the duration of the event. Even "fun" things, like birthday parties, are draining, because other kids and adults don't understand why my son is empathetic and compassionate to the point he hurts and cries for others.
Honestly, my son and I are so similar, it's sometimes easier for us to avoid situations where either of us will be made to feel as if our sensitivities are discounted.
It's Important To Mentally Prepare Your Child For Situations
Going anywhere outside our home takes a lot of preparation. It doesn't matter if it's to the store, to school, or just a quick ride in the car, either. Having a sensitive son means he needs to know how things will most likely play out before he actually experiences it. It's the best way to prevent a meltdown, feelings of overwhelm, and frustration. In other words, it helps having a plan. If my son knows exactly what steps we'll be taking, he can better manage his expectations.
Social Fatigue Is Real
Being around people when you're introverted and sensitive is exhausting, both mentally and physically. My son can maintain his social appearance for awhile (like at school), but it wears him out. So if he's made to be part of some activity for too long, he might cry or become agitated. When you feel as much as he does, it's a lot to ask that he be part of any situation longer than he's capable. And if you do, you risk his emotional wellbeing.
Crying Is Normal & Healthy
My son cries over what most people would consider to be "silly things." For example, if he misplaces his blanket, if someone says his hair is out of place, or if he answers a question incorrectly at school, he's crying.
He cares so deeply about the things that, well, there are a lot of tears shed on a pretty regular basis. Even when it's about something positive, he'll cry. Sensitivity and empathy go together, and he's full of both, and I couldn't be more proud to raise a son who knows that not only is expressing your feelings normal: it's healthy.
Little Boys Are Unfairly Judged
It's not fair to judge my son, or any other sensitive boy, for simply feelings the things that make them human beings. We live in a world where toxic masculinity reigns supreme, so boys are taught to avoid crying, hold in feelings, and lock away their emotions. Well, not in my house.
I love that my son feels his feelings without apology. I love that he realizes, even at his young age, that he should be able to cry just as often as a girl. Judging him, or telling me he'll never survive in the "real" world, only tells me who's too close-minded to understand him.
Some Parents Worry More Than Others
As a parent, your worrying never stops. I don't think it matters what personality your child eventually embodies, either. Regardless, you're always going to be scared of certain things.
But I will say that, as the mother of a sensitive son, I worry more than most. I'm afraid of how he'll react to basic things, like his report card, a teacher asking him not to do something he hasn't mastered yet, and another person saying something he'll take offense to. It's not his fault he feels so strongly. I'll never stop worrying that another person's words might affect him, but I'll continue teaching him it's OK to show emotions, and OK to cry if he needs to.
Sensitivity Is Strength
I want him to embrace his sensitive side, because I know that however hard it can be at times now, it'll serve him well when he's older. Sensitive people are the ones who end up changing the world. They have the strength to empathize with those around them and, make no mistake, that does take strength. Regardless of how challenging some days can be, I know his sensitivity can only help him become a well-rounded adult.
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