How to Raise an Empath
While most people have the ability to empathize, put themselves in someone else’s shoes, and feel what they feel, empaths feel other people’s feelings or physical sensations as if they were their own. When a child is an empath, it can be confusing and often out of control. It can be difficult for a parent to know what is best for a child who seems to feel everything .
Here are some signs that your child may be an empath:
- Hypersensitivity to external stimuli such as sound, crowds or lights.
- It’s easy to hurt feelings
- Easily upset by other people’s hurt, such as bullying a classmate.
- Prefers to play alone rather than play games or team sports
- Feeling excessively tired or exhausted after school or activities
While this is not an exhaustive list – and being an empath is not a mental illness-like diagnosis, 1 to 2% of the population can be empaths, so your child could be one of them.
Empaths report exhaustion, depression, and fear when they don’t know how to deal with the waves of feelings that hit them every day. We want to protect our children from such negative experiences, and if you suspect that your child may have empathic qualities, you can help him navigate the world in such a way that he may even perceive his empathic qualities as a gift.
Create the best environment for them
Empaths are often very sensitive people . They are easily overwhelmed by the world around them because they get more stimulation than the average person. It’s important for parents to reduce environmental clutter to reduce distractions, says Shana Feibel , a psychiatrist and assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She says the “clutter” can include visual, auditory, and textural stimuli.
Your child may prefer neutral colors to bright ones. Feibel suggests that your child may want to travel with headphones, earplugs, or white noise, and when it comes to textures, they may prefer soft, loose-fitting clothing.
Because empaths sometimes get emotional feedback from strangers, they often don’t prefer crowded places like grocery stores or indoor playgrounds. If your child overworks during team sports, they may prefer other activities or free time after school.
Help them set limits
Empaths often need more alone time than other people and can be introverts who need to be alone to recharge. For parents who are often under pressure from over-planning and over-socializing their children, this can be a difficult adjustment. Feibel says, “It can be helpful to create and maintain a schedule that limits the number of tasks a child has to complete in one day so they don’t get overwhelmed.”
As a parent, you can help your child become more independent.
“Because empaths may not be aware when they are overtired or hungry, they can easily become overtired,” Feibel says. “It’s very important to teach them to listen to their body’s signals so they can start to regulate themselves at an early age.”
Teaching your child to say no and set boundaries will help him as he gets older, and he will also need to set emotional boundaries with friends and romantic partners.
Manage your needs
You are the VIP for your empath and therefore your current state will affect them. Take care of your physical and mental health for yourself and your child.
“Take the time to support yourself and let others support you when needed,” Feibel says. “It’s a long journey and it’s important to take care of yourself and your empathetic child.”
Surround yourself with a community of people who love and support you and your child. Your child has a big heart and big feelings and will thrive with family and friends who accept him and give him what he needs to be his best, most loving self.
Love them for who they are
“Empaths need more emotional support than the average child,” Feibel says. “Do not be afraid that you spoil them just because you pay special attention to their education and support.”
While it’s understandable that you can compare your child to others who can better “handle” the world, Feibel says, “Understanding your child is essential to raising them,” says Feibel.