Posted by: coachingparents | June 25, 2008

Emotional Energy in Children

By Tara Paterson (

So how does a parent begin to manage the emotional energy of their intuitively sensitive child?  This was something I had to figure out for my son Caden who began to see colors around children at school. 

Caden had communicated with us from the age of three how he could see colors in his room and later around people, but the challenge now became how to assist him with managing this emotional energy while he was in school and in other public places.  It became an issue when he would come home from school and within a short time would have a meltdown over what seemed to be insignificant to us.  For instance, he became quite angry at a neighbor boy who threw his tennis ball for the dog to fetch; or he would burst into tears about something his brother did, which he had probably done half a dozen times.  Another thing I became aware of was his shift in story telling.  He would tell a story about something that happened in school as if it happened to him, but my intuition would always lead me to asking if this had happened to another child and he would almost always answer “yes.”  He was deeply impacted by kids picking on other kids or someone hurting a friend’s feelings.  Soon I was certain he was empathic and what was happening was he would absorb the feelings and emotions of everyone around him.

So what did I do to help him manage this energy?  Nine times out of ten he was already in a flurry of emotion by the time we reached the root cause of the outburst so I would take him to his room, have him lay down and begin breathing; then I would put one hand on his heart and rub his leg or arm to relax his nervous system.  This could take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, but once he was grounded enough to focus, he could release the emotion he absorbed and communicate the reason for the meltdown.  Another technique Caden discovered for himself was going into the backyard to put his feet in the dirt; this is an excellent way for a child to naturally ground them self.  Lastly, for Caden specifically, we always make sure to have access to water whether via the bathtub, a pool, or a hot tub.  If you’ve ever noticed your child’s desire to spend a lot of time in the water, especially at times he/ she seems irritated, this may be the reason.

In our next story, I will share the technique I taught Caden for keeping the energy of other’s from affecting him to this degree.  It’s especially important for intuitively sensitive children to have tools they can use to safeguard their space from the energy of others.


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