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How to Handle an Exceptionally Perceptive Child

ICU Nurse in Children's Ward which was an exciting and challenging career. As a mother of two I look forward to sharing my experiences.

My Exceptional Perceptive Child

For some reason, my guess is that you may already realize or suspect that you have a highly perceptive child in your life.

Perhaps you are parenting a child who has demonstrated an uncanny capacity for intuition and you have some questions about your child for which you are having trouble finding answers. You might even be a bit nervous or excited about your child’s intuitive abilities.

A very perceptive child is not only highly intuitive but highly empathic as well.

Perception involves the ability to pick up on subtle information that is not perceived directly through any of the five senses but rather is detected through an invisible sixth sense. Empathy is the ability to tune into how another person is feeling by registering those feelings through the body.

People who have both high intuition and empathy often sense unseen emotional vibrations of other people through their own physical and emotional systems. Perceptive kids not only sense the feelings of others acutely but also feel them so strongly that they tend to internalize them. This is important to help them clear, among other things, how to regulate their empathy so they are not feeling burdened by everyone else's aches and moods. So they can enjoy more of the gifts and less of the challenges associated with these heightened abilities believe that intuition is a wonderful gift to possess.

Sometimes it is challenging to differentiate between an intuition and a random fear that comes from the imagination.

Sometimes it is challenging to differentiate between an intuition and a random fear that comes from the imagination.

Why Hunt For Information To Support Kids With Extra Degree Of These Abilities?

Perhaps it is because children born with such a turbocharged sense of heightened empathic perception can encounter some specific challenges relative to their heightened abilities.

Despite all of the positive aspects, it is not always easy for the child or the parent to know how to deal with the many challenges that also come with this trait.

  • For instance, what do you do when your child can tell that you are having a conflict with your spouse even when not a word has been spoken to your child?
  • What do you tell your child when they have intuitions that turn out to be accurate?
  • How can you be supportive when they feel a friend's pain so deeply they cannot shake it off and feel responsible for fixing and healing situations?

They may experience the feelings of others so strongly through their emotions and body and tend to have an unusually large dose of empathy for kids their own age.

Perceptive kids seem to be sensitive to the needs of others, but it does appear they are often less physically sensitive and spend less time with concerns of the inner life. This does not mean that intuitive children are more valuable or more evolved; they simply are tuned in to a different frequency.

One of the most important gifts we can give intuitive children is to let them know it is safe and acceptable for them to express themselves fully with us.

One of the most important gifts we can give intuitive children is to let them know it is safe and acceptable for them to express themselves fully with us.

How Do You Know If You Have an Intuitive Child?

So far we have focused on defining some of the unique characteristics of the intuitive child. The questions listed below reflect some of the similar kinds of experiences various parents notice in their perceptive children. Although they are not designed as a diagnostic tool and are not exhaustive by any means, they can give you a flavor of some of the distinctive qualities.

  • Does your child have a way of finishing your sentences and reading your mind?
  • Is he bothered by conflict and does he prefer harmonious relations?
  • Does your child have the ability to see things before they happen?
  • Does she pick up on the feelings in a room or place and possibly act them out?
  • Prone to headaches and stomach aches related to other people's stress?
  • Do loud noises and crowded places bother her, causing her to get moods?
  • Can he feel the tension between his parents even if they are being tight-lipped about it?
  • Does she feel tension during traumatic world events, maybe even drawing pictures of them or spontaneously, or talking about them with no knowledge of the events?
  • Does he have an active inner life, including talking with fairies, guardian angel,s or imaginary friends?
  • Does she have a frequent need to be in nature for quiet reflection and the recharging of her inner batteries?

When an adult judges or humiliate a child's intuition they are doing the same to the heart and soul of the child.

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The Strengths Of Being An Intuitive Child

One of the most important things you can do for your intuitive child is to help them see the gift of their perception.

  • Their insights can guide them to act in ways that are deeply fulfilling, and when they learn how to sense the truth about something by listening to their intuitive guidance, they begin to anchor a sense of truth in their life.
  • Intuition can provide your child with keen insights about other people, helping them to be more socially successful.
  • In a world where we must teach children the awareness of dangerous people and situations, they can use their sixth sense to steer clear of danger and stay safe.
  • Perceptive children have a lovely understanding of what other people need and have a knack for helping and being present to others. Many can translate the unspoken needs of toddlers and animals because they know what others need and can connect with the universe.
  • They are often highlighted in school as the caring kid who others can go to for some help and understanding. However, the reverse can be far from true if the child’s stress levels max out, causing the child to act out the pain and frustration that she is picking up on.

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How Will This Impact Our Lives?

A parent’s attitudes and acceptance of their child is one of the most important factors in the life of every child. You are your child’s first teacher and the person who gives comfort, safety, and the reassurance that not only are they okay they are also wonderful.

When gifted intuitive children experience stress for whatever reason, it is a deep comfort for them to come home to people who accept them unconditionally and are present to hear about their experiences. The child will grow up feeling loved and accepted and this emotion will fundamentally contribute to the child's resilience in handling tricky situations.

As parents, the first step in being able to support these unique children with learning the extra adaptive skills is to have a positive attitude toward the child and their unique way of seeing and feeling in life. One of the hallmarks of building self-esteem in children is letting them know they are truly seen and valued. This empowers them and makes them feel strong in their bodies and grounded in life. When we follow a child’s lead with questions that show interest or empathize with her feelings, we are bringing our presence without judgment to the relationship.

In the case of perceptive children, we can respond to their experiences with a kind, open heart even though we cannot see or prove the data they are drawing from. One of the problems with having a highly perceptive child is if you do not share this gift, it can be hard to deeply understand and see the child’s experience.

When they are very young their intuitions might sound more like the world of imaginary play and stories. When perceptive children get the impression that the adults they depend on think they are overly sensitive, they may be tempted to start to shut down. Make sure the gifts of intuitive empathy do not go underground and that these children receive all of the unique support they need in life.

Get Children Geared Up For The Inevitable

Although all children share the need for many common life skills, they move toward adulthood mastering extra skills or competencies. These skills can take well into adulthood to master; encourage patience both with your child and yourself as you teach these ideas and work with them.

It is important to learn how to distinguish between intuition and a random feeling or fear. These children need to know how to turn their attention from other people, events, and environments to go deep within themselves. They need to learn how to turn down the volume on this input. This way they know they can have a break from the high stimulus in the world.

When children do not feel safe their anxiety levels rise and we see children overcompensating by acting out or just plain overworking to try to manage their environment and their own inner feelings.

When children do not feel safe their anxiety levels rise and we see children overcompensating by acting out or just plain overworking to try to manage their environment and their own inner feelings.

When Perceptive Children Overdo Their Gifts To Take Care Of Others

It is vital for perceptive children to learn that just because they can sense and have a big hunch about what other persons feeling, they do not have the responsibility to fix the perceived problem. It is important to teach them how to observe others without carrying the responsibility of healing.

All too often, intuitive types can be mistaken in the notion that if a dark emotion can be felt in someone else, it implies or invites the need to heal it. Intuitive kids are very adept at perceiving and responding to other people’s needs and it is essential to counterbalance this tendency by paying close attention to personal needs and cultivating a lifelong practice of taking great care of themselves.

When their conflict is headed in this direction they take a time out with an agreement to talk things out after they have cooled down. Kids can benefit from seeing that their parents need to take the time to cool down, too. If they are uncomfortable with the conflict that is still hanging in the air, remind them that it is not their responsibility to fix the problem.

Basic SkillsWhat You Can Do To Help


It is important that your child have good vocabulary for speaking about intuitive insights and abilities, and to know how to find people who can be supportive of these experiences.

Daily Energy

Perceptive children need to know how to clear out the feelings that they might have taken on during the day so they do not feel depleted by them or start to act them out.

Staying Grounded

Perceptive children need to stay grounded to enjoy their childhood. Encourage your child to play and have fun. Gently remind your child to focus on other activities.

Gifted Children

When we are open to their gifts and help them face their unique challenges with love and support, perceptive children thrive.

Sometimes you and your child might feel isolated because of the abilities and perspectives that your child possesses. Please remember that you are not alone, nor is your child.

I sincerely wish that all children including those we have focused on will retain and share their gifts in life.

Furthermore, I hope that the information and skills you have learned from reading this article will be of great benefit to you and also to your very instinctive child as she develops grows and shares her gifts with the world.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Kelly Elle on July 24, 2018:

I came to this website because my sweet child is uncannily perceptive. Concepts, thoughts, feelings, justice, compassion and empathy guide her daily thoughts, and, when not served, cause distress. I was looking for some gentle guidance for raising such a child. While this post (minus it's correct use of commas) reaffirmed my ideas, I am completely dismayed by the FowNews attached video! It treated mental and emotional perception as something to be treated rather than be cultivated! Such nonsense. Although the article lacked specific techniques, it was at least a beginning. The FoxNews video, however, undermined analytical cognition in favor of pharmaceuticals. Please. Cultivate.

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