Hello my friend!

In my last post I talked about sleep and finding our balance as parents in order to be mentally ready to take care of our empathic souls. I can't express how important this is.

Now for some insight. Don't worry I have more on parenting an empath coming, but I wanted to get everything I have shared on traits of an empath @destinationmommy, over here. I'll be going over how I have navigated these traits in another blog post.

Is my child an empath?

While I am not here to label or diagnose your child or tell you yes or no to the above question,  I'll share what I have learned through my life, teaching, researching and now raising my daughter.

Empaths definitely have a set of characteristics that make them beautifully unique. Sometimes these traits lead to lots of labels-difficult, overly sensitive, different, autistic, obsessive...These are the labels I want to remove.  While these definitions play a part in an empath's world,  they should never be used in a negative way and they should not define the empath.

My heart is here because our empath's need us to speak up and be their voice at times. In their early years we are their voice when others try to tell them they need to toughen up or calm down or...We are their foundation until they can soar on their own. 

Let's look at some of the ways empath's shine their light.

1. Empaths tend to be lovers of language and reading.

Empaths absorb and retain information in an incredible way. Does your child want to know about everything? This can be common. The difference with an empath- They retain EVERYTHING. Their desire to know more is constant. They want to know WHY, HOW, WHO... their entire life.

More often than not, once an empath has discovered the library,  they can't get enough and you'll find yourself flying through books.

I know for my daughter her love of language and early reading was something I was intrigued by. Even as a baby she would cry if we stopped reading. When someone was reading to her she would babble as if she was reading along with them.

As for language this is huge. Our empaths aren't always early talkers. More often than not,  they are absorbers. They are taking in the words, the body language and so much more. Subtle tones are something they are very aware of. You can't hide your feelings from an empath.

An empath tends to have a massive vocabulary and the words aren't stored. They use these words appropriately without skipping a beat.

2. Empaths need alone time or time with their closest connection

You'll find yourself feeling like you need to socialize your empath more. You may even fall into the trap that children need play dates to learn social skills. Our empathic little ones need the opposite.  I know this is hard, play dates often mean a little break for mama, but constant and even once a week play dates are exhausting for our empaths. Just be mindful that if you're out and about, your child will need time to decompress (I have a post on decompressing ideas) and this may be more time than you think.

For my daughter-when we have a play date, she spends the following days craving lots of time on my lap or time in nature. Something that helps her find her calm again-earthing. Barefoot in nature is healing on so many levels.

If your child is in school, you'll need to make time everyday after school for some major decompressing. Don't push homework right after school,  in fact don't ask for anything other than complete calm. That may look like art time, reading,  dancing, jumping and playing outside or...Calm in an empath's world is not what we may view as calm. Find what brings your child balance.  

3. Empath's have a heart for inanimate objects

Oh boy, I feel like I could talk about this for days. I remember tossing a crayon wrapper in the trash when my daughter was 18 months old. She cried and cried and finally took me to the trash. That wrapper opened my eyes to so much more. Throwing things away is abandonment in an empath's heart.

I'll be honest this trait was very hard for me, I mean how many crayon wrappers can we save...but through the hard I have learned ways to support my little one gently.  I have relaxed and realized that she won't be a hoarder, she just needs time and support to navigate her feelings.

Now that my daughter is older, we have come up with ways to talk about how things will have a new life. I also have a short video series HERE

4. Yes! Empaths are highly Sensitive

Our empaths are highly sensitive and not just on the emotions side. This is a beautiful thing,  but can be tricky to navigate.

Food textures, smells, sounds, other people's emotions, anxious animals, shift in the weather, the moon...

My first "aha" moment was when we went to a local restaurant.  A restaurant with lots of history. We walked in and my little one immediately began to cry. Walked out and calm. Went in again and...Our empaths pull in energy and that can be energy from long ago. When my daughter was older we went back to the same restaurant and she told me, "I'm not going in here, I feel something weird in here." She doesn't know about ghosts, so of course I didn't mention that to her, but she has talked about feeling people she can't see...Hello to the energy left behind. I share this because intuition is huge with empaths.

Food-My little one is a great eater, thank you BLW, but if there is an unexpected texture, in something familiar, all downhill. Her sense of smell is on another level.

She "smells cold people." And often tells me someone smells like they don't feel well and I'm not talking about people close to us, it can be someone a good distance away from us. It all goes back to how they absorb energy.

As for the weather and the moon-again our empaths are highly aware of what many miss. They know before things shift. Just note any patterns.

5. Strong connection with animals

This can go two ways. Animals are also highly aware. At times animals may feel the need to protect themselves or may feel the energy of the empathic human they are near and need space. Usually the opposite is the case.

Empaths and animals tend to be drawn to one another as their energy absorbing abilities seems to balance out when they are together.

Sidenote-If an animal is anxious more often than not our empathic little ones will either be super anxious around that animal or they will want to comfort the animal.  This doesn't always end well, so make note of how animals act around your child.

6. Tears fall when others are hurt or upset

This trait shows up in infancy or tends to. While it is common for babies to cry when they hear crying,  empaths sense sadness without hearing it (hope that makes sense). If you're upset, but not physically expressing the emotion, your little one may be fussy and hard to calm.

Our empaths either rush to help those that are hurt or they stand back and become overwhelmed with how to help. They may even need to retreat as they physically feel another's pain and it's too much. 

This empathetic hypersensitivity levels out at times for many toddlers, but for some it intensifies.

7. TV and Empaths

We are basically screen free. Hear my heart non of what I say is in judgment. I'm just sharing. When my daughter has watched something she pulls so much from characters. Like most children what happens feels real. With empaths they absorb what they see and struggle to release it without making it better.

An example, we saw a fishing show. A guy pulled a fish into a boat and then talked about the fish while it flopped around. He then gently put his foot on the fish to remove the hook. This was traumatic for my daughter.  She felt sad for the fish and was very angry at the guy. Our empath's sensitive souls go beyond the physical that is around them.

If you can, limit TV and make sure to watch shows before your child watches them. Be ready to decompress after TV time.  I'll talk more about this as we can't shelter our children forever,  but we can balance life in a way that supports parent and child.

For some of our empaths-TV time is the only way they decompress. Find a quality show they can watch and don't worry about TV time, it might be just what your empath needs. Of course in moderation. 

8. Emapths tend to be vivid dreamers

This has become something real for us and now I wonder just how long my daughter has been dreaming. The hard or beautiful part of this is many empaths are known to have clairvoyant abilities. Their dreams are visions of things to come.

9. Empath's do not brush things off

Our empaths feel things deeply. While I believe in gentle parenting for all children,  it's an absolute must with an empath.

My daughter has watched children be reprimanded at the park and it has stayed with her. The things that most children can move on from, our empaths can't. They don't jump back into playing or...

My daughter's response to what she takes in- "Is that little girl going to be ok? (no she isn't asking because the little girl was wasn't physically reprimanded). Is that mommy sad? I don't want to stay here anymore, let's go. I bet that little girl feels very sad. Do you think she will be ok."

The other side, out empaths will become quiet, frustrated or sad. Remember they absorb the energy of others and when they are young they don't always have the words to talk through what they feel or they don't know how to release the pent up energy.

10. Artistic and/or musically inclined

Just as nature soothes the empath, art and music often do the same.

For my daughter, "rocking out " is an incredible release of energy.  It's where she let's loose of everything she has held onto.  I remember thinking she would love calm classical music. Oh how wrong I was. Rock is her jam and the older, the better.

11. Empaths know when people are dishonest

What more can I say... You won't be able to lie to an empath. Your body language and the subtle change in your voice is all an empath needs.

A good reminder that honesty is always best, no matter how hard.

12. Empaths may always have owies

Remember how our empaths absorb it all? Well unfortunately when they are little, this often means expressing what they absorb in a way that makes sense to them. So your little one may complain of a stomach ache or tell you their head hurts or their leg hurts or...

Again, I'll share more on this and give some suggestions for how to walk through this, but for now I want to say this- Do not dismiss this as attention seeking or anything negative.  Science has indicated that emotion and stress can manifest as physical pain, as well as inflammation, and endocrine disruption. So be mindful that our empathic little ones take in more than we do and express it in different ways.

A lot to take in, I know. For now, just remember this,  you can't retrain an empaths brain. You can't make them less sensitive.  You can't and shouldn't make them "act like every other child."

You can love them, exactly where they are at. 

You CAN break their spirit though and make an empath feel ashamed of who they are. You CAN add to their feelings that they don't belong.

Good news, you can make parenting mistakes and learn from them and move forward. It's never to late to realize your child is an empath and find ways to support them. Perhaps you're finding this out when your child is a teen and you're thinking, "I have ruined my child." Don't do that to yourself. Now you know. Now you can work to learn more and support your child.  For an older child that may look like bringing in outside support (a counselor or someone to help retrain some patterns).

It is never to late to be a supportive parent! Remember that.  Don't waste time on the what ifs. Put your energy into what you can do now.

Parenting the Empathic Child Part 2 coming soon. It will follow up this email with how I have navigated the above in more detail.

I look forward to supporting you and your child on this journey. 




Leave a Comment