I am the mother of three highly sensitive sons. I myself am highly sensitive. I learnt this fact because of amazing teachers at my eldest son’s peuterspeelzaal. They recognised traits and behaviours in him at the age of three that are consistent with being highly sensitive.
Goodbyes in school were heart wrenching for him from day one. It took months for him to get used to being left in school. And because it was such an emotional hurdle for him, it was incredibly upsetting for me too. No parent likes to leave a child anywhere when they are crying, kicking out and obviously feeling lost.
However, as the weeks went by it took my son less and less time to ‘recover’ from me leaving him in the peuterspeelzaal. I had immense faith in his teachers that he would be okay once I was gone. And if he wasn’t they would call me.
One day, when my husband picked my son up from school, everything changed for my little family because two Dutch teachers did their job exceptionally and they took the time to really see my son. They uttered the words ‘highly sensitive’. It was the start of a parenting journey that I am still on. It’s the reason why Happy Sensitive Kids was born. The reason why the peuterspeelzaal will always have a place in my heart, even though all my boys are now in primary school.
“The term ‘highly sensitive’ meant nothing to me six years ago, back when I was the bewildered mother of a three-year-old boy who seemed unable to tolerate the world around him.”