Child Care and Your Highly Sensitive Preschooler: How to Navigate the Challenges

Posted on June 28, 2019 : Posted in Legacy Academy

Is your child’s nervous system on high alert? Do they notice other people’s feelings right away? Do they react strongly to certain smells, noises, and textures? Then you may have a highly sensitive child. High sensitivity can be a great thing. Kids with high levels of sensitivity are generally caring, observant people who make great friends to their peers. However, when you have a highly sensitive preschooler, childcare situations can become challenging. Here’s how you can navigate those difficult waters and help your sensitive child thrive.

Have One-on-One Playdates

If your sensitive kid goes to preschool or another group setting, one-on-one playdates can help them enhance their friendships. Now, childcare groups are important because they help your child’s brain development and social skills. However, they can also become overwhelming for sensitive preschoolers. One-on-one playdates can help children bridge the gap between home and preschool. If you host one-on-one playdates, you give your child the chance to build deep friendships in a comforting environment. As a result of these playdates, your child will grow more comfortable with their classmates and have a better school experience. Group childcare situations will become easier.

Help Your Child Prepare

Sensitive children can struggle with new situations. You can make these situations easier by talking to your child about them ahead of time. For example, before their first day of school, you can ask your child if they have any questions. Before new events, you can prepare them the night before. A simple heads-up like “You’re going to see a puppet show at school tomorrow” can help a routine-craving child.

Try New Things at Home First

Speaking of routine, sensitive children thrive on it. Of course, keeping a strict routine isn’t always realistic. When you do bring new things into your child’s life, you can make changes easier by introducing them at home. For example, lunchtime at school may not be the best time to introduce new foods. Let your child try the new tastes and textures at home. Let your sensitive preschooler build a tolerance to these new things over time. This way, they’ll be more comfortable bringing these changes into school and other situations.

Let Your Home be a Safe Space

Your sensitive child may love their childcare situation. Many sensitive children do very well in preschools and similar environments. However, even if your child loves preschool, they may need a break from the group setting once they get home. Pay attention to your child’s sensory needs once you get home, and don’t push your child into over-stimulating environments. Your home should be your child’s safe place. You can make your home more sensory-friendly by dimming the lights if necessary and by keeping the TV and radio at lower volumes. If your child wants to play alone, allow your child to have that alone time. These changes will let your child relax and recharge from a sensory-heavy world.

Encourage Sleep

A highly sensitive child may have a hard time winding down after a busy day in a childcare facility or preschool. However, adequate sleep is extremely important for a sensitive preschooler. Start your child’s bedtime routine early in the evening. They’re less likely to face over-stimulation after a good night’s rest.

Child Care for Highly Sensitive Preschoolers

Highly sensitive preschoolers need the right childcare environment. Legacy Academy in Chapel Hill has just that environment. Children of all sensory levels thrive at Legacy Academy. At Legacy Academy, children are nurtured and encouraged to understand themselves and their needs. Ready to learn more? Contact Legacy Academy now for more information.