Do you have a deeply feeling kid? Here’s how to best support a child with ‘explosive’ emotions

A child psychologist shares her tips and tricks for parenting highly sensitive children

Do you have a deeply feeling kid?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Have you noticed your child's emotions seem more 'explosive' than those of other children around them? If so, you may be parenting a deeply feeling kid - and one child psychologist has shared their tips on how to best support them.

No two children are the same and drawing comparisons between them is usually not a helpful or fruitful task, for the parent or the child. However, when it comes a child's development, both physically and emotionally, sometimes having a look at other kids their age can help you figure out where your child is excelling or falling behind. 

One factor that may stand out is a child's emotional development. Is their behaviour vastly different from that of their peers? Perhaps it could be described as more intense, more charged, or more 'explosive.' Sometimes it can just be personality, or a phase, but you might also have what child psychologist and author Dr. Becky Kennedy calls 'a deeply feeling kid.'

Taking to Instagram, Dr. Becky, known as drbeckyatgoodinside on social media, shared, "Some kids, I call them Deeply Feeling Kids, tend to have more explosive moments, take longer to calm when upset, and tend to push us away in the moments they struggle the most."

The first sign of a deeply feeling kid, she shares, is that they may 'push you away when they need you the most.' She explains, "You know that they're upset, you go to offer support, and they scream 'leave me alone!'"

The second sign is that they have huge reactions to seemingly small events. "This doesn't mean they're dramatic, this means they're desperate to be taken seriously," Dr Becky shares. 

The third and final sign is they blame you for things that are not your fault. "Maybe they go and try out for soccer, they don't make the team, they come home and tell you, 'You made me try out, I never wanted to in the first place.' This relates to the shame that they're prone to feeling."

So what do you do if you notice all three of these traits in your child? Before delving into any solutions, Dr Becky reminds parents, "If you have a deeply feeling teen, nothing is wrong with you and nothing is wrong with your kid."

While there are ways to teach your kids how to manage their anger and expert tips for teaching kids emotional intelligence as well as solutions to break the cycle when your kid is being rude, these may not work with a deeply feeling kid who needs a different type of support.

Speaking to PureWow, Dr Becky recommends something a little unconventional. In order to deescalate the overwhelming feelings a deeply feeling child has, the parent needs to be present but not involved. 

She explains, "You do basically nothing. You can't say anything in that situation, the shame is so high. It’s important to be there, because your presence actually communicates to them, I’m going to keep you safe and I can stand you when you're like this, so you're not so bad after all.”

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.