., Babies To Toddlers

Raising A Kid That Feels All The Feels

It has really struck me over Christmas how emotionally sensitive our child is. He really is in tune with his emotions and everyone else’s around him. For a three year old it’s pretty impressive that he is able to identify and express most of his feelings.

Amidst the haze of Crimbo Limbo, we had a couple of days just me and him. Some we spent at home just winding down, playing with his new toys and watching TV. These days were freaking epic, we just stayed in our Pyjamas eating cheese and Quality Streets. Others I took him out for the day to play or to the cinema -just to get out, away from  ALL – THE – FUCKING – BOXES  and have some fun.

One day in particular, we were in the car. We always play loud music and have a dance. That Ellie Goulding song came on “How long will I love you, As long as the stars are above you”.  You know that really cute, sickly sweet one.

I’m singing along, dodging traffic.

Next thing I know he’s bawling his eyes out. I thought he’d bitten his tongue or banged his head on the window (happens often with his manic backseat dancing). So I pulled over, got out and started checking him over for injuries, asking him whats wrong…

“I want Daddy, I want my Daddy! he sobbed

“Daddy’s at work today”   I said trying to comfort him, still thinking he is bleeding from somewhere…

“Daddy, Daddy, my Daddy”  tears literally streaming down his face.

I climbed in the back and cuddled him and told him Daddy was at work and would be back later but he just kept crying.

This seriously went on for ten minutes.

“Do you miss Daddy?

“Yes, when will he be back to me?”

“Did the song make you sad?”



Just feel the need for a little disclaimer at this juncture:  I had been an awesome parent all day long, I (the Mother) had done nothing wrong.


But of course fucking Ellie Goulding, with her perfect hippy hair and totes emosh songs, making my sweet baby cry. Now I have to play Russian Roulette with the radio and avoid all emotional tunes. All I’m left with is Gangsta Rap or Classic FM.

He’ll also do things like give you a cuddly toy to take to work so you won’t be lonely all day without him or ask to buy someone a present “so that then they will be happier Mummy”.

I know this all sounds very sweet and it is, but there is a flip side to having an emotionally sensitive child. It’s great that he is in touch with his emotions and has no inhibitions when expressing them, because I don’t want him to be all bottled up.

But the trouble is he feels ALL HIS FEELS, very intensely. He lets all that shit out and he lets it rage.

So when he is cross, he is very fucking cross and you will know about it. Sometimes via a Thomas train being launched at your noggin from across the lounge.

He also feels his injustices, like literal stabs in the back and will hold a grudge for hours, days even. You can’t put it past him to remember something that happened three months ago. I once tripped over him when we were dancing in the lounge, he was break dancing on the floor (as you do) and for weeks after he told random people  “Mummy stood on my head”.

I bloody well did not.

If another kid is horrible to him, he will start shouting “You are not my best friend anymore!”.  Even though they only met five minutes ago and probably don’t even know each other’s names. Several times I’ve heard this echo around a Soft Play warehouse and had to clamber up some god forsaken plastic pipe to reach him. He feels that emotional hurt very personally, even when it’s not deliberate.

He also feels emotions very intensely on behalf of other people, so watching certain programs or movies can be hard for him. Especially if someone is being picked on or gets hurt. He cried when Puss In Boots fell off the cliff and was too distressed to realise that all was fine again ten seconds later. We had to rewind it and show him.


Reading this back, I’ve made him sound like a bit of an emotional basket case. But then he is three years old and three year olds are always on the verge of some kind of melt down. Perhaps it sounds worse because he is a boy and boys should be tougher right?

Let the girls cry and have a whinge. The boys can just smash shit up and fart on each other.

Except I don’t believe that and I don’t believe that you should protect your kids against their own emotions. Just because I feel bad, that he feels sad – doesn’t mean I should dismiss it or try to diminish it in some way.
Even if his feelings are misguided or a bit over the top, he still feels them and in that moment it really is completely  devastating for him.

For him, all the feels he feels – are very, very real.

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  1. I love this post and totally agree with what you say about it being different for boys and girls. I think it’s awesome that he’s sensitive, it means he cares and will grow up to be a really grounded boy. My stepson (now 13 yo) used to cry when he opened ketchup sachets and it spilled a little…my husband worried about that at the time but now we see that part of him is brilliant, he’s compassionate and really kind as a result of it. Thanks for hosting #stayclassymama

  2. Omg are you serious? He started crying because of the Ellie Goulding song, that is sooooo sweet. I probably wouldve started crying at his crying hahaha. He sounds very emotionally intelligent, giving you stuffed animals when you go to work! Love it. #stayclassymama

  3. I think that’s awesome that he feels so deeply! Sounds like that is just part of his genetic makeup, so I bet he’ll be like that forever!

    My 4-year-old daughter shocked the hell out of me one day several months ago when she burst into tears when I was singing that beautiful old song “I’ll Be Seeing You” in the car. I turned around and smiled at her as I sang the final line, “I’ll be looking at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you.” Since it’s usually my son who is the sensitive one (isn’t that usually the case?), I initially thought that my singing was responsible for the sobfest. But once she gained her composure, she simply said, “Mo-om, that was sooooo sad!” Now, it’s only happy songs for her!

    As for your son, he will make a wonderful husband one day. 🙂

  4. This is so sad, but so sweet at the same time #stayclassymama

  5. Oh we have a sensitive one just like ou little man, and she has award winning emotions over many many things, at any time of day or night. Perhaps we should set up a support group? Are you up for it? #StayClassyMama

  6. Aww bless him! It must be hard, as you obviously want them to be a bit emotional but on the other hand you don#’t want them to get upset all of the time 🙁

  7. I completely understand this. My two year old gets dad about missing her dad too. She is a very sensitive kid and loves helping everyone.

  8. oh bore of Ellie Goulding – your amazing hair and animal friendly rants upset me as im clearly not as perfect as you hahaha!
    Your little man sounds so adorable, but i see what you mean about how although it sounds sweet in practicality it can be hard.
    In my experience (2 nieces and nephews) it was actually the boys who used to be overly emotional compared to the girls. I dont agree with stopping the boys emotions – they need to let it out and know its fine to be emotional when they need to be! #stayclassymama

  9. Oh what a sweetheart, you sound like an awesome mum and he sounds like a gorgeous little man. Sometimes my four year old feels all the feels too, it can be hard to always be understanding but then you have moments like the other day when he noticed I was stressed and said ‘you can have a cuddle mum, it’ll make you feel better’. 🙂 love this post xx #stayclassymama

  10. If Ellie doesn’t give you the feels, you aren’t even human.

    I have an emotionally sensitive son as well, and someday he’s going to be the very best husband. (When he’s like 50.) First time linking up with you guys!


    1. Sarah Aslett says:


  11. Very interesting post. On one hand, empathy is such an important thing to be teaching our children, but I can get how hard it must be for a little fellow that hasn’t learned yet how to process his emotions. I’m sure as he gets older it will be easier. #stayclassy

  12. My son is sensitive too but still wants to smash shit up and tell fart jokes!I love how their little characters are obvious so early on.#StayClassyMama

  13. Ah, bless him! If it helps, my husband hates Ellie Goulding’s music so when she comes on, he cries too #stayclassymama

  14. I feel for you and for him it is hard going through life as a sensitive soul, I used to hate it about myself and see it as a weakness, so when I saw it in my daughter and my youngest son I was so worried for them. But then I realised it was a strength, it is big part of what makes me a good kind person. It helps me be a writer and it helped me be an amazing nurse. I believe it also makes me a great mum. So now I each my children that it is part of their strength, and as long as they don’t let people walk over them and they still stand up for what they believe that they can be emotional and strong! #stayclassymama

  15. Lauren says:

    My five year old (at the time) started crying when we were watching ‘the good dinosaur’ at the end when the little caveboy goes off with his family, he’s super sensitive and when I asked him why he said because now the dinosaur is all by himself, he actually did a happy dance when the dinosaur found his family too! Sensitive kids are amazing but shit they are hard work sometimes! It’s like walking in egg shells all the time to keep the cost of future therapy down! #stayclassymama

  16. I have a very sensitive little guy also. Sometimes it can be tough, but it is better than holding everything inside. At least they are learning that young.

  17. Oh, bless. I think it’s better that he’s in touch with his emotions rather than feeling like he can’t express himself – surely it’s healthier to let it all out? It’s good that he’s an age when he can express what he feels with words – at 19 months, my daughter has a very limited vocabulary, so when she gets upset about something I often have no idea why. I’m assuming things will get easier once her language gets a bit more sophisticated. #StayClassyMama

  18. Awww what a sensitive little soul. I have a 3 and 4 year old and I worry that my two don’t have enough empathy as they don’t seem to understand different emotions bit I think their delayed speech and language plays a huge part in that. It sounds like your little man is very articulate though and has excellent understanding and being so intelligent at such and young age I guess can have its downfalls. My kids have absolutely no awareness about the more serious or complicated stuff in the world and sometimes I think that’s a blessing.

    Thanks for hosting #stayclassymama

  19. Having seen how funny and confident he can be on your videos, the fact he has a sensitive side just makes it sound like you are showing off now! Seriously, he sounds lovely, and it is definitely an unfair assumption that boys are not sensitive. Your son sounds a lot like my friend’s son, who is now 12, but who has always really looked after her. Through her divorce he was her rock and he is such an intelligent, interesting little person for his emotions. #Stayclassymama

  20. I absolutely love this. Bravo to him for letting his feelings flow and brava to you for letting him flow his own way (: #stayclassymama

  21. Ah bless you, my eldest has just started to recognise that Hubs goes out to work and gets upset too. It breaks my heart when I see how much she misses him!


  22. Oh I love this, and feeling all the feels is something that we should all be teaching our children. My Oldest is very much like this. She sobs over every film/ ever! Home Alone even! I daren’t show her Bambi! If someone has got upset at school then she really feels it, hates arguments, and a book has to have a happy ending. But reading this post has made me realise that I have probably been guilty of trying to get her to stop crying, when instead I should be encouraging her to feel it and share how she is feeling. A really thought provoking post. ps I too am also someone who feels all the feels which is why when my daughter cries I try and get her to stop ASAP, before I start bawling my eyes out!#stayclassymama

  23. Sometimes those emotional kids are very tough to parent. I find it’s hard to get my eldest to spit out WHY she’s so upset. She feels her feels as well but she’s very quiet. It’s like she thinks she’s inconveniencing me by burdening me with her feelings. Please child – tell me!
    Best of luck with your little man – I hope he continues to feel his feels and be a sensitive and loving man in the future!

  24. Ohh I have two children who feel all the feels, and two (the youngest two!) who could not give a tiny rats ass!!! I think it’s lovely that he is so in touch with his emotions, what a trait to have. #stayclassymama

  25. kerry says:

    Aww this is sad but lovely, It cant be easy seeing your little one emotional but his heart must be huge! I’m sure your bringing up a very kind, caring and loving little boy. #stayclassymama

  26. I feel you, Sarah. I really do. My eldest is three next month and exactly the same. It’s wonderful and exhausting and upsetting and beautiful all at once. Such high emotional intelligence is a gift though. Just think how thoughtful and kind our boys will grow up. #StayClassyMama

  27. Poor baby missing his dad. My little one does the same. #stayclassymama

  28. It’ll make him emotionally stronger when he’s older I’m sure. The fact he feel empathy and can understand his emotions can only be a good thing. Sounds like a really sweetie!

    Sally @ Life Loving

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