About me

Years before I had children, I never thought I wanted them. But the day I had my first, I couldn’t imagine my life without him. My children have made me who I am today. They are my heart, they are my soul, they are the air that I breathe. They are my everything.

My eldest is a Highly Sensitive Child. My husband and I didn’t always know that. We knew he stood out in every group he was a part of, in ways that were both good and not so good , and although we knew how amazing he was, not everyone could see it. He is often misunderstood by family members, other children, and his teachers. We finally put our finger on what this was when I discovered Elaine Aron and her book, The Highly Sensitive Child. After having read the book, it all started to make sense. I started to speak with other parents of Highly Sensitive Children, and it was like hearing our story over and over again.

After four years filled with challenges, worry and also lots and lots of joy, I am now confident that I know my child better than anyone else does. I know why my son acts the way he does in certain situations. I know what causes him to be anxious. I know what he enjoys, I know that he reasons like an older child, I know that he loves deeply. I look at him in awe and admiration. He has made me a better person. He is my inspiration.

I started this blog in hopes of being able to reach not only other parents of Highly Sensitive Children, but also teachers, caregivers, and anyone who knows a Highly Sensitive Child. This topic is still unknown to many, making it especially difficult on our Highly Sensitive Children to fight their way through life while being completely misunderstood. It is our responsibility to help bring to light the fact that these children are not just normal. They are extraordinary!

In my efforts to help inspire sensitive little ones out there (including my own), I wrote and published a picture book, All Too Much for Oliver, with the help of other mothers of highly sensitive children. Please check out our website for more information on the book, and our work.

All Too Much for Oliver, a Picture Book for Highly Sensitive Children


If you’d like to read more honest stories about parenting a Highly Sensitive Child, please SUBSCRIBE to Sensitive and Extraordinary Kids.

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15 thoughts on “About me

  1. Sasha

    I would say I do not know any highly sensitive children at this time but perhaps even this is not true for like you said, there is not too much awareness to this as of yet. I look forward to becoming more educated in this area. I am happy to have found your blog and also to read more about this issue!

    Reply
    1. Leila Boukarim Post author

      Thank you so much Sasha! Highly Sensitive People only make up 15-20% of the population, which is why you’ll find that most kids will behave like, well, most kids. I have now been able to spot a Highly Sensitive Child in a group, the observant quiet one, the one who prefers to be on his/her own, the one who needs more time to be ready to join in the fun. Although this is not a new topic, it has only just started gaining awareness recently. I met the first parent of another HSC just last year, and before that, my husband and I felt completely clueless and alone.

      Thank you so much for coming by to have a look. I also am really glad I found your blog Sasha!

      Reply
  2. David M. Bridges

    Leila

    I am an HSP male who teaches at the university level and I am always on the lookout for HSP’s in my classes. When I think I have spotted one, I ask to speak to the student one-on-one and ask some questions that have to do with their feelings, if they need time alone, if some of their peers or parents think they are “weird” etc. I have been able to discover several HSP’s and affirm their trait as a good thing although they are in the minority and sometimes misunderstood.

    I grew up one of those “shy and slightly weird” children and not until I was in my early 50’s did I discover Elaine’s book which really helped me. Thank you for your work and understanding of HSP children.

    Reply
    1. Leila Boukarim Post author

      How lucky these kids are to have a teacher like you takes the time to understand and appreciate them for who they are. How difficult it is growing up feeling like you’re the odd one out. I was also that child, and moving from country to country and from school to school throughout my childhood did not help at all.

      With my four-year-old, I have also struggled to help teachers understand why he is the way he is, and many times I’ve felt almost like I’m talking to a wall. After hours of discussions, I’d get called back in for the same reasons… And it was always MY problem, not something we could work on together. Luckily he now has a teacher who does her best to make him comfortable, and the wonderful thing is that she does that with all her students, even if it means more work. It a blessing to find a teacher who cares. The world needs more people like you David.

      Reply
  3. Valeria

    My four year old son is a Highly Sensitive Child too) And when his sister was born I realized that it is not my illusion about him, so different they are!)
    Unfortunately there are very few people that know about HSC. Thank you Leila for sharing your experience with us!

    Reply
    1. Leila Boukarim Post author

      Hi Valeria! I felt the same way when I had my second. Fortunately in just one year, awareness has increased significantly. Yes we’re still a very long way from there, but at least were getting there.

      I’m so happy you stopped by and I hope you enjoy our stories! I look forward to hearing from you again!

      Reply
  4. Raising Babes, Naturally

    Hi Leila! Beautiful blog here! Discovered you while searching for some like-minded bloggers to connect with. My 7 year old son is a HSC and I’ve written lots of hilariously horrific tales over at my blog 🙂 I’ll be emailing you…hoping to create a Blogger Tribe / Blogger Group to connect with.

    And meanwhile, if you’re curious, i’m blogging at http://RaisingBabesNaturally.blogspot.com while getting my WordPress site up and running. Love + light!

    Reply
    1. Leila Boukarim Post author

      That sounds wonderful! Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I’ve been on the road the last few days, but it made me very happy to see your message. I will check out your blog and follow you, and I look forward to reading your email!

      Reply
  5. chiffonchic

    Hi Leila, it’s great to discover your blog. I have recently googled the behaviour of my 4.5 year old girl and realised that she is a HSC. It was certainly not easy in all these social situations where every other kid is having fun and mine just stands around looking glum.

    In fact, at the christmas party we went to last week, she didn’t want to choose her present when it was her turn during the kids’ gift exchange. She whispered to me that she was shy. It was awkward when all the other kids were excited and happily grabbing presents when it was their turn. In fact, one parent even said it would probably take an hour and she wouldn’t even have moved.

    I felt really heartbroken that my girl has started to label herself as shy. I hope now that I understand her more, I will be able to guide her through these situations…

    Reply
    1. Leila Boukarim Post author

      I will never understand grown-ups, let alone parents, who say things like that about other kids. If anyone should understand kids it should be parents, right? I am so sorry you had to go through that. We have been through so many situations that were heartbreaking and embarrassing all at the same time. I’ve had stick up for him, justify his behavior, and sometimes just run away. After I started to understand where all this comes from, I stopped really caring about what other people said or did, and it helped me to keep my cool when it wasn’t easy. I’ve also witnessed my son change in incredible ways, starting to like things he used to despise. But of course there are still many things other kids love that he can’t accept, which I totally understand. For instance, he now enjoys birthday parties which were a nightmare for all of us in the past, but still can’t tolerate the piñata bit of the party because it’s too violent for him. So when all the other kids are fighting for the stick, he’s hiding behind me closing his ears.

      My son hasn’t described himself as shy, but I was given that label when I was little, and I never felt like it fit. But it stuck and that was how I saw myself. It makes such a difference when people understand high sensitivity and that it does not necessarily come with shyness. Once people understand why our little ones behave the way they do, labels can b avoided, especially those that are incorrect. It makes me so happy that awareness on the topic is increasing very quickly, and I really believe that will make things easier on our HSCs.

      Thanks so much for reading!!

      Reply
  6. Pingback: H is for Highly Sensitive | Tellin' it like it is...

  7. Laura Hornblower

    Hello Leila,
    I am the mother of a highly sensitive 6 yr old (gorgeous, absolute light of ky life) little boy. Im after bit of advice (its hard to come by good, understanding advice).
    Its regarding relocating with a highly sensitive child. Would you have any advice? If so could I email you?
    Thanks
    Kind regards
    Laura

    Reply
    1. Leila Boukarim Post author

      Hello Laura, of course you can email me any time at leilaboukarim@gmail.com. We moved our son from Lebanon to Singapore (BIG move) when he was just over 3. Living in Singapore also means he is constantly having to say good bye to good friends, which can also be very difficult, even if you’re not the one moving. I myself was raised in five different countries and went to eleven different schools before I went to college, so I’m well aware of what it feels like when you’re highly sensitive and having to deal with all that. I will be waiting for your email x

      Reply

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