Say it Out Loud 

My mama’s heart is so thankful. Today the volunteer Sunday school teacher began with a guessing game. She invited the children to close their eyes and listen for a sound, then guess what instrument created the sound.

What I admire about how this happened was that each child could participate in whatever way fit best. One little boy wanted to hide under a table while he closed his eyes. One little girl wanted to not close her eyes, but squint really hard instead. And then my son didn’t want to close his eyes at all.

She said out loud to the children that all of these things: hiding under a table, squinting really hard or keeping your eyes open were “okay.” The children eased into the lesson.

Then she encouraged the child making the sound with the chosen instrument to do so quietly because we want to be sensitive about sounds. She asked that the sounds be “little” sounds and not “big” sounds. Then she demonstrated what gentle sounds were like.

All of these techniques made the classroom more welcoming to highly sensitive children. As I listened to her lead the Sunday school, I greatly respected how she demonstrated respect for each child. She said out loud that it was okay to experience church in a way that felt right to each child.

As a parent of a highly sensitive child it was a balm to my soul. Children have emotional lives and moods that call for special attention and care. I thank God for places where we can say out loud the things that we need in order to feel safe, to feel at home in the world. 

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