Kathryn Pearson was a sensitive child.
As a kid, she explains, she was quiet and observant and became easily over-stimulated by sound.
She was uncomfortable wearing certain materials, and asked her mum to cut all of the labels out of her clothes.
Nearly three decades on, not much has changed; she’s a sensitive adult. The 34-year-old dresses only in cotton from head-to-toe, as she finds synthetic materials over-stimulating. She easily picks up on other people’s moods and emotions, and confides that a visit to Meadowhall is overwhelming for her, and usually requires a quiet afternoon of recovery on the sofa.
And as mum to six-year-old Yasmin, Kathryn sees her daughter carrying on that same sensitivity.
“I’ve always felt a little bit different,” says Kathryn, who lives with her family in Dinnington.
“It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s I came across a book about sensitive people, and realised I was reading about myself. My daughter was just a baby at that time, but as she grew up I recognised so much of myself in her. She’s always been observant and quiet too, and will - even now - sit and weigh up a situation before proceeding, rather than diving in.
“She’s also very aware of my emotions, and picks up if I’m feeling upset or anxious, and mirrors that back to me. She’s extremely intuitive and empathetic. As she grew up, and we tackled different things together, I began jotting down the knowledge I was gaining and the experiences we were having.”
Kathryn has now transformed these jottings into ‘The Sensitive Subject,’ a handbook, designed to provide guidance to parents who may be struggling with the barrage of emotions and other issues that accompany parenting a sensitive child.
Kathryn, who is a teen yoga teacher, says: “After six years of discovery and trial and error, I want to share what I’ve learned - parenting her and parenting myself to manage our sensitivities so that we can thrive in this modern world. For something so niche, it’s been very well-received.
“I believe that by helping parents to identify with this all-too-common behaviour early on, and by changing some of our learned responses to suit our child’s sensitivity, it can make for a happier life all round.
“The Sensitive Subject started life as a blog, and I now have a community of people on Facebook that have come together to share their experiences and insights.
The 63-page e-book is available on Amazon, priced at £11 - click here to buy. Visit kathrynpearson.co.uk for details.