Is Your Child an Empath?


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Is Your Child an Empath?

Knowing that your child is an empath is the first step toward bringing out the best in him or her. Then you can support your son’s and daughter’s sensitivities as an expression of their excellence, compassion, and depth. To determine if your child is an empath, take the following assessment.


1. Does he or she feel things deeply?YesNo
2. Does he or she get over-simulated by people, crowds, noise, or stress?YesNo
3. Does he or she have strong reactions to sad or frightening scenes in books or movies?YesNo
4. Does he or she want to escape and hide from family gatherings because there’s too much
going on?
5. Does he or she feel “different” than other kids or complain about not fitting in?YesNo
6. Is he or she a good listener and compassionate with others?YesNo
7. Does he or she surprise you with intuitive comments about others or yourself?YesNo
8. Does he or she have a strong connection to nature, plants, animals, or stuffed animals?YesNo
9. Does he or she require a lot of time alone rather than playing with other kids?YesNo
10. Does he or she take on a friend’s stress or upset?YesNo
11. Does he or she take on your own or other people’s emotions or stress—and act out when you’re angry, upset or depressed?YesNo
12. Does he or she have one best friend or a few good friends rather then a large social network?YesNo

How to interpret this quiz:

Here’s how to score this assessment.

  • 10-12 yeses indicate this child has extremely strong empathic traits.
  • 7-9 yeses indicates strong empathic traits.
  • 4-6 yeses indicate moderate empathic traits.
  • 1-3 yeses indicate some empathic traits.
  • Zero yeses indicate that the child is not operating primarily as an empath.

No matter where your child is on this spectrum, he or she would benefit from being taught to honor his or her specific sensitivities.

The New Generation of Indigo Children

In the last decade, much has been said about “Indigo Children,” whom I believe are a type of empathic children with strikingly developed intuitive abilities and insight into people and world situations. They are the opposite of the self-absorbed, instant gratification generation who have a large presence in our culture today. Indigos are a great new wave of children with more awakened intuition, sensitivities, clarity of purpose, and interest in changing the planet for the good. They’re often described as “old souls” who have a profound grasp of the human condition. Some say they have lived many lifetimes to attain that knowledge. One patient describes her seventeen-year-old daughter Anna as an indigo child. She had prophetic dreams, drew “angels” in her coloring book since she was young, and saw various spirit visitors in their home. She could also intuitively read people and know what they were deeply feeling. Now, Anna wants to go into a profession to help stop global warming, a phenomenon which hurts her soul because she says, “I feel the pain of how climate change is threatening our Earth.”

Indigo children have unique needs that require parents and teachers to change how they treat them. Being sensitive to their gifts will help them achieve balance in their lives and avoid frustration. Indigo children bring the promise of a higher consciousness and a way of perceiving what happens politically, socially, and economically. As empaths, they bring the possibility for a better world with more mutual understanding and harmony in our personal and global relationships. If you have such exceptional children, nurture their unique gifts.


Judith Orloff, MD is a New York Times bestselling author with the upcoming book The Genius of Empathy: Practical Skills to Heal Yourself, Your Relationships and the World (Foreword by the Dalai Lama). She has also written The Empath’s Survival Guide and Thriving as an Empath, which offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people. She integrates the pearls of conventional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, empathy, energy medicine, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice and online internationally. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has spoken at Google-LA, TEDx U.S. and TEDx Asia. More information about Dr. Orloff’s Empathy Training Programs for businesses, The Empath Survival Guide Online Course and speaking schedule at

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