If you are parenting a highly sensitive child then Elaine Aron’s book The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping our children thrive when the world overwhelms them is undoubtedly a must read. I guess you could say it’s the bible of parenting a highly sensitive child. Catarina Queiroz of the blog Craftie Mum read Aron’s book from cover to cover and kindly volunteered to share her thoughts.
“Are you being encouraged to think there is a problem with your child for things like seeming shy and withdrawn, worrying excessively for her age, eating problems, frequent emotional outbursts and nightmares?
It may be that you are the parent of a child that is simply highly sensitive, an inherited trait that is shared by 15 to 20% of the world’s population, irrespective of gender. In her book, The Highly Sensitive Child, Elaine N. Aron explains what it means to be highly sensitive: in very broad terms, from birth you are wired to notice more in your environment than most people and deeply reflect before taking action.
Being highly sensitive is not a disorder nor a disadvantage since in terms of human evolution it is wise to have a large minority that reflects before acting, noticing potential danger and devising good strategies to avoid it, in contrast with the bold and outgoing majority.
Aron’s book invites parents of Highly Sensitive Children (HSC) to take a fresh look at their child and start noticing the advantages of this innate temperament: like being intelligent, intuitive, creative, cautious and conscientious.
The motto the author proposes to these parents is: “To have an exceptional child you must be willing to have an exceptional child”. This means embracing your child’s wonderful sensitivity and exploring ways of helping your child thrive it in a world that belongs to the outgoing majority and promotes all forms of overstimulation. In this context, it’s important to keep in mind that enough down time and quiet is essential for a child that is highly sensitive to all stimuli from the outer world. If this need for quiet is respected, the HSC will thrive and not appear distressed at all.
From birth to young adulthood, Elaine N. Aron gives lots of useful strategies for parenting a HSC. There are 20 tips for teachers provided at the end, as well as some great resources in case the reader wants to investigate further.
The Highly Sensitive Child is like a sigh of relief for parents that are constantly bombarded by society to conform and force their child to be like most outgoing children. The truth is that it’s ok to be sensitive and this trait is actually needed to create a balance in our busy, noisy and boisterous world. If you feel you may have a HSC at home, I recommend that you relax and read this book.”
*If you are parenting a highly sensitive child and want a friendly ear, then join the Happy Sensitive Kids closed Facebook group to talk to other parents of HSC. You can also hop over to the accompanying Facebook page for this blog for more tips and advice.*
*Links to the book are Amazon affiliate links*