My Orchid Children

I have just finished reading Susan Cain’s bestseller Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. In her book she talks about ‘the orchid hypothesis’ (on page 111), and it’s imagery I love when it comes to highly sensitive children.

The orchid hypothesis is a theory by David Dobbs that highlights the importance of an environment for highly reactive children. These are children with a sensitive nervous system. Highly reactive children are highly affected by both positive and negative experiences.

I LOVE the reference to orchids. I love thinking of my highly sensitive children as orchids that can flourish in the right conditions. Orchids are beautiful, and one of my favourite flower so the imagery is wonderful. The key, I guess, is to figure out the environment that our little orchids best flourish in……..

Orchid Children (blog)


About Amanda van Mulligen

Mother, writer, author, blogger. Born British, Living Dutch. I have three Dutch sons and a Dutch husband and I blog about Turning Dutch and raising highly sensitive children.
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6 Responses to My Orchid Children

  1. Pingback: How it Feels When an Orchid Child Starts to Flourish | Happy Sensitive Kids

  2. Pingback: Village or Town – Which is Best for a Highly Sensitive Child? | Happy Sensitive Kids

  3. Nicole says:

    David Dobbs is actually writing about Boyce and Ellis’s theory of Biological Sensitivity to Context, which they also explain in the context of Dandelion and Orchids, and yes it is a brilliant analogy – one I use often (and I have Orchids around the house to remind me!).


  4. Pingback: My Parenting Goal as the Mother of Highly Sensitive Children | Happy Sensitive Kids

  5. I recall a time when our child was really struggling, and we were looking at planning for a transition to a new (and much bigger) school. The Principal told me the story of the dandelion and the orchid and it stuck with me as a beautiful way to illustrate that with the right conditions, we can all thrive. Thanks for this post and the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: I’m Sorry, Highly Sensitive is Not on My Checklist | Happy Sensitive Kids

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