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The bestselling author and psychologist whose books have topped 900,000 copies in print now addresses the trait of “high sensitivity” in children–and offers a breakthrough parenting guidebook for highly sensitive children and their caregivers.
With the publication of The Highly Sensitive Person, Elaine Aron became the first person to identify the inborn trait of “high sensitivity” and to show how it affects the lives of those who possess it. Up to 20 percent of the population is born highly sensitive, and now in The Highly Sensitive Child, Aron shifts her focus to highly sensitive children, who share the same characteristics as highly sensitive adults and thus face unique challenges as they grow up.
Rooted in Aron’s years of experience as a psychotherapist and her original research on child temperament, The Highly Sensitive Child shows how HSCs are born deeply reflective, sensitive to the subtle, and easily overwhelmed. These qualities can make for smart, conscientious, creative children, but with the wrong parenting or schooling, they can become unusually shy or timid, or begin acting out. Few parents and teachers understand where this behavior comes from–and as a result, HSCs are often mislabeled as overly inhibited, fearful, or “fussy,”or classified as “problem children” (and in some cases, misdiagnosed with disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder). But raised with proper understanding and care, HSCs are no more prone to these problems than nonsensitive children and can grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults.
In this pioneering work, parents will find helpful self-tests and case studies to help them understand their HSC, along with thorough advice on:
• The challenges of raising an highly sensitive child
• The four keys to successfully parenting an HSC
• How to soothe highly sensitive infants
• Helping sensitive children survive in a not-so-sensitive world
• Making school and friendships enjoyable
With chapters addressing the needs of specific age groups, from newborns through teens, The Highly Sensitive Child delivers warmhearted, timely information for parents, teachers, and the sensitive children in their lives.
As a highly sensitive person (HSP) herself and a psychotherapist, Aron is in a strong position to provide guidance to parents who are raising highly sensitive children (HSCs), and provides here a wealth of useful suggestions and case studies. The author, who has studied and written about what she calls "high sensitivity" (The Highly Sensitive Person), states that this is a personality trait that occurs in 15% to 20% of the population. Although HSCs tend to be "empathetic, smart, intuitive, careful and conscientious," they are also easily overstimulated and require informed parenting in order to prevent temper tantrums, stress illnesses and the avoidance of pleasurable group activities. Aron offers helpful advice that will assist both nonsensitive and highly sensitive parents through all stages of their child's development from infancy to adolescence. For example, since HSCs have great difficulty with change, it is necessary to prepare them gently so that they do not feel powerless during transitions. According to the author, there are four basic strategies that will help an HSC to become a happy adult: parents should foster their child's self-esteem, try to reduce the feelings of shame HSCs may develop because they are different, employ only mild positive discipline and learn how to talk positively to teachers and friends about their HSC so that interactions will be productive.