The Highly Sensitive Child
Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them
A groundbreaking parenting guidebook addressing the trait of “high sensitivity” in children, from the psychologist and bestselling author of The Highly Sensitive Person whose books have sold more than 1 million copies
With the publication of The Highly Sensitive Person, pioneering psychotherapist Dr. 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. In The Highly Sensitive Child, Dr. Aron shifts her focus to the 15 to 20 percent of children who are born highly sensitive—deeply reflective, sensitive to the subtle, and easily overwhelmed. These qualities can make for smart, conscientious, creative children, but also may result in shyness, fussiness, or acting out. As Dr. Aron shows in The Highly Sensitive Child, if your child seems overly inhibited, particular, or you worry that they may have a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as ADHD or autism, they may simply be highly sensitive. And raised with proper understanding and care, highly sensitive children can grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults.
Rooted in Dr. Aron’s years of experience working with highly sensitive children and their families, as well as in her original research on child temperament, The Highly Sensitive Child explores the challenges of raising an HSC; the four keys to successfully parenting an HSC; how to help HSCs thrive in a not-so-sensitive world; and how to make school and friendships enjoyable. With chapters addressing the needs of specific age groups, from newborns to teens, The Highly Sensitive Child is the ultimate resource 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.