Does your child hate tags on their clothes, woolen singlets, have fussy tendencies such as wanting the same spoon, the same clothes etc. Do they know which side of their blankie is rough and which is smooth but you can’t tell the difference? Do they feel temperatures more, smell more? Are they fussy eaters? Does your child get distressed in loud or crowded places, do they stand back and watch and ‘size up the situation’ before getting involved? Are they ‘slow to warm up’ to changes or people? You may have a Highly Sensitive Child. Around 15 – 20% of our general population are “highly sensitive” but it is a little known and little understood trait. Parents with these children, or adults who are highly sensitive will greatly benefit from understanding the unique strengths and challenges that these people face.
Elaine Aron, Ph. D. in her book, “The Highly Sensitive Child” describes well so many children I see in my practice. These children can present with a variety of symptoms and troubling behaviours, but what links them all together is that they have highly tuned and active senses: they see (notice) more, they hear more, they smell more, their skin is more sensitive to touch, they are often fussy eaters as their taste sensations are highly tuned and they are very sensitive
Elaine describes these children with artful brilliance and I highly recommend her book to anyone who thinks they may have a highly sensitive child. However, I don’t fully endorse her solutions to these issues, as she tends to allow the sensitive child too much license to become equal with Mum or Dad and therefore take on an Alpha role in the home – something that they are prone to try anyway.
Sensitive children are not well understood or recognized in today’s world and I’m keen to share the concept with parents who may find this a wonderful insight into the world of their child. Elaine eloquently writes “It is primarily parenting that decides whether the expression of sensitivity will be an advantage or a source of anxiety”.
If you think you may have a highly sensitive child, we can help guide you through the parenting wilderness to find the oasis that really exists in your precious child. Please contact us for guidance via our contacts page.