A friend of mine was telling me about how she discovered she may be a Highly Sensitive Person. Through our discussion of what this means, she pointed out that my oldest child may be highly sensitive, which changes the ever evolving lens through which I parent him.
Parents are inundated with messages about the best way to raise their children. What I have found to be true in real life is that what works one day may not the next day. Children are growing through many different stages at a staggering pace and so the best advice I can give parents is just to get to know their child, maintain an open and affectionate bond, and be willing to adapt to all situations that present themselves.
So when I began to consider the ways in which my child is highly sensitive, it does not create an earth shattering change in the way I parent, but it is new information I begin to integrate into my methods and the way I respond to my child.
Research psychologist, Elaine Aron, coined the term “Highly Sensitive Person” in the 1990s following extensive study of highly sensitive temperament traits. Being highly sensitive can mean a lot of different things. It means the child or person perceives sensory stimuli at a more intense rate than what most people might. Highly sensitive people may also be incredibly observant or attuned to subtle changes in the environment. They may become overwhelmed more easily. They may process events with incredible depth.
What is most interesting is that my oldest son definitely possesses some of these traits, but not all of them. He is a very deep thinker, he notices everything, he is emotional and takes very literally to heart his social interactions. But he is not bothered by