Parenting the Highly Sensitive Child

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

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Limiting COVID chaos during the school year – Harvard Health Blog

Child: “Will I go back to school this fall?
Parent: “I’m not sure yet.”
Child: “Do you know when we’ll find out?”
Parent: “I also don’t know that yet.”
Child: “Will school be the same for the whole year?”
Parent: “I don’t know that either.”

Sound familiar? If the only thing you do know is that plans are in flux, you’re not alone. School plans seem to be changing frequently — before the school year even has started in some places! With so much uncertainty, how can families limit the potential chaos that may unfold from last-minute decisions and changes? Below are four tips that may help.

Develop a plan for each school setup

Schools seem to be deciding among having all students return, all students attend school remotely, and a hybrid plan of the two. Although you can’t prepare for everything in the future, you can contain some of the mayhem by creating a plan for your family based on each of the three school scenarios. Because there is the possibility that schools may change their decisions throughout the school year, it may be helpful to develop all three now, in case any of them might be needed.

For example, when planning for a hybrid school year, have all caregivers in the house map out a schedule of child care coverage for the days when children would be home. For the remote learning days, creating a structured daily routine may help if the remote education doesn’t fill the whole school day.

It’s also important to talk to children about how school plans may change throughout the school year and what to expect from each plan. It can be helpful for children to understand why shifts in plans may happen, so explain that the goal of the changes would be

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