Some children are very sensitive. Here's how to help them thrive
Parents may be concerned about the challenges their child will face if they are highly sensitive, but psychologists say that in the right environment, children who possess this trait can thrive.
A highly sensitive person is someone who processes things around them, positive and negative, more deeply.
The term "highly sensitive person" was said to have been coined by psychologist Elaine Aron in the 1990s. According to Aron, about 15% to 20% of the population can be identified as highly sensitive.
Aron says that parents must first be aware that highly sensitive children are profoundly influenced by their environment both at home and at school. She suggested that parents should be active in creating a good environment: "It's not okay to think that these kids are going to be like other kids and manage it," she said.
Aron adds that permissive parenting does not help highly sensitive children. This is also known as indulgent parenting, where the child is given few guidelines and rules.
However, she suggested creating a balance, as children with these traits "need boundaries and rules, but not harsh punishment."
Verity Alexis, a child psychologist, says it's essential for parents to encourage highly sensitive children to develop awareness and not be ashamed of what they feel.
Meanwhile, child development psychologist Mina Minozzi called on parents to avoid using the terms "shy" or "emotional".
Instead, Minozzi suggested that parents pay attention to and reinforce the positive qualities that come from being highly sensitive, such as their empathic and observational skills.