Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them” as Want to Read:
The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When the World Overwhelms Them

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  798 ratings  ·  122 reviews
15-20 per cent of children are highly sensitive - and they are often labelled shy, introverted, fussy or faddy. The real story is very different though and this practical book helps parents know what to do, when to back off, and how to ensure their child is given the right sort of treatment at school. It provides parents with insights and information so they can understand ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published October 8th 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Highly Sensitive Child, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Highly Sensitive Child

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,858)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Baker
Highly sensitive individuals are those born with a tendency to notice more in their environment and deeply reflect on everything before acting, as compared to those who notice less and act quickly and impulsively. As a result sensitive people, both children and adults, tend to be empathic, smart, intuitive, creative, careful, and conscientious (they are aware of the effects of a misdeed, and so are less likely to commit one). They are also more easily overwhelmed by "high volume" or large quanti ...more
Eve
Four-word review: Are you kidding me?

Now, the longer version...

My daughter is an 'HSC,' or Highly Sensitive Child. We knew that from the time she was two days old and wouldn't let me put her down so I could go to the bathroom in the hospital; when I called the nurses' station for help, they commented that they'd already noticed her clinginess in the nursery. Fast-forward four and a half years, and my girl complains about bright lights and loud noises, can spot a balloon stuck in a tree half a mi
...more
Lauren
I skimmed this book because I thought it might offer helpful techniques for handling some of my daughter's challenges. I wavered throughout the book on whether she was actually a "Highly Sensitive Child", but regardless thinking about her as highly sensitive does help me to be more empathetic. And that was the most useful part of the book for me -- having a shift in mindset, imagining what it would be like to be so highly attuned to the world that the smallest changes would be upsetting. As for ...more
Abby
While the book gave me some insight into why my daughter reacts the way she does to certain things, what I really needed was some advice on what to do about it. Specifically how to discipline. I didn't find that here.
Laura Cowan
It's useless to have regrets now when I didn't have control over my own childhood, but how I wish someone raising or teaching me had read this book 20-30 years ago. I am now raising my own sensitive child, who is a little different from the way I was but showing all the hallmark signs of high intelligence and high sensitivity, and this book really helped me in ways other parenting books and advice completely miss. I really like the bulleted lists: the only reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 ...more
Dawn
Aron offers some solid background and tips for understanding, dealing with, and encouraging a child with a sensitive temperament. In this context, "sensitive" does not mean hippy-dippy tree-hugging stuff. It means a greater sensitivity to external stimulation, like being massively overwhelmed by noise, colors, crowds, different foods or fabric textures.

This book gave me a sense of reassurance that both myself and my sensitive daughter are doing okay. I had some minor issues with Aron's insistenc
...more
Monica
This is a great book. Really helped me learn how to deal with my son better. There is a test you can take online to see if your child is highly sensitive. (sensitive to sound, touch, light food etc.)
Kara
I am a little torn on how many stars to give this book.

On the one hand, I feel that the book definitely helped me understand my highly sensitive son better. Little things that used to annoy me, or times when I thought he was overreacting, now make more sense to me and I'm able to have more patience and understanding. I feel less overwhelmed by him and so relieved to know I'm not alone and that there's an underlying thread to many of his perplexing behaviors.

On the other hand I felt like the book
...more
Beth Gordon
This book really resonated with me from the first page. I could check off practically the entire list when thinking of my daughter. It's good to finally point a finger to a potential reason for her sensitivity.

What kind of irked me about the book was how to cope with having a highly sensitive child. It says to explain to the principal of your child's school about your child's temperament and ask for special accommodations. I agree that explaining it to the child's teacher would be helpful, but
...more
Cyndi
This is the third time I've checked this book out of the library. The author has plenty of insight into raising a sensitive child, and her discussion of family dynamics is spot on. As a mother of a highly sensitive daughter, I appreciate this resource. The sections on discipline and communicating with teachers are helpful. Some of her recommendations are over the top, though. I am trying to raise a reasonable, flexible kid; so this means not always indulging her preferences. Where the author rec ...more
Lori
This book was so reassuring. I understand better why certain situations that are supposed to be "fun" cause my daughter stress and anxiety. Sudden loud noises, an abrupt change in the plan or routine and rooms filled with chaos can all be triggers for tears and behavior that can appear irrational to someone who is not highly sensitive or who has a child who "goes with the flow".

This book is also a valuable back up for parents who are tired of rationalizing the way their kids react to other peopl
...more
Lucy
I have a sensitive child who is easily overwhelmed. I have realized that I do not parent him in a way that helps him thrive.

This book did not help me because it told me that for him to thrive, I can never appear to be upset in front of him, never raise my voice, never make him eat anything he doesn't want to, never force him to be in a situation he finds himself uncomfortable in...basically let him live in a totally unrealistic world.

While I found the suggestions to be over-the-top (the author
...more
Susie
Love this book. I don't like the subtitle as much, and I don't really think it reflects Aron's thoughts, but publishers like to have something catchy that sounds problem-solving, so there you go.

If you're not familiar with Aron's work on highly sensitive people: her research indicates that 15-20 percent of the population has an innately more sensitive nervous system. This makes these people more perceptive in their physical senses (sometimes only certain ones), more attuned to nuance and meaning
...more
Shawna
I expected this book to actually offer suggestions for helping me cope with my HSC, but it didn't.

When it offers a suggestion at long last, it follows up with, "But this may not work for your child, all children are different." Gee, no kidding. Just give me SOMETHING to go on.

I discovered I was an HSC, too, and am an HSA, and that my son was an HSC, only I was unaware of the concept, and probably "ruined" him.

HSC's need a different type of parenting and need different levels of understanding, ho
...more
Jo Bennie
When I began reading this book I was sceptical. I did not want to label my 7 year old. I knew that t the discipline style my partner and I were using was not working, but was wary of pigeonholing her. But as I read more of Aron's book I found a wealth of compassionate guidance which has allowed me to help a child who is deeply affected by the world around her and is easily overwhelmed.

Aron begins with an questionnaire and overview of what a sensitive child is, what their particular needs are an
...more
Anna
It was a very interesting book, that gave me really good insights into not only my son but my husband as well. However it was a little overboard with how perfect HSCs are. They are just human like everyone else.
Helen
Sep 24, 2014 Helen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Helen by: Eve Kelleher
Think this book would be especially useful for particularly sensitive children with overwhelmed parents who didn't understand how to deal with their sensitive child, and were overwhelmed and at their wits end. Also good for teachers, careers and other family members in contact with very sensitive children.

Being sensitive myself, and having a sensitive child, I could relate to a lot of the book's content, but there is such a lot of overwhelming advice in this book. It made my head spin a bit read
...more
Ali
This book will change my Jadelyn's life, I can better cope as her mama and it's giving me insights into my own temperment as well! Thank you Carol!!
Cball
HOLIE COW! I FINISHED THIS BOOK IN EXACTLY 2 YEARS.

I'm not a non-fiction reader and I tend to steer clear of parenting books because about a quarter of the way through I come to the conclusion (again) that all of my problems are because of ME not because my kids may be challenging or something. I always hate it when it is all my problem. I like to share in the challenge.

Anywho. This *is* a good book and I probably would have gotten even more out of it if I had read it when the kiddos were presch
...more
Jamie Williamson
Sep 22, 2014 Jamie Williamson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents
Having this book recommended to me was my light bulb moment it's when I fully realised that I was a highly sensitive dad raising a highly sensitive daughter. At first it was really difficult to read without getting very emotional as I reflected on my own childhood misgivings and the daily challenges I was facing as a parent. Once into the book it felt like I already knew so much because I have lived and breathed being a highly sensitive person and parent. The structure and strategies have been i ...more
Amanda
This book hit the nail on the head. This is my child. Aron does a great job of explaining that certain things (loud noises, clothing textures, intense movies or shows, interacting in social settings, etc, etc) may seem like no big deal to most of us, but can be a huge deal for highly sensitive children because they're so acutely aware of everything, becoming overstimulated and stressed. Frankly, I noticed a lot of myself as I read this as well.

My child is quick to cry, doesn't like big surprise
...more
Jenny Gruber
This turned out to be a very helpful book. You have to get over the dead-horse beating she does at the beginning regarding how much you should appreciate your HSC, but once you do, there are some helpful, practical analyses and suggestions. (The author says she was an HSC, so that's probably why there's so much time spent on lecturing you to love your child for who he is. Maybe some folks need the reminder, but I figured if I picked up the book in the first place, it was probably a good indicati ...more
Darcy
I am pretty sure that Grae fits into this category of child, but didn't feel that I had the time to read the whole book. I may get it from the library again in the future. Mainly, I just needed to understand Grae a bit better, and I feel that I did gain a better understanding of him reading the portion of the book that I did. A main point that the book discusses that I struggle with is to not feel ashamed of or embarrassed by your sensitive child. Sadly, I sometimes do feel that way, because Gra ...more
chasmyn
Mar 19, 2008 chasmyn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents of highly sensitive children.
I found this book to be very helpful in gaining perspective on myself and my highly sensitive child. Most of what I read in the book I knew instinctively, but it was nice to not only have it validated, but to have some information to help me address it with others as well. I always get stuck on what to say to other people - I know what my son needs but it seems to be difficult for others to understand, and I've always had a difficult time explaining it to them. If you're NOT a highly sensitive p ...more
Carrie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jen
This book has been incredibly helpful for our whole family. Honestly, I would give it a five star rating for a brief paragraph that says something that NO OTHER book I've read acknowledges: More babies sleep through the night at four months than at five months. My daughter slept well for her first four months, and then by six months she was teething, growing, learning all kinds of new mobility skills, AND dealing with a new separation anxiety. Her sleep became very interrupted, but half of the b ...more
Rebecca
The author spends a lot of the book defining what she means by "highly sensitive child" -- basically the kind of kids that are slow to warm up in new situations or prone to extreme meltdowns when too much is going on. Of course, I kept thinking "but who isn't??" but my husband assures me it all seems like normal behavior to me because I was slow to warm as well (anyone else cry every day when they had to get on the school bus and not tell your parents?). She emphasizes that while a lot of HSCs m ...more
Sylver
I'm so happy I found this book! Reading this has helped me understand my son so much better, and at the same time, I've discovered a lot of things about the other members of our family and myself as well. We're all very sensitive (not only emotionally) and reading this book has helped me realize the reason we act the way we do. I hope to be a more compassionate, sensitive mother, so that my children will be able to achieve their potential, with their self-esteem intact, and that our home may be ...more
Alisha Haight
This was a great insight to my child and myself. We are both sensitive, HSP and HSC I guess. It made me react differently to my son. However, I felt that being sensitive was being used as an excuse too often in the book. Just because you are sensitive, i don't believe it should be used as a crutch, and I will not ever tell my child he is highly sensitive for that very reason.
Sara
A helpful overview of the HSC (highly sensitive child), Which includes 15-20% of children. Most of the book, however, focuses on the more common type of HSC, the "shy" kids (I'm not supposed to call them that). My child is in the 30% of HSC that are outgoing and social, but also highly emotional, explosive, resistive to change, and hyper aware of details, sounds, etc. the "drama queens". So while I learned a lot from the book, not a ton of the practical advice in it applied to me. The only secti ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 61 62 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation
  • Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
  • Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime
  • Kids Are Worth It!: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline
  • Playful Parenting
  • Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
  • Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings
  • Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation
  • Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication
  • Nurture by Nature: How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Responsible Children Through the Insights of Personality Type
  • Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear
  • The Optimistic Child
  • How To Talk So Kids Can Learn
  • Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times
  • The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children
  • Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way
  • Freeing Your Child from Anxiety
  • Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief
The Highly Sensitive Person The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You The Highly Sensitive Person's Workbook The Undervalued Self: Restore Your Love/Power Balance, Transform the Inner Voice That Holds You Back, and Find Your True Self-Worth Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person: Improving Outcomes for That Minority of People Who Are the Majority of Clients

Share This Book