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The Strong, Sensitive Boy

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  38 reviews
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"Every parent of a sensitive boy should read this book."
--Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. author of The Highly Sensitive Person and The Highly Sensitive Child

"The Strong, Sensitive Boy offers practical advice and innovative solutions for parents, teachers, and anyone working with sensitive boys. I highly recommend it."
--Michael Gurian, author of The Won
Paperback, 200 pages
Published May 3rd 2010 by Prana Publishing
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
20% of all males are found to have a "finely tuned" nervous system, making them Highly Sensitive Boys/Men.

"The more awareness you can spread about this trait, the more you will have helped your son and society."

My son is a sensitive boy, showing superior intuition, compassion, kindness, and a naturally gentle spirit. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I am already actively engaging in most of the practical parenting advice offered in this book. I only hope I can recall the recommendation of
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
While I'm not really into self-help books, is there anything wrong with getting parenting advise from them? ;-)
This book gives me a big pat on the back for the way I choose to raise my son.
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
SOOO good! I think this is the best, most healthy treatment of both extremes of the sensitivity spectrum. The book totally redefined my understanding of Sensory Integration Disorder. If you are a sensitive male or are raising a boy (sensitive or not), this is a must-read.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this for my personal development in hopes that it would help explain some of my six year old's behavior. It's nice to get reassurance that he's perfectly "normal" and there are many other boys out there that are just like him. The author comes from the standpoint of; 20% of the population is especially sensitive and it evenly split between boys and girls. Society though, in the United States anyway, is NOT geared to supporting the sensitive boy, in fact, the sensitive boy's self esteem us ...more
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any parent
This book offered a lot of ideas that had been unknown to be before. Not only were there many stages of a child's life that the author reviewed, but he also addressed misconceptions throughout a boy's life that children might run into and offered possible actions to cope with each stage. In addition, there were responses in the back from HSP as well as insights offered by other psychologists. I've already lent this book out and have promised others they can borrow it. ...more
Jun 21, 2013 rated it liked it
A great eye opener about the impact on boys of being highly sensitive. Other books I have read are about children in general and as a mother of 3 boys this gave me a good insight into challenges facing boys who are more gentle in nature than their counterparts. An interesting read with a great section on schooling and team sports.
Jun 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Broaches a delicate subject thoughtfully and compassionately

As someone who would most likely be diagnosed as a HSM, this was an affirming and supportive read. A lot of the advice and guidance at the end of the book feels like it would be beneficial in general, so it’s the material on what an HSB is and how he functions that is really useful for this particular topic.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting, kids
Pretty good but as another reviewer commented, you are probably doing most of these things if you are reading the book. I love that Zeff quotes Gurian, my "go-to" on rearing boys. However, I did notice so much of this research is outdated. Not sure what is coming out of the Gurian camp these days, but would love some updated research. I wish I could have certain people in my sons' lives read this in order to support them better, esp. in sports. I found a number of interview statistics interestin ...more
Michael Reist
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Man up. Be tough. Don't cry. Emotional repression is one of the biggest problems facing men today. This book is essential reading for parents of highly sensitive boys. It is also a must read for highly sensitive men. Elaine Aron introduced the topic of high sensitivity with her book "The Highly Sensitive Person." Ted Zeff zeros in on the particular ways high sensitivity is experienced by males and the issues it raises in men's lives. ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book fills an important niche. My parenting instincts have been well tuned to my sensitive son, but not everyone's is, especially in such a sexist culture. All male children are not "all boy," nor should they be. This also gave me additional strategies that work with my son's learning style to better help me support him in school. ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I love the idea that we are starting to recognize that not all boys are the same. My three boys are very sensitive, and have had a difficult time making their way in the world. My problem with this book started when he got into the "save the planet" stuff. So tired of all of that. ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
While I didn't find the book ground breaking, I did appreciate the acknowledgement that not all boys are the same. My son is not a "HSB", but he does have some of the sensitive traits. The discipline and sports sections were relevant to where we are right now and I found them the most helpful. ...more
Alexa Clay
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good evidence-based information and guidance on raising boys who may be more sensitive than their peers. It brings to light the stereotypes and pressure that men and boys have to face, particularly in American culture.
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
A reassuring read - lots as a parent of a sensitive boy and partner of a sensitive man I innately knew but it's nice to have it laid bare in front of you. I imagine I'll refer back to this on occasion. ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Reinforced concepts. Overall, I need to appreciate my son for who he is :)
3.5 stars. Although I didnt really learn much that I didnt already know, it helped me see that I'm on the right path and confirmed some theories I had. I had mixed feelings about some of the advice about talking with teachers and other adults that influence your child, but I get the intent and agree that as a parent our job is to be our child's advocate. Although there were no revelations per se, I'm really glad I read this one since its given me a more concrete plan for helping my son with his ...more
Janice Forbes
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
When I first started reading this book, I wondered if the author's first language was other than English. The language seemed contrived. I found it didn't flow. I'm not entirely convinced of the need to single out highly sensitive boys for special treatment. I found myself asking, wouldn't one treat any child this way. I felt many of the childhood experiences recounted were very like my own, and I'm a female. I felt mostly misunderstood at school, by insensitive teachers, who assumed that I was ...more
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book gave me a lot of insight into what is most important for an HSB growing. The book helped me redefining some important moments in my youth and helped me defining and accepting myself as an HSM.

A must-read for any parent, coach, teacher or adult who want to better understand and help the high sensitive boy or man around them.
Corinne Yee
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I'd say it is a good book for basic understanding of the subject. However, the research for this book included interviews with onky 30 highly sensitive males, which is scientifically a very low number from which to generalize too much. I'd like to see information gathered from 1000 or more HSMs to see if that changes the percentages and generalizations made in this book. ...more
Mary Frances
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this book helpful in giving me insight and words to help my son understand his sensitive nature. I’ve actually seen a lot of growth in him as he’s become more aware of how his sensitivity is a strength, why that makes certain types of relationships more challenging, and how to give himself permission to be ok with the wonderful way he was made.
Shauna Miller
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book annoyed me on many levels. I kept waiting for a nugget of information that wasn’t completely obvious, but never found it. It also felt strongly injected with a healthy dose of opinion, too. Not that I always disagreed, but it was too overt. Not helpful to me.
Sep 02, 2021 rated it liked it
It was ok, and I will keep a few ideas, but I was annoyed at the labelling/identity focus and at the way it felt like it was saying “actually, it’s the nonsensitive men and their culture who are problematic”. That’s how I received it, at least.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
An interesting premise, but the book devolved into anecdotes with little real evidence to support some of the claims.
This book felt super outdated, like it was written decades ago. Still has some helpful tips, though.
Matt Stiles
Mar 29, 2021 rated it liked it
I seem to remember getting something from this? but I couldn't tell you what ...more
Luisa Millan
Jun 17, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: hypersensitivity
I started reading and reached half way through but did not enjoy it.
Dana Lahtionova
Sep 14, 2021 rated it liked it
Very useful and informative book. Important topic, but the information can be packed in article and not book. Felt my time was consumed inadequately. But still it was worth of listening to.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book was disappointing. I really wanted to appreciate it, but the best I can do is appreciate that it exists and is decently written. Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Child is much better, more thorough and more specific. In particular, the inclusion here of bioessentialism with regard to brain development (mostly debunked) and hormones was off-putting to say the least. If you have any familiarity with the way that the expectations of American masculinity pressure boys to repress their fe ...more
Aug 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: asd, parenting
Good reminders for parents, but if you are reading this book you are probably already doing 95% of it suggestions. The book is geared toward those who would not even pick up the book--mothers and fathers who treat their sensitive kid with a brash discipline and a condescending/mocking tone. Zeff leans toward letting the sensitive kid set his boundaries on what he will and won't do. He offers advice like: sports are good for those sensitive kids who are naturally athletic, but not for those that ...more
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Wanted to give this 2.5 stars really.

This book is pretty simplistic and I found the writing style irksome. It's all very chatty and I didn't believe that the subjects he spoke to were real people - more like he made the quotes up to make the points he wanted to make.

If you are a sensitive person yourself none of what he writes will be new or a surprise. I suppose if you don't understand sensitive people in your life then this may well help to make sense of their behaviours.

The whole book can b
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