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1 in 15 Children Have This, Does Your Child Have HSC Too?
A highly sensitive child (HSC) is one of the fifteen to twenty percent of children born with a nervous system which is highly cognisant and quick to react to everything. This makes them quick to grasp subtle changes, prefer to reflect deeply before acting and generally behave meticulously.
They are also easily overwhelmed by high levels of stimulation, sudden changes, and the emotional distress of others. There is a blend of traits a HSC can have – some are fairly difficult, emotionally intense, persistent and demanding–while others are calm, turned inward, and almost too easy to raise except when they are expected to join a group of children they do not know.
Although each HSC may have different traits, all are sensitive to their emotional and physical environment.
Could your child be a HSC? Here are a few common habits of Highly Sensitive Children:
- Easily startled, doesn’t really enjoy big surprises
- Learns better from a gentle correction than strong punishment
- Uses big words for his/her age
- Very intuitive and has a clever sense of humour
- Struggles to get to sleep after an exciting day
- Doesn’t do well with big changes
- Asks a lot of questions
- Wants to change clothes often if wet or sandy
- A perfectionist
- Notices subtleties (a change in a person’s appearance or something that’s been moved)
- Performs best when strangers aren’t present
- Feels things deeply
- Bothered by noisy places
- Very sensitive to pain
- Notices the distress of others
How To Help Your HSC
First and foremost – know that it is not an illness or syndrome. Nor is it something new that was just discovered or made up – it is an inborn temperament or style that is found in about twenty percent of children.
Here are a few tips to help you parent a HSC child:
1.Don’t raise your voice
Shouting at a HSC will only cause them stress and actually scare them. Shouting for them to clean up their rooms will have anything but the desired effect of getting them to move faster. Try to keep things calm, including your voice, if you want to get your message through to a HSC.
2.Warn your child of an upcoming transition
Give your child time to adjust to the idea of a change. In general, HSCs do not enjoy change and do not respond very well to being asked to stop what they are doing and quickly switch to something else.
For example, “Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes. You have 5 more minutes to play and then 5 minutes to tidy up” will work so much better than, “Dinner is almost ready! Pack away your toys now and get ready to eat.”
3.You know your child better than anyone else
You know what makes your child happy, what makes them sad, how they are most likely to react in a specific situation and how they will feel about an activity.
Trust that you know your child!
This fact will help you make decisions about and with your child that will help them flourish – even when there is resistance to your way of doing things.