Our daughter is a highly-sensitive and spirited child. Anyone who thinks those labels are imaginary probably does not have a child like this. Some children simply interact with the world differently. Once you begin to read the explanations of others, it is like the light comes flooding in because it all finally makes sense!
Highly-sensitive and spirited are not the same thing. But I have grouped them together here because I suspect there is often much overlap.
There is very little out there that is helpful for understanding how to raise, nurture and discipline a children like this. In fact, much of the advice given (especially in Christian circles) is actually counterproductive, sometimes in the extreme. I’m thankful that I listened to my God-given instinct and did what I thought was right for my child, even when it went against the standard parenting advice.
I’ll continue to add resources here as I find them. I will also be writing about my own experiences in parenting a child who is blessed in these ways so please subscribe to my site and stop by often. I also welcome any link or book suggestions that others would recommend!
Please note: The inclusion of a book, article, author, or link is not an endorsement of all its content or the content of the site on which it is found.
Highly Sensitive Child Books
Thankfully there are a number of books about understanding children who are highly sensitive. Here are several to get you started.
The Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When The World Overwhelms ThemThe Strong, Sensitive BoyUnderstanding the Highly Sensitive Child: Seeing an Overwhelming World through Their EyesParenting the Highly Sensitive Child: A Guide for Parents & Caregivers of ADHD, Indigo and Highly Sensitive ChildrenThe Highly Intuitive Child: A Guide to Understanding and Parenting Unusually Sensitive and Empathic ChildrenAll Too Much for OliverHow to Grow a Visionary: The Highly Sensitive Child: A Practical Every Day Survival Guide
My Posts Related to Highly Sensitive Children
I’ve written many posts that relate to parenting a highly sensitive child. Our daughter was clearly highly sensitive from day one, even though we didn’t understand it until later.
The Reality of Holiday Overwhelm for Highly Sensitive ChildrenWhen Attending Church is Painful – Highly Sensitive Children and AdultsListening to What Your Child is Really SayingHow To Talk With Your Daughter About PubertyWhy I Don’t Micromanage My Picky Eater6 Reasons Why We Changed Our Mind and Stopped Spanking100 Wholesome Books for Girls and TweensHighly Sensitive Children, Shy Children, and Spanking
Highly Sensitive Child Articles
Here are several online articles that address the highly sensitive child.
The Highly Sensitive Child from Sensitivity-HSP
The Highly Sensitive Child from Family Education
The Highly Sensitive Child: Parenting Strategies from Family Education
The Highly Sensitive Child from The Highly Sensitive Person
Raising a Sensitive Child from Education.com
Spirited Child Books
Books about spirited children? Yes, please! These kids are their own special little intense whirlwind of joy and activity. These books will help you understand how to best approach parenting a spirited child without (completely) losing your mind.
Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and EnergeticRaising Your Spirited Child WorkbookTaming the Spirited Child: Strategies for Parenting Challenging Children Without Breaking Their Spirits
My Posts About Spirited Children
I’ve written about my experience in parenting a spirited child. For me, it has centered on sleep, the red zone, and embracing the unique individual she is. We also homeschool so the spirited them travels through many of other posts on my website that aren’t listed here. There is a lot of overlap with my posts about gifted and twice-exceptional children.
Getting Spirited Children to Sleep and Related ChallengesRaising a Spirited Child and Feeling Like a Bad MotherRaising and Embracing Your Spirited ChildIdentifying and Understanding the Red Zone with Your Spirited ChildHomeschool Curriculum for a Right-brained, Spirited ChildTeaching Our Spirited, Active Child to Read
Some discussion boards I’ve found at various websites that offer a lot of food for thought.
Support for Raising Spirited Babies from Baby Whisperer Forum (There are many threads on this topic. You will not feel so alone after you read some of them!)
HELP – How to Enjoy a “Spirited” Baby from Baby Whisperer Forum
How do you feel about the term “free-spirited child”?? from Mothering.com
Spirited Children on BabyCenter.com
Spirited Child Articles
Several online articles about spirited children and how to best parent them.
The Spirited Child from The Fussy Baby Site
How to Handle Your Spirited Toddler from Baby Center
Nurturing Our Spirited Children from Nurturing Our Families
You may also find my Raising a High Need Infant, Baby, Toddler and Child page helpful!