Raising a Highly Sensitive and Spirited Child

Raising a Highly Sensitive and Spirited Child 2

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 Highly Sensitive Child: Helping Our Children Thrive When The World Overwhelms ThemThe Strong, Sensitive BoyThe Strong, Sensitive BoyUnderstanding the Highly Sensitive Child: Seeing an Overwhelming World through Their EyesUnderstanding 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 ChildrenParenting 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 ChildrenThe Highly Intuitive Child: A Guide to Understanding and Parenting Unusually Sensitive and Empathic ChildrenAll Too Much for OliverAll Too Much for OliverHow to Grow a Visionary: The Highly Sensitive Child: A Practical Every Day Survival GuideHow 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 ChildrenThe Reality of Holiday Overwhelm for Highly Sensitive ChildrenWhen Attending Church is Painful – Highly Sensitive Children and AdultsWhen Attending Church is Painful – Highly Sensitive Children and AdultsListening to What Your Child is Really SayingListening to What Your Child is Really SayingHow To Talk With Your Daughter About PubertyHow To Talk With Your Daughter About PubertyWhy I Don’t Micromanage My Picky EaterWhy I Don’t Micromanage My Picky Eater6 Reasons Why We Changed Our Mind and Stopped Spanking6 Reasons Why We Changed Our Mind and Stopped Spanking100 Wholesome Books for Girls and Tweens100 Wholesome Books for Girls and TweensHighly Sensitive Children, Shy Children, and SpankingHighly 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, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and EnergeticRaising Your Spirited Child WorkbookRaising Your Spirited Child WorkbookTaming the Spirited Child: Strategies for Parenting Challenging Children Without Breaking Their SpiritsTaming 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 ChallengesGetting Spirited Children to Sleep and Related ChallengesRaising a Spirited Child and Feeling Like a Bad MotherRaising a Spirited Child and Feeling Like a Bad MotherRaising and Embracing Your Spirited ChildRaising and Embracing Your Spirited ChildIdentifying and Understanding the Red Zone with Your Spirited ChildIdentifying and Understanding the Red Zone with Your Spirited ChildHomeschool Curriculum for a Right-brained, Spirited ChildHomeschool Curriculum for a Right-brained, Spirited ChildTeaching Our Spirited, Active Child to ReadTeaching Our Spirited, Active Child to Read


Discussion Boards

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!



Raising a Highly Sensitive and Spirited Child

5 Comments

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  • I feel blessed having come across your blog. Much of what you share resonates with me, it has put much clarity to my experience in our homeschooling journey with my precious kindergartner daughter. I have reserved the books at our local library: “Raising Your Spirited Child Rev Ed: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic” and “Taming the Spirited Child: Strategies for Parenting Challenging Children Without Breaking Their Spirits”. I look forward to reading and applying the principles mentioned in the books. Thank you for sharing your experiences and the information provided. Your words of reassurance provided to homeschooling parents are also much appreciated. It’s easy to get lost with all the advice that “experts” and families provide with regards to educating your children that sometimes the God given parent intuition and knowledge gets left at times by the wayside (loss of confidence). Thank you once again for putting things into perspective once again.

  • Hi Sandra and welcome! I’m so glad you found encouragement and helpful information here. I know it’s so encouraging when other parents find out they aren’t the only one. I’m going to be adding more resources to this page so please do stop by again. And also feel free to stop by and share what you found helpful in the books. But you are so right. Listen to your God-given intuition. No one knows your daughter like you do. I truly believe if we study our children, we will find most of the answers we are looking for. 🙂

  • Hi Sallie, I just saw your response to my post over at Simple Homeschool and had to pop over to look at these links. This is wonderful information. Thanks so much for sharing it with those of us raising sensitive kiddos 🙂 Have a wonderful day! Kara

  • I am so glad I found your website; I am not sure what to think of my nearly 4 year old. He is learning the same way as your little girl did (Leapfrog videos) and is reading to me, pronouncing out words we have never looked at before. And since he was a baby people have asked me if I’ve had his hearing checked (I have) because he simply ignores when he wants to. He is a generally very happy child, and I’ve noticed that his attitude is fine when given choices and that discipline seems to have no affect.

    Still, I wonder… is he an accelerated learner with typical PreK behavior, or is he gifted? I have done a bit of research and cannot tell. I really appreciate all the links to look at here – hopefully I can find my answer!

  • I have just found your Blog. Thank you for these links. I am a mother of a highly sensitive, spirited child on the Spectrum. And yes, so many believe this does not exist, because they have not experienced it. I appreciate you just saying those words.

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