Benefits of Being a Highly Sensitive Parent


As a extremely delicate particular person and the father or mother of a extremely delicate little one, I do know excessive sensitivity and parenting are fairly the mix. And I’m not alone; based on analysis, 20% of parents are highly sensitive

I train aware parenting courses to tons of of adults all over the world, lots of whom are a part of delicate households, and I even wrote a book that helps us self-discipline delicate children in ways in which do no hurt. I reside and breathe these things. 

From my analysis and expertise, I do know extremely delicate individuals are likely to really feel emotional stimuli deeply, having a wealthy interior life. The highs really feel increased, which is nice, however the lows typically really feel overwhelming.

Nonetheless, being a extremely delicate father or mother gives us some distinctive benefits. It could actually have positive outcomes for our kids, resembling elevated empathy. Right here, I’m sharing how extremely delicate dad and mom can use our strengths to enhance our youngsters’s lives (and the world round us).

What’s a extremely delicate father or mother?

A extremely delicate particular person is somebody who experiences increased emotional sensitivity in addition to sensory processing sensitivity. This implies we could also be hyper-aware of sensory enter, as properly. (Whereas HSP sometimes stands for “extremely delicate particular person,” I’m utilizing it right here to imply “extremely delicate father or mother.”)

Loud noises can really feel louder. Brilliant lights can appear brighter. An excessive amount of contact can ship us reeling. In different phrases, good luck being a father or mother.

An HSP doesn’t essentially have sensory processing dysfunction, however as an alternative, now we have sensory processing sensitivity, which is solely a persona trait frequent to all extremely delicate individuals. Nothing concerning the extremely delicate particular person is damaged.

Being an HSP is harder in some methods, after all. We all know we’re extra delicate to triggers, be they emotional or sensory stimuli. For instance, if we’ve been out working errands with the youngsters all day, we would must dial down the noise once we get house, at the very least till our nervous system recalibrates a bit. 

Nonetheless, by my work and expertise, I’ve discovered many brilliant spots to being a extremely delicate father or mother.

How extremely delicate dad and mom are altering the world

1. HSPs convey peace to their relationships 

The shut relationships that many extremely delicate dad and mom forge with our youngsters are remarkably stable. HSPs are sometimes deeply loyal, and as such, can have robust emotions of allegiance to our family members and work to protect {our relationships}.

We could also be extra inclined to comply with conscious parenting and peaceable self-discipline rules that prioritize the nice of the connection with our youngsters, relatively than aiming to manage them.

Youngsters who really feel valued develop as much as choose relationships in which they feel valued as properly. This creates a cycle of therapeutic.

2. HSPs rise up for what they imagine in

As a result of extremely delicate dad and mom are simply overwhelmed by damaging feelings and actions, now we have much less tolerance for emotionally aggressive habits, particularly if it’s directed at our little one. This will awaken our mama bear tendencies (or our role-equivalent if we’re not mama).

We’ll spring into motion to guard our youngsters if we imagine they’re threatened in any approach. For instance, being extra delicate to emotional tone, we might decide up the subtleties of interactions our youngsters relay to us. We’re much less more likely to brush them off or assume the whole lot’s wonderful when it will not be.

It goes past this, although. As a result of we care a lot, the HSP can even be among the many first to push again on any injustices we see. Though we could also be simply overstimulated by damaging outcomes, we’re additionally the primary ones to face up for what’s proper.

This would possibly manifest in our being among the many first to ship assist to part of the world struck by tragedy and modeling for our youngsters easy methods to make a distinction for others.

In doing so, extremely delicate dad and mom change into the change-makers of the world. We’ll rise up for what’s proper even within the face of adversity. What a present to mannequin this for our youngsters, particularly for these children who’re additionally highly sensitive.

3. HSPs create a cycle of therapeutic of their household

The brain regions of sensitive people are hyper-aware of physique language, emotional sensitivity, emotional cues and refined stimuli, resembling facial expressions and non-verbal communication. 

Being extra-aware of different individuals’s feelings leads to elevated responsiveness. It additionally impacts our skill to be current, as a result of the extremely delicate mind doesn’t have a way to dismiss what’s occurring round it. It’s going to note issues that others would possibly miss. 

In consequence, the kid of a extremely delicate father or mother could also be extra more likely to really feel seen by their caregiver. Youngsters who really feel seen and valued aren’t rising as much as move alongside their ache to others; they’re passing along the healing they’ve received.

Self-care for the extremely delicate father or mother

Realizing that the HSP has higher sensory processing sensitivity and might be deeply affected by our environment, we must be proactive about self-care.

Ideally, we do that earlier than we begin feeling overwhelmed. Right here’s some recommendation for prioritizing self-care:

  • Reframe so-called damaging feelings as messengers; all emotions are secure. They’re simply data.
  • Reduce brilliant lights and loud noises for these whose sensory processing sensitivity is coupled with generalized excessive sensitivity. (These battery-operated toys? Yeah, no thanks.)
  • Asking for assist. Once we want a break, there’s by no means any disgrace in reaching out for help.

As a result of HSPs are typically delicate to each exterior and inner stimuli, we’re additionally delicate to our personal feelings. It’s useful for us examine in on what we’re feeling and needing and what we’re bringing to the desk in our parenting. 

If, for instance, we’ve had quite a lot of environmental stimuli earlier than the youngsters are house from faculty—bringing with them, after all, extra sensory stimuli—we might be intentional about carving out a couple of minutes of quiet time earlier than their arrival. Our nervous system wants it.

A word on being a extremely delicate father or mother

We will mannequin for our youngsters easy methods to handle each constructive and damaging influences of life with efficient coping abilities, figuring out that our deeper processing additionally empowers us to convey deeper therapeutic to the world.


Acevedo BP, Aron EN, Aron A, Sangster MD, Collins N, Brown LL. The highly sensitive brain: an fMRI study of sensory processing sensitivity and response to others’ emotions. Mind Behav. 2014;4(4):580-594. doi:10.1002/brb3.242.

Brandon A. Kohrt, Katherine Ottman, Catherine Panter-Brick, Melvin Konner, Vikram Patel. Why we heal: The evolution of psychological healing and implications for global mental health. Scientific Psychology Assessment, Quantity 82, 2020, 101920, ISSN 0272-735.

This story is part of The Motherly Collective contributor community the place we showcase the tales, experiences and recommendation from manufacturers, writers and specialists who need to share their perspective with our group. We imagine that there isn’t any single story of motherhood, and that each mom’s journey is exclusive. By amplifying every mom’s expertise and providing expert-driven content material, we are able to help, inform and encourage one another on this unbelievable journey. In case you’re interested by contributing to The Motherly Collective please click on here.

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