PSYCHOLOGY NEWS - The Power of Sensitivity: Celebrating the Strengths of Sensitive Kids
Dr. Lynn Margolies
Good news about vulnerable, sensitive kids:
…Some kids are born more sensitive, vulnerable, fussy, and inflexible. These kids from the start have a delicate nervous system. They are more thin-skinned and reactive to the environment around them.
…Not surprisingly, adversity in the formative years such as: a troubled family life, poverty, neglect, harsh discipline - and/or parenting that is insensitive, unattuned or authoritarian - leads to mental health issues, behavioral problems, and other poor outcomes in these kids as they grow up.
But there's good news from recent research:
…Sensitive children are not only more susceptible to negative influences around them, but are also more responsive to positive influences - benefiting easily and to a remarkable degree - from support and responsive parenting.
…With some extra help and a little care these kids soar outperforming their more resilient but less sensitive peers - both emotionally and socially.
…Whether they thrive or flounder depends on the climate they are in growing up.
…More naturally resilient kids seem to roll with adversity and not be affected much by the atmosphere around them. But - there is a disadvantage: they are also less responsive generally - failing to be sensitive to and take in the benefits of enriching environments.
Reference:Belsky, J. (2015, Sept/October). The upside of vulnerability. Scientific American Mind. 26(5).
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