Have you noticed that your teen seems to be highly reactive to external stimuli? – Sandra
Highly sensitive adolescents have a tendency to get easily overwhelmed, or obsess over something said by a peer to them. These intelligent, caring, and creatively expressive kids are frequently mislabeled as fearful, fussy, and introverted. For parents that have a teenager who is highly sensitive, there is great value in your teen learn to manage their vulnerabilities and harness their strengths.
Outside of North America, HSP’s have been accepted for who they are and seldom teased. But within our culture, it’s not unusual for them to be given the message they’re “weak” and need to “toughen up.” Given that they feel things intensely, highly sensitive adolescents frequently respond strongly in the face of a challenging or negative situation.
Not all sensitive adolescents are introverted. Many can function very well in team environments, helping other people to see the larger picture, and bridge differences of opinion. In my own experience, when parents can supply understanding to support to their adolescent, it enlarges their toleration for group tasks and activities.
Parents of sensitive adolescents need to find a balance between shielding them, and holding them back from encounters that would enhance their growth. The goal is to help your teenager develop trust in themselves, as well as their abilities to rise to the challenge of whatever situation they find themselves in. They also have to learn how to self-soothe, take time to recharge their batteries, and reach out for support.
Early childhood experiences may have an enduring effect on highly sensitive teen’s self-awareness and experience of life. They’re also generally more prone to anxiety as well as melancholy, and sensitive to criticism. If your adolescent is having trouble flourishing socially or academically, I would be happy to think together with you about how best to support your child.
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