Tendencies and Advice:
- awknowledging his discomfort (empathy) and then telling him how and when it will end. Show respect for his response (something I don't do well), sympathy for his desired need, and my own valid reason to delay (or do nothing) (e.g. we have to use up this brand because we cannot afford to waste it). He will grow in the ability to understand.
- put him in charge of solving his own problems (e.g. if he's fussy with his socks then put him in charge of finding his own socks).
- put limits on what you can be expected to do (e.g. I will tie your shoes for you up to three times, trying to follow your instructions, but after that it will have to suffice because by then I will frustrated too and won't have the time to continue).
2. he becomes easily overstimulated: Advice here is to don't let him go into a test unprepared -- talk about what could go wrong and how to handle it. Help him enjoy activities in a non-competitive environment.
3. he has stronger reactions: Advice to parents is to remain non-defensive; let him fully express his emotions (perhaps even in a private place) and be patient with him. Admittedly, this is the hardest for me to do because I don't like strong reactions.
As a non-HSP I am likely to feel impatient because he pauses before acting. Expect that decisions in particular will be slow .... have patience!
Some other advice:
- don't make him your confidant (HSPs are great listeners)
- avoid teasing (he likely hears an undercurrent of hostility or superiority that comes with)
- ask for affection (e.g. ask "would you like a hug?") instead of demanding it; keep affection light and brief
- avoid invoking shame: feeling guilty assumes you did something wrong but that it's something you can make right; shame assumes you are bad and helpless to fix things (typical signs are hangs head, averts eyes, etc.). HSCs feel shame easily (it's self-inflicted), but they use the experience to learn -- they enjoy feeling virtuous and secure that they will never learn that kind of shame again from a similar experience
- practice gentle discipline (no punishment): an explanation of why the behaviour is wrong should suffice; HSCs are hard enough on themselves, harsh punishment is too much to bear for most