Self-care for the highly sensitive parent

morning-ritualpicmo

Written by Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.

I‘ve known for a decade or three that I’m an introvert, but it’s only recently — after reading Susan Cain’s excellent book Quiet — that I discovered I’m also a “highly sensitive person.”

Whether or not you’ve heard the term before, that description should ring true for about 1 in 5 of you.

A highly sensitive person is someone who’s more sensitive to physical and/or emotional stimuli than the general population. They have sensitive nervous systems, are more attuned to subtleties in their surroundings, and are more easily overwhelmed by highly stimulating environments.

Interacting with people drains introverts; sensory input — sights, smells, sounds, emotional stimulation — drains highly sensitive people. (HSPs are more likely to be introverts, but about 30% of HSPs are extroverts.)

I’m an HSP to the core. In practice, that means I avoid violent movies, am easily overwhelmed by loud noises and bright lights, need time and space to regroup on busy days, and feel like my head will explode when two people try to talk to me at the same time.

We have four kids, ages 4 to 11. Our default home environment is highly stimulating. (Or as I usually call it: just plain crazy.) Understanding highly sensitive people has dramatically changed the way we homeschool.

When HSPs get overwhelmed, their typical response is to shut down because their overworked nervous systems can’t take the strain any longer. As an HSP, if I don’t approach our homeschool days intentionally, my brain will be done by 10:00 a.m.

That is really inconvenient when the kids and I still have piles of work to get through! I need to make my energy last.

When it comes to personality, knowledge is power. I’m sharing my HSP cheat sheet in the hopes it will help my fellow sensitive types — and their kids — stay peaceful, happy, and sane during homeschool days.

cup of coffee

Start the day right.

I’ve never talked to a parent who likes to be woken by their children in the morning, but it’s especially important for HSPs to have a calm start to their days. Put yourself to bed on time so you can wake before the kids, have a cup of coffee by yourself, and do whatever you do to ready yourself for the day in peace.

(If you’re in a season where that’s not possible right now, I’m sorry. I’ve been there. It’ll get better; until then, move on to the next tip.)

Embrace routine.

Smooth routines means fewer decisions, which tax your mental energy. Consistent routines also mean less talking, which zaps the HSP’s energy when engaged in nonstop during a 8-hour school day.

Make checklists so you don’t have to remind the kids to make their beds, brush their teeth, or start their math. Streamline snack time. Put a daily schedule in place, and stick to it.

Outsource the talking.

I love reading aloud to my kids, but talking all day drains every drop of my energy.

Let audiobooks do some of the work for you. (Here’s a fantastic list.)

book basket time

Enforce quiet times.

HSPs need some noise-free zones in their day. At our house, we have book basket time: 30 minutes of silent reading time to let everyone rest and recharge, and learn something. (Mom has a book basket, too.)

We also have a daily rest time at our house. Everyone — including me — spends two hours alone (well, mostly alone) every afternoon. The kids can read, play quietly, listen to music or audiobooks, and watch the occasional movie — as long as they do it by themselves.

Control the clutter.

Messy spaces are draining for many HSPs because there’s too much visual input.

Although I would never describe myself as a neatnik, I’ve noticed that keeping my house tidy (or tidy enough) keeps my metaphorical fuel tank full. Clear kitchen counters do a lot for inner calm.

Limit the amount of information you’re taking in during the school day.

As a general rule, I don’t check email, Twitter, or Facebook during our school days. It’s not just that I don’t want my kids seeing me on my phone.

HSPs are more likely to find a homeschool day exhausting (especially with multiple students) because of the sheer amount of info coming in from all directions. The last thing my brain needs is additional stimulation via email or social media.

Be deliberate about how you rest and re-charge.

Build some down time into your day, and be deliberate about how you use it. When you need to re-charge, make sure to do something that actually fills your tank.

As much as I love catching up on the phone with a friend, that’s not the best way for me to recharge after a loud and busy homeschool morning.

I’m much better off with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Do you suspect you’re a highly sensitive person? Please share your tips, tricks, and coping strategies in comments.

Originally published on October 29, 2014

About Anne Bogel

Anne is a certified bookworm and homeschooling mom to 4 crazy kids. She loves Jane Austen, strong coffee, the social graces and social media. You can find her blogging at Modern Mrs Darcy.

Comments

  1. Great tips, Anne!

  2. I’m so sensitive I started a blog called The Highly Sensitive Homeschooler, LOL! (It’s just getting started.) It really is a struggle, isn’t it. These tips are great. My creative/ADD mind makes them hard to follow through, but when I do the days are so much better. Sharing this on Facebook!
    Amy’s latest post: What we are using this year: 11th grade

  3. Hi Anne –
    I’ve commented many times on this topic over at MMD. Even though I am not a home schooling mom, all I can say is, YES YES YES!
    Once again thank you for this info – I did not know until this year (the year I turned 50) that I am introvert and a huge HSP – because of your blog. So much makes sense to me now – knowing this is empowering to me.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

      • anne…
        i’m new-ish to MMD, although it’s bookmarked in my computer now and is a nightly read for me.
        the previous commenter mentioned that she’s commented on this topic over on MMD many times. have you blogged before about HSP?
        i very, very recently heard about the concept of HSP and and 150% positive that i am one. it describes me to a T!!! I’d love to read your other blog posts on this topic…any help on how to find them?
        thanks!
        (oh…and we homeschool…AND i have four kiddos ages 4-11. so basically, we’re sisters 😉

  4. Excellent post! I don’t really consider my self a HSP (although perhaps I could be considered a mild HSP), but I have a daughter who definitely is. She’s been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. We’re a homeschooling family of 6 and have all had to learn how to best help her during our days. This article has some great tips we could apply. And I’ve seen your recommendation for the book, Quiet, over at MMD– I think I’ll read it now just so I can better help those around me! Thanks!

    • Anne Bogel says:

      It’s such a good book! We have some SPD challenges in our home, too, so I completely resonate with what you’re saying. I’m amazed at what a difference the right strategies make.

  5. I’m an extrovert HSP and not easily organized. I have figured out a few things but need to organize them into a coherent list. Life is often overwhelming for me. Staying away from phone conversations is a must. I wish someone would write a book for extroverted HSP’s like Quiet is for the introvert. 🙂

  6. Wow. I knew I was an introvert but I didn’t realize that I was HSP. I, too, homeschool four kids ages 4-13, and it’s interesting how I’ve put certain practices into place without realizing that I’ve done it to keep my sanity! I just wanted to be more organized and less frantic during the day. One area that you’ve reminded me – I must get up before the first child and have some alone time before the day starts. I stopped doing this for some reason, and it’s really showing in how I approach the day. Thanks for the reminders 🙂

  7. Yes to all of this. I do just about all of these things and they make a huge impact on my mothering and homeschooling. I realised this about myself through Quiet as well and was able to see that I’d built up these techniques somewhat unconsciously… and what a difference they make!

  8. Anne, this post is an answer to prayer…as in my prayer this morning about why I just don’t sing or pray aloud as much as I used to – even my own voice is too much noise for my tired soul. I don’t even turn on music in the car…especially when I’m alone! I haven’t read Quiet yet, but you given me that final push to get it. Thank you!!!

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Definitely read Quiet! (It’s been $2.99 for Kindle recently.) I also recommend The Highly Sensitive Child and The Highly Sensitive Person, in that order, by Elaine Aron.

  9. Amanda Parvu says:

    Thank you for this post! So many of us HSP’s don’t even know how to identify our trait, let alone figure out how best to take care of ourselves. Recently I read a book about the topic and for the first time in my life felt I had finally figured out what was “wrong with me.” All of your suggestions are exactly perfect and practical. Thanks again!

  10. Great tips! One thing we do is limit the number of activities and errands that we do in a day. All those transitions and interactions drain the batteries.

  11. Love your suggestions, and this HSP has all of them in place at our home. The other suggestion I’d add is regular time outside. The more natural the better (a hike in the woods is restorative, a city park is the opposite). Myself and my highly sensitive daughter respond so well to time outside, the combination of physical activity and nature makes a huge difference in sanity around here. We live in the city, but it’s worth it to make an effort to escape at least once a week and frequent wild pockets when we can. It’s good for the less sensitive kids too, but I have one that especially thrives outside.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Great tip! Funny thing, we just went on a family hike on Sunday and my HSP child kept commenting how fabulously peaceful and calm he felt being out in the woods. 🙂

  12. Oh my goodness – I’ve never heard of this term before, and actually reacted against it at first when I read it in your post, but this is really me all over (and my husband too, for that matter)! I am just starting out our homeschooling journey and have been seriously wondering if I am just one of those “types” that can’t handle being around my VERY verbal, VERY energetic little learners 24/7! I’ve been frantic about the looming prospect of losing nap time. I LOVE the idea of enforced alone/quiet time in the afternoons! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Amy’s latest post: A Sacred Heart Litany for Mercy

  13. I truly used to wonder if something was wrong with me because even walking into Wal-Mart made my head nearly explode. And it wasn’t just that. I hated parties with loud music, restaurants where tons of people were talking loudly at the same time, etc. Then I realized I was HSP and knowing this has helped me come to terms with my limitations and leverage my energy better. Knowledge really is power!
    Hannah’s latest post: The Urge

  14. I’m not a HSP but I feel like this list could help me tons! I especially struggle with routine. In theory I like the idea, but in practice I feel suffocated in having to hold to a strict schedule. Still, I can imagine my day would be calmer if it puts several of these principles into practice!

    • Anne Bogel says:

      “In theory I like the idea, but in practice I feel suffocated in having to hold to a strict schedule.”

      That is me exactly. Sigh. (But after realizing how much better I do with routines, I’m now a reluctant believer.)

    • Schedules make me feel suffocated too. I tried and tried to make them work, but with four little kiddos somedays starting the day at six is a great day and some days it’s simply an awful mistake. Trying to stick to a schedule simply didn’t work.

      Routines are different. Having a routine simply means choosing certain things to do during a certain part of the day. I started with a morning routine: eat breakfast, read the Bible aloud while the kids finish eating, tidy the kitchen, oversee chores, and start school. By picking just a few things that I really want worked into my morning and doing them in the same pattern every day, it gives a bit of structure to our life.

      Oh, and one of the best routine tips I’ve ever read came from Blogging with Amy. Amy said to work “margin” into your day. There’s always going to be unexpected things come up. Just plan on it. 🙂
      Anna @ Feminine Adventures’s latest post: How to Make Meals for Others (When the Thought is Totally Overwhelming)

  15. Wow….you’ve just described me! (and my son as well). Interestingly, I’m in the middle of reading Quiet and find it very insightful. Your tips are spot on..which means I should probably go have a quiet cup of coffee somewhere. 🙂

  16. oh my goodness. quiet has been on my to-read list for way too long but i still haven’t picked it up. i almost didn’t read this post because i’m not a parent and i’m certainly not a homeschool parent, but your description of HSPs describes me so well. i read some reviews of The Highly Sensitive Person on goodreads and seeing descriptions there further illustrates me. for an example, i have a really hard time going to bible study even though i lead it (and love the girls). the process of driving there in the dark, on highways with lots of noise and bright lights overwhelms me before i even get there. then driving home is worse because it’s late and i’m tired and i’ve been with talkers for 2 1/2 hrs. then i arrive home and am upset because of how the house looks, etc. wow–this is revolutionary! i must read these books. great tips too.
    sarah k @ the pajama chef’s latest post: Mystery Dish: Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin

  17. I commented on MMD as well, but I also wanted to add here that I loved reading your thoughts on this. The daily quiet time is one thing that really stands out to me. I transitioned all four of mine immediately to this once they stopped napping, so it was never an issue. And for as long as they’re homeschooled, they never outgrow it. 🙂 I have had many friends surprised by this two-hour chunk (and maybe a little jealous?), but it’s a matter of survival for me. And I think that time is good for them as well, especially when we live in such a stimulating society. Also, as an INTP staying on top of clutter doesn’t come naturally to me, but I have developed that discipline because it helps so much with my sensitivity. Still working on the routine part, though… I can’t seem to get over flying by the seat of my pants despite seeing how it doesn’t work so well. That one’s taking more time.
    Melissa Kaiserman {A Time for Everything}’s latest post: My Favorite Free Budget-Related Resources

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Thanks for commenting here, Melissa. I’m an INFP and I also still struggle with routines. I’m working on it…

  18. I do a lot of these things, too. We have a required 2.5 hour quiet time after lunch every day. I wake up 2 hours before my kids do, too. I never considered myself a HSP, but I don’t like violent, busy, or loud movies/tv shows, either. I’m 100% an introvert. Maybe I should look into this…. 🙂
    Sarah M
    Sarah M’s latest post: Re’and the Book /// Book Launch Review

  19. Thank you for this post! I felt like you were speaking directly to me!! I’ve noticed these tendencies in myself, but it was so good to have it laid out before me like that, and to recognize I’m not crazy, and I’m not alone!! I also appreciate you sharing your tips so I can start being more intentional about creating the right environment where we can all thrive. Much thanks! 🙂

  20. I haven’t read Quiet, and it’s clear I need to. I suspect I am a Highly Sensitive Person based on this post! I learned awhile ago that it is okay to need those quiet moments and alone time, and I’ve never understood why simple things like you described tend to overwhelm me. I just learned that I am an INFJ, and many of those are also highly sensitive people. It’s never too late to learn about yourself 🙂
    Angela Mills’s latest post: Envelope Chore System

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Definitely read Quiet! It’s such a good read. (I waited to long too read it because I thought it sounded boring, but it’s anything but.) And nope, it’s never too late to learn about yourself. 🙂

  21. I have always known I was an introvert but had never heard the term HSP until I read something on Holley Gerth’s (I think?) blog recently. It explained so many things about how I’ve always felt. I am reading Quiet now and have The Highly Sensitive Person in the queue.

    My boys are grown, and I’m not sure I have some of the sensitivities mentioned here, but I detest large groups, small talk, and having people in my home. If a plan goes awry it sends me into orbit. Being around people is so draining, especially large groups of people. I pick up on subtleties and am easily hurt by any kind of criticism. My husband being the polar opposite does not help things!

  22. Joyful_2010 says:

    Great read! Def true of me and thinking it may be true for our children as well. Parents, I’d appreciate your suggestions… how do you define HSP vs. SPD? Is this a diagnosis thru ped/school? 8 yo DD has always been sensitive (emotionally and to stimuli). She has been completely overwhelmed with school this year and cries 3-4 of 5 days when I pick her up. She can’t articulate what’s wrong but assures us it’s nothing serious — no one is bullying her, touching her inappropriately, etc. We specifically chose a private, Christian school with small class sizes to meet her needs. Her teacher is fantastic and says she does fine all day. We even took a break from her extra-curricular to slow the pace. I’ve been stumped. After reading this article I wonder if she’s just completely overwhelmed from dealing with stimuli all day??? Thanks for your input!

    • Anne Bogel says:

      I can say that we do have a child with SPD (which is a diagnosis; HSP is not), and our occupational therapist has been a lifesaver. It sounds like because you’re concerned and “stumped” that a professional evaluation could be very helpful, if nothing else than to put your mind at ease. (My own child also has a very hard time articulating what’s wrong when something’s upsetting him, which doesn’t make things any easier to figure out!)

      I would also recommend reading up: The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine Aron and The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz are excellent resources. It seems to me—as a layperson—like there’s definitely some overlap between HSP and SPD, although I haven’t discussed that with our medical professionals.

      • I would add one more book to your list – Raising a Sensory Smart Child (lucy miller?). In my opinion, it is more specific than Out-of-Sync.

        I am reading Quiet right now on recommendation from an OT co-worker (who is extroverted). Instead of thinking “I’m so tired… I need more coffee” I am realizing “I’m so tired… I need some quiet.” Working on some of these coping strategies and looking forward to the difference they make for our family!

  23. Introvert and HSP here. I implement all your tips and find things go much more smoothly that way. I either shut down or blow up when there’s too much chaos for too long – neither of which is helpful for anyone!
    Steph’s latest post: 7 Things I Miss About the South

    • Anne Bogel says:

      “I either shut down or blow up when there’s too much chaos for too long – neither of which is helpful for anyone!”

      Chuckling at this because I understand all too well what that is like. 🙂

  24. Well that explains so much about me. I am an extrovert.
    But when I am in sensory overload, I shut down and act like someone has just let the air out of my tires. I can’t get a single thought out of my head through my mouth.
    Thank you for shedding light on this issue for moms. I will be sharing it on our Facebook page!
    Mothering From Scratch’s latest post: developing conscience in kids: where do we start?

  25. This is me, this is me, this is me. And my husband (especially with verbal input). In the evenings, I need overhead lights off as early as possible. My husband thinks it’s crazy, but a bright overhead light after the sky has darkened will chase me out of the room!

  26. Thank you for this! I am a HSP to the core. I am a home school mom of three high-energy boys, and sometimes it feels like my nervous system will explode after being with the kids all day. Having to talk all day long. Constant kid noise in my house. Continuous messes that never, ever end. Sometimes I feel like just running away to live on a deserted island, all by myself. These tips are great.

  27. I have a daughter who I suspect of being extremely introverted and extremely sensitive. I’ve noticed that her coping mechanism is art. She seems to need quiet time on her own to sit and draw.

    • Erica, I commented earlier, but I came back to read again. (Not MMD Anne, different Anne :)) I had to add that my son can be the same way. If I can tell he needs downtime, I suggest drawing in his room. It seems to be very grounding and satisfying to him. If he is drawn to it in the morning before homeschool, I do not interrupt him.
      Anne’s latest post: 31 Days of Letting Stuff Go – Day 29 – Rocker

  28. Adriana Hook says:

    WOW! This article is so much like me, thank you for our cheat sheet. I am an extroverted HSP. And I know how draining things can be when put out there with so many people and expectations of me turning the switch on. However, after my serious car accident, it left me sidelined for quite a bit, that is when I realized that I had become an introvert and loved it! It was so nice to start organizing home and family (and recovery) at a slower pace and taking the time to sort things out before making decisions. One of my tricks is taking time to journal. Even if it is one thing or two, somehow taking time to write tender or memories down can serve as a calming tool while you write or when you need a little pick me up before you unravel.

  29. Not only am I HSP, but my mom is, too– and I mention this, because I remember that she often seemed to be upset or angry with me for no apparent reason. Now that I’m a mom, I catch myself behaving in the same way, and I realize– it was stress, plain and simple! She felt overwhelmed, as I do, by too much simultaneous action, too much multi-tasking… Thank you for the tips– and the validation, too!

  30. Wow! After reading this, I realize that I am also an HSP! I am an extrovert, and a bit of a control freak, but when things seem to be spiraling out of control I do tend to have my own meltdowns! And I know that if I take a break, that I can regain my composure, but it is so darn hard to do, especially if: a) I need to be alone; and b) I cannot help myself, but during that alone time I have to “take control” over a messy location and straighten it up! And usually that messy location is the kitchen, a central location to all foot traffic in the house, and is the number one location to be messy AT ALL TIMES! Maybe, now that I am educated on my own needs, I can do my relaxing in our bedroom, that I can lock!

  31. I have tried several times over the years to enforce the quiet/alone time with my kids (6, 4, and 1), but they won’t do it…not for an hour or even thirty minutes. When I have tried, they constantly come out of their rooms, try to play with each other (which usually ends in arguing), or whine the whole time. How do you start this process and in a kind peaceful way enforce it? It would do wonders for my sanity! The baby still naps in the afternoon so I could plan it around that. Thanks!

    • Anne Bogel says:

      I’m sure others have written more eloquently on this topic! I know some parents have elaborate reward systems in place. (I could never manage those, myself, but I admire those who do.) Off the cuff: start with 30 minutes and build from there. Save special toys just for rest time. Let them watch movies or play digital games. While everyone was adapting to OUR rest time a few years back, I sat in the hallway with my book and coffee so my kids knew *I* would know if they came out of their rooms. I wasn’t thrilled about doing that but it did help.

      Also, it gets easier as the kids get older. Which is ironic, because I desperately needed rest time when my three-year-old wouldn’t nap, and actually keeping him in his room felt impossible some days. 🙂

    • I had this happen to me, too, and its happened each time I’ve had to transition a child from sleeping during quiet time to quietly playing. It takes time to get them to do it. This is what I’ve done: first, I explain it to them briefly what will happen, then I give them many quiet things to do that don’t require me to help them/aren’t messy or loud. Then I leave and when they get upset I go back and re-explain and then leave again etc. For a few days they seem upset and I don’t get any quiet time at all, and then I just keep insisting on it and then they seem to get it, and sometimes have re-lapses of being fussy about it. Its the first days/weeks that are the hardest. I also seperate my children, the ones who share a room get a different room in the house that they are alone in and so they don’t play with each other. If they come out of their room, I tell them to go back. Eventually they get used to this is the new thing to do. I have also used music in the past that is quiet and relaxing for a child to listen to but I don’t usually do this. I also have explained to my kids (in kid words) that Mommy needs this time for quiet. I hope this helps.

      • I don’t have a regularly scheduled quiet time (with a 4yo, 2yo, and newborn it just does not happen) but sometimes I can get some with the help of an audio book. My 4yo loves Hank the Cowdog …. but really anything can be a big treat if it’s just for that time. The other thing is music and legos … the legos are special because the 2yo isn’t allowed to play with them. I do lock the door (I bought a hook-and-eye screen door lock which I installed on the outside of his bedroom, out of reach) but if he knocks or calls for me, I come, open the door, and find out what his issue is. Then when that’s solved I shut the door again. If he really wants to come out I let him, but since he’s highly sensitive himself he’s learned to value it.

        Now this usually just means the older kid is having quiet time and the other two aren’t … but even getting ONE kid absorbed in something quiet can be a real help. It means no squabbling and some calm time to focus more on the younger two.
        Sheila’s latest post: 7qt: links, thoughts, pictures

        • Anne Bogel says:

          “Even getting ONE kid absorbed in something quiet can be a real help. It means no squabbling and some calm time to focus more on the younger two.”

          Chuckling at this only because it’s so true at my house! Especially the “no squabbling” bit. That makes such a big difference!

  32. Thanks so much for posting this! I’ve often wondered what in the world was “wrong” with me!?! Even down to the violent movies is me. I don’t even like movie theaters all that much, lol. I have friends who do so much more than me during the day; but tried as I have; I just am not able to run about all day and feel calm afterwards. Again, thank you for posting this! Makes me feel much better!

  33. Anne,
    THIS is amazing.. I usually do all of these things because they make me feel calmer and more in control of my day and self.. BUT I’d never realised I’m an HSP. Eye-opening and SO many things make SO much sense now, like why I don’t like reading/listening to the news or being in crowded, noisy spaces or why I tell my daughter to “turn the TV down” so much so she’s convinced there’s something wrong with my ears..LOL!!

    Thank you for this!! Oh, and thank you to Mandi Ehman for sharing this so I could find it!
    Prerna Malik’s latest post: Lighting Up Your Productivity and Work-at-Home Life

  34. These are such great tips for an HSP! I’m not homeschooling but with two under two at home all day, I’m definitely feeling the intense stress at the end of the day. (Coupled with lack of sleep….it’s not pretty.) I’m going to really try to implement more of these into my day. I’ve been trying to at least have my husband watch the girls for a few hours one day on the weekend so I can steal away to a coffee shop with my knitting or a book. It gives me some re-charge to make it through the week.
    Laurel’s latest post: Team Girl, Team Boy…or Team Green?

  35. I definitely identify with much of the article. The balance of coffee makes a huge difference for me. Enough, by myself before anyone come downstairs, gives me a boost of energy. Too much and I’m crankymom and noises and touching and activity and reading storybooks while the dog puts her slobbery tennis balls on my lap and snotty attitudes set me on edge.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Oh my goodness, YES. I do that, too! I need my morning coffee, and early afternooon coffee break, but more than that has a decidedly negative impact on me and the people around me. 🙁

  36. SO many great tips–I’m an introvert and HSP; just the other day I was thinking, “there has got to be a better way” (to navigate our homeschool day with two super energetic boys). Thanks for sharing!
    Wendy’s latest post: kcw fall 2014 ~ a richard scarry pickle car shirt

  37. Great article, especially since this describes my adult daughter, who also is a homeschool mom. She has the book and tried to get me to read it. I glossed over it, but did not really understand it as should have. The issues with us, while I’m no extrovert, I am a clutter bug. Your article confirms that I need to read the book again, this time, with compassion and empathy. Thank you.
    Gina’s latest post: Living Free Range

  38. I don’t homeschool but this is still SO helpful! I have often wondered if I’m a HSP but have usually felt from others that the things that make me sensitive are just areas of weakness that I need to “get over” or “deal with.” Though I think I have pretty good coping strategies, it’s very affirming to hear someone else put words to my experience and give an outline of ways to work with your wiring instead of fighting against it. I have three boys 5, 4, and 2…and I long for the day when we all can (safely) spend two hours a day alone. 🙂 But until then I will take some of your other principles to heart. Blessings.
    Becky Keife’s latest post: Day 29: The View from Up Here

  39. I’ve been meaning to read Quiet for months now, and I’ve read mentions of HSP before, but only recently when I started going to therapy for my anxiety has any of it clicked with me. I get so hard on myself when I don’t get many things accomplished in a day, and even though I’m starting to acknowledge that as self-sabotage, I wouldn’t make the connection that spending all that time in my head being mean to myself was/is exactly why I don’t get things accomplished!
    Thank you for this post!
    Jessica’s latest post: Self-Sabotage: Why I’m Not Losing Weight

  40. Fantastic post, Anne. I had Kyle read it and we talked about it last night over washing dishes… I’m a total HSP, which I’ve known for awhile, but having a concrete post like this helps Kyle better understand. Grateful for you.
    Tsh Oxenreider’s latest post: Does simple living always mean “less”?

  41. I had to comment on this post Anne. You just gave words to my way of being. If it’s possible for an extrovert (although only a slight extrovert) to be an HSP then that’s me. I always knew that starting my day quietly was something I love, and likely need, now I also know why, although it seldom happens. I’m seriously going to work more of those other tips into my day and maybe I won’t feel like pulling my hair out by 5:00. Thanks for the wisdom friend!

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Hey, friend! So glad you found this helpful. We should have our kids burn off their excess energy with each other more often, instead of leaving them to take it out on their poor mamas. 🙂

  42. So glad to read everybody’s comments! Being very sensitive and easily overstimulated is hard to explain to other people, including ADHD children. This made me feel much less of a freak, thanks for raising awareness!

    • Anne Bogel says:

      “This made me feel much less of a freak!”

      Such a wonderful feeling, right? So glad you found this helpful. 🙂

  43. Renee Weber says:

    Well. While I don’t want to be the older mom who says these things my heart goes out to another type of parent. I read this and relate ever sooooo much. I have homeschooled 6 kids into adulthood. Such as it be they are now a flight attendant, a science and math teacher, a pre-med student, a grad student in Psychology, a foreign missionary and, oh, one more… he isn’t quite grown yet though he takes care of all his needs, minus a sandwich to take to the University now that he is old enough to drive himself but not old enough to be on the meal plan.Somehow it happened. They made it. They grew up and I am not dead.
    I too saw myself clearly in your description to a certain point. However, your advice comes amazingly close to being helpful to folks like me it doesn’t completely apply to who I am. And in case you have other readers like me, may I spell out another type of parent?
    I know I am more sensitive to physical and/or emotional stimuli than the general population. I have a very sensitive nervous systems, am more attuned to subtleties in my surroundings, and am more easily overwhelmed with joy by highly stimulating environments!
    There is the difference. I like humans as stimuli. I too avoid violent movies, am easily overwhelmed by loud noises and bright lights, need time and space to regroup on busy days, and feel like my head will explode but that is when I have more than 2 details to keep in my head while trying to talk to people. When I get overwhelmed, my typical response is to shut down my brain and go on automatic gut feelings. Which doesn’t always go wrong and just encourages me to keep doing that.
    I once was that rare parent who likes to be woken by their children in the morning. When #1 & 2 would slowly and sweetly crawl into my bed and put their warm little hands on my cheek to see if I was yet awake…ahhh, I loved that. But then I birthed preemie twins and it all ended forever.
    I loved reading aloud to my kids, because talking to all of of them at once about different things made my head spin and this way they were all on the same page.. literally.
    Thankfully we only had a landline phone, and no email, Twitter, or Facebook during our school days. I’m sure I could not have home-schooled otherwise.
    All the other key points to living a healthy home-schooled life I too needed and made plans for and implemented many times over the years…until, squirrel, a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with children’s book author, Lois Lowry, came up or a friend wanted to introduce us to a Russian ballerina. Or maybe an amazing opportunity to work the polls for a local candidate friend. Whatever. I was almost always willing to put down the textbooks for the truly amazing experiences of life. Which worked fine until they hit 5th grade. Then they entered a co-op. And life spun out of control.
    Four sheets to the wind we tried doing it all. Till my middle-school kids asked to get off the merry-go-round and stay home alone to do their school work. Till my body quit and I developed an auto-immune deficiency. Till I had gone too far.
    Had I understood then what it took to fill my needs I might have done a better job of having the structure and peace my family needed. I still have no idea what it is but it would not be sipping coffee and being alone. Does anyone have tips for another like me coming up the pike?

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Renee. Still chuckling over “They grew up and I am not dead.” WELL DONE. 🙂

      Tips for another coming up the pike (because it’s so much easier to see trouble spots in a friend’s life than my own—why is that?): ask for help. Be attuned to signs of burnout and take action before burnout becomes breakdown. Take a big fat break (days, weeks, months, maybe even a whole school year) if the wheels are coming off the wagon.

      I’d love to hear other’s thoughts on this.

  44. Hi Anne,
    The Quiet book that you’re talking about, is the full title Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, and do you recommend reading this one first, or the Highly Sensitive Child and The Highly Sensitive Person? Thanks.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      I love Quiet, and yes, that’s the book. If you’re an introvert, start there. (A tip: it’s $2.99 for Kindle right now.) If you’re an extrovert, start with Aron’s work. It seems like The Highly Sensitive Person would be the obvious place to start, but as an HSP, I found her rather detailed descriptions of the effects of negative childhood experiences a little too intense. That’s why I recommend The Highly Sensitive Child first, even if it’s yourself you’re concerned about. It’s a gentler treatment of highly sensitive people, and her descriptions of the highly sensitive child’s formative years will sound familiar to you based on your own personal history.

  45. Tips on sticking to a schedule would be great. My add knows the days go better that way, I start scheduled and then life happens and everything ends up topsy turvy.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      “And then life happens….”

      Yes, I understand this all too well. My advice (from someone who is still very much in progress) is to front-load your day. Schedule the important things early on (not too early if you’re not a morning person, but within a few hours of waking) with the activities you care about. If your natural rhythms are like most people’s, you’ll have the most energy and self control in the window between 1 1/2 hours and 4 1/2 hours of waking. Schedule the important things then. And everyone also tends to have a daily sinking spell—a low-energy time when asking them to do anything extremely mentally demanding is futile. For most people this is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-4 pm. Schedule your downtime for the time you already know your energy will be low.

      That’s a good place to start. That, and automated phone reminders to cue you when it’s time to take a walk/read a book/floss, or whatever you do. 🙂

  46. Thanks for commenting on how to start a quiet time! My boys, 4.5 & 6, are non-stop from 7a to 8p and this introverted HSP mom is worn out! We started homeschooling 2 mos ago and I’m trying to figure out where in all of this I can take care of myself! I’m so over-stimulated with all of the noise, activity, and clutter! Ugh. I really need to do some major clutter-busting around the house but that seems so overwhelming, too! I just have to pick somewhere to start.
    Thanks for the resources & ideas here and on MMD.

  47. Thanks for this post! I’m sharing it. I loved the book Quiet. I have long known I was an introvert but I did NOT realize until reading her book that my sensitivity to sensory stimulation was part of that – I honestly thought I was just a cranky person! I am definitely a HSP and I am just beginning to homeschool too so I appreciate this advice.
    Erin’s latest post: This & That

  48. Wow – this post was totally written for me! Recently discovered I am an HSP too, and this is so great. I have stumbled upon a few of these ideas on my own (getting up before everyone is the biggest way to keep me from totally losing it by 9am). I considered not homeschooling because of my own HSP, but this is encouraging to know others are doing it successfully. A few other things that I’ve found help me cope: calming essential oil blends that I inhale or diffuse, and doing a few yoga poses morning and night. Thank you for this!

  49. Claire Thompson says:

    Ok I’ll be honest..I have been fantasising about sending the children to school. I have been on overwhelm for months. I home educated back in the 90’s with my older kids and it was no bother..however I could handle my sensitivities then, or atleast they maybe weren’t so strong..This article might just have saved us. Thank you Thank you…xxx

  50. Well blow me down! Is that what’s been going on?! Thanks so much for this. Explains soooo much in my life…

  51. I started to avoid negative messages: now, it’s three years since I turned my TV off, except from family movies, comedies, ecc… No need to hear about the earth coming down, together with the nasdaq .Then, I started to say “sorry, i have to go” if I sense, around me, excessive negativity… bad thoughts, depressive ideas, problems … go away ! I don’t have to hear it every day. I search beautiful posts, meaningful peoples, nice photos, human actions … even if those are coming from abroad. They give me the sense of “all is possible” “we can do it”. Last, very hard one: I try to educate my child to change the world, not to fit into the one we have :))

    • Michaela, you sound awesome. Your comment could be it’s own blog post. Loved your last sentence! Random side note: You should check out Ann Voskamps’ Weekend Multi-Vitamins. She gathers happy, peaceful, inspiring, beautiful pictures/stories/videos from around the web. They alway bring me joy.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      LOVE. Yes! Thanks for sharing this.

  52. I really love your last point about meaningful recharge time.
    I have a very mobile 8 month old with an endless tank of energy. When dad comes home and takes over at bedtime, I usually sit in my dark bedroom and enjoy the sensory deprivation. What I want to do is read (via the kindle app), but so often I get distracted by my social media apps first. More often than not, I have to take over with the baby before I even get to my book!
    I finally grouped all those “time-suck” apps and moved them to the last page, and put my kindle app on the first page. It has made a marked difference for me.

  53. This explains why homeschooling was sometimes very difficult for me, and by extension, for the kids.
    Art was not high on my list of activities precisely b/c it was messy and we live in a small house. And I always felt a bit of a failure in that area. But I knew I had to keep my sanity.
    We’ve made it thru, the kids are in college and doing well.

    • I am right there now. Small place. Don’t like art. Don’t like messes. Kids don’t seem to care. I’ve asked. I’ve convinced myself (mostly) it is okay to not do everything. Thanks for your helpful and hopeful comment.

  54. Thank you for this. Very helpful.

  55. My husband and I have been baffled for months at how I can be an (Meyers-Briggs) ESFJ and struggle so much with being around people for more than an hour and don’t get me started on crowds. 😉 Thank you, Anne! This has been incredibly freeing! 🙂

    • I am also an ESFJ and have been equally as stumped! This explains so much! Giving it a name I think helps me to put it in its place and do what I need to do to take care of the most important things first. FB feed is not one of them!

    • Anne Bogel says:

      I’m so glad to hear it!

    • Goodness yes me too- (I’m INFJ) but it’s all so clear after this- the input from my social media apps has a ADHD like effect on me… The possibilities the “should, could woulds”

  56. This is true of me. I’ve known it most of my life as I was labeled “sensitive” by my parents and sibs, and now it’s coming out in a whole new way with the overstimulation that is parenthood. I agree with the importance of waking before my kids. Even a few minutes to gather my thoughts can make a huge difference. And I also resonate with what Anne Morrow Lindbergh said in Gift from the Sea: “Woman instinctively wants to give, yet resents giving herself in small pieces….giving herself purposelessly.” I find that if I can plan to give and then do the giving on my own initiative instead of having it demanded of me, I’m a much happier mother. Intentional giving > demands/pressure. I need to figure out a better way to respond in the moment to the barrage of requests. Lately, I’ve just been yelling and shooing the kids away. 😉 I need a few seconds to shift gears into the next question and they haven’t figured out how to give me that yet. Also, there’s a great book called Raising Your Spirited Child that has insights on the different kinds of sensitivity and what it looks like for a highly sensitive parent to raise a highly sensitive child, including when the parent and child come from different and sometimes opposing areas of sensitivity.
    Darcy Wiley’s latest post: A Playdate with Poe

    • Anne Bogel says:

      Gift from the Sea—such a great book! And I’ve had Raising Your Spirited Child on my “to re-read” list for a while now. (I can see it from where I’m sitting…) Thanks for the encouragement and the reminders.

  57. Yes! I resonate with this post so much. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’ve recently started getting up an hour or so before my kids (even though I am a serious night-owl). It has made all the difference in the world. Whereas I used to feel like I needed 8-9 hours of sleep, I now can get by on 5-6 most days (as long as I sleep in once on the weekend) and I actually feel better than ever because I’m getting that silent alone time that I never got before. Next challenge is to implement a better schedule…I am not naturally a highly-scheduled person, but I have begun to see the value of it this year and I’m hoping to expand that as time goes on. I love homeschooling and I want to have the mental resources to continue as long as I feel God leading me to do so…creating order and space is going to be a critical part of that. (Also, thanks for telling about the 2 hours of alone time every day…I have wanted to do something like that, but often feel guilty asking my extroverted child to spend that much time alone. I think starting with an hour a day would be a good thing for us…yay, I’m encouraged!)
    Sarah’s latest post: Atonement of the Highest Order

  58. I’ve never considered myself sensitive, much less highly sensitive, but this post sounds like me. I’ve framed my day in quiet (early morning and bedtime) for years now–even with little ones arriving regularly. A swept/vacuumed floor is imperative to my sanity, but other clutter is fine. I’ve learned that I cannot have music playing anywhere unless I am intentionally listening to music. I can handle the daily noise of 7 kids and 3 pets, but I cannot handle it if background music is thrown in. I also cannot have music playing in the car; we either talk or we sit silently. On the flip side, I love to hear the kids practicing their instruments–go figure.
    Anne’s latest post: A Day In the Life–October

    • Anne Bogel says:

      People are sensitive in different ways to different stimuli. I think it’s pretty amazing (and lucky!) that you enjoy music practice. That’s terrific. 🙂

  59. Oh my goodness gracious it has a name! I’ve done most of these things in my life just because it’s what worked for me. It’s nice to know there’s a reason I can’t stand the volume on the music to be above 8.

  60. I just learned something about myself. Thank you!

  61. It is not surprising to me to recognize these attributes in myself, but it is extreme helpful to recognize them in my children, one of them an extrovert. This will help me immensely to validate and serve their personal needs. Thank you!

  62. Never heard of HSP but afer reading this I ordered the books right away! No wonder I melt down into tears when the dishes aren’t done. I thought I was crazy or hormonal or just a bad mom for not being as able to keep it all together. Now that I have a name for it I can make a better battle plan.
    Just wishes there were more information about being an extroverted HSP. Seems like a contradiction in my head.

    • Anne Bogel says:

      At least know this: you are not alone! 30% of HSPs are extroverts so you’re in good company. And I’d love to hear what you think about the books after you’ve read them.

  63. Thank you so much for sharing this. Now I finally understand why I am the way I am. I’ve known for awhile that I am an introvert, but this info about being highly sensitive hit the nail right on the head. So liberating to know what’s going on and have these great tips to help me. And I really can see these working for me as a homeschooling mom.Thanks again!

  64. Thank you for this informative post! I am sensitive, but maybe not highly, I am not sure. I do know I am an introvert and need to be alone to recharge. I also have MS and the events you describe happen more often to me now that I have MS. Your ideas on how to handle those challenges will help me for sure.

  65. Just got to the bottom of the comments. Love all of the me toos! Wow, it is good not to be alone!
    Jessica’s latest post: 31 Days of Picture Books for Everyone: Vulture View

  66. Thank you, thank you! The first person who told me this was my new doctor who I started seeing this spring. You have helped clarify so much!

  67. I may be that 1 in 5. What saves me is my work time (blogging and photography) in the morning while the kids are still asleep. I charge up as needed. Then I have my quiet time during the little one’s nap and the older one’s quiet time when I give her something to work on. The days when they don’t nap at all derail me! Thankfully my mother gives me a break from them twice a week (hubby is away 3 weeks every month), otherwise I’d go nuts.
    Anastasia @ eco-babyz’s latest post: 15 Immune System Boosters and Illness Fighters for Kids

  68. Oh wow… This post was as if I were reading what I would write if I had been able to coherently put my thoughts together! (A little difficult as I have a 9, 7, 2 year, and 6 mo old)… Seriously, you have no idea how much this helped me deal with the guilt I feel from enforcing quiet times, (everyone having one now as I write this!) and being intentional about time to myself. Knowing there is someone else out there is an immense relief. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  69. I love everything about this article! You won me over with this quote (If you’re in a season where that’s not possible right now, I’m sorry. I’ve been there. It’ll get better; until then, move on to the next tip.)
    Because you said, sorry and it will get better, and don’t abandon the whole article… just move on and try #2!! Practical, practical help.
    It’s interesting to me that as homeschoolers, we train our children to pursue their uniqueness and God given personality traits, but we as moms don’t often or ever give ourselves that same permission. Thanks so much!

  70. This explains everything! Thanks!!!

  71. Sherrylynne says:

    It took me many decades to appreciate my own temperament and proclivities. Lots of wasted time shaming myself in a way for being “so sensitive” by comparison to others. I bumped into an old Myers Briggs test showing I was an INTJ. And began to respect that I need a lovely space to bloom in and make decisions in line with that respect. My marriage, my child rearing, all my relationships are much better as a result of being my own advocate and setting some life giving parameters for myself. And a post like this makes me sigh and think, see? I am not alone!

  72. AMEN!

  73. Nanette Gerdts says:

    I think I was meant to read this comment so that I could find the Modern Mrs Dary website. I’m not a homeschooling parent, but I am a divorced mother returning to the workforce after taking 15 years off to raise my children. This is my first time teaching middle school, and it is just “killing me!” Now, I understand why; I never knew I was HSP. I’m going to try to incorporate your tips into my work day. I’m so happy I found you!

  74. I have to look into this more when I’m not so sleepy. 😉 This totally sounds like me. I get overwhelmed by the mall. I can have my own meltdown when the kitchen is a mess. I just get completely overwhelmed by crowds or loud noises or mess. Makes me wonder how I am going to survive adopting kids! I want to adopt, I want to parent, but I love my set schedules and having a tidy house. I will adopt, but will have to learn how to parent noisy children while being highly sensitive. Tough stuff. Glad to know I am not alone!
    PS. We ordered our Christmas tree online this year and had it delivered so that I would have to deal with the crowds and the traffic. Love my husband that he allowed me to spend a bit extra to have my tree without the stress. 😀
    Cassandra’s latest post: Pre-approval!!

  75. I just heaved a huge sigh of relief after reading this post of suggestions. I thought there was something wrong with me and that I just wasn’t trusting God enough because I want/NEED a schedule/routine/rhythm. I literally figured out a brief schedule last week, promptly got an overwhelming sick stomach heart reaction after doing it and felt bad for having worked on the schedule. I am going to re-read this and pray over it and do what has been resonating in my heart and I am going to get help with what is overwhelming me. I know the answers I need for me and my family are here. Thank you for sharing your adventure. Be richly blessed and refreshed for stepping out and sharing.

  76. Thank you so much for this article. I am home schooling 2 young children and am a HSP. I find things quite overwhelming sometimes and feel like I am failing sometimes. This is really useful to me as I can see I need to do things in ways which help me be my best for them. Thank you. Any more blogs on this subject gladly received! 🙂

  77. I am so glad I found your blog! I am struggling to homeschool, and I have 4 children ages 8 years -11 months. I’ve known I am HSP for a couple years now, but I can’t find any resources for how to deal as a parent of young children. Your advice sounds spoy on, and I am desperately trying to give my life more structure. It’s so hard not knowing anyone else who is HSP (except my mother) and shares the same struggles. What makes it even harder is my SIL has 5 children and homeschools and thinks there must be something wrong with you if you are struggling (she doesn’t understand HSPs at all and pretty much thinks that we are just weak or lazy). Your blog has become a welcome oasis. Thank you for blogging!

  78. Kristi Goldsberry says:

    Hi my name is Kristi and I am an HSP.

  79. i agree with all your tips! parenting requires so much talking. quiet times and audiobooks are essential in our household! and i’m interested in homeschooling, but leaning toward a style that requires me to talk less, like unschooling or unit studies. if you have input on this i’d appreciate it!
    kristin’s latest post: Disciplining a Highly Sensitive Child

  80. LOVE THIS! I have felt guilty for literally YEARS that our rest time is so long, but I wanted to cry every time I seriously considered shortening it. My kids have many of the things you mentioned in their rooms already. It’s freeing to me to hear that others have the same routines for the same reasons. I will be instituting book baskets soon!

  81. I’ve been looking for a simple, clear, practical, and helpful list for how to function as an HSP Mom. This post is it! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

  82. I’m so glad you shared this – it is me to a “t”! We’ve always had a 2 hour nap/rest time here, and for the first time in 12 years, I’m not pregnant or nursing so I don’t always need a nap, but I’ve recently discovered I can walk by myself (leaving nappers napping and older kids busily occupied) which gives me a chance to mentally regroup and get some exercise to boot. While I can’t get up before the kids (early, early risers and small, small house), I do appreciate a defined and consistent bedtime for kids and adults. Sometimes I feel guilty about the margins I have to build into my life, but I don’t function well without them.

  83. I am highly sensitive. I kinda thought of it as very empathetic. I’m also very extrovert, and adhd. Any suggestions on how to juggle those? I found it draining to be alone or lethargic, yet easy to fall into both those places. I have 4 kids 6 and under, and I end up putting ear plugs in just so I can stay calm and not yell at them so much. 🙁

  84. Love this! I’m definitely an HSP and an introvert, so I’ve used enforced quiet times for awhile now, but something I came to realize is that my whole family needs them! It’s good for my children, too, although it might never be their idea;)
    Erin’s latest post: An Illustrated Pride and Prejudice

  85. I am so happy I have read this post. I am not alone. Feels great to know. I have just read ‘outsource the talking’ to my husband, and we both laughed. After a long day of homeschooling, I am usually drained and need recharging.

  86. I love this! Sometimes I feel guilty about the need for quiet time in the afternoon, but two out of my three children are HSP introverts, too. We are all so much happier when we make space for that!
    Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley’s latest post: Verosty The Dragon Hero (By: Leo, age 7)

  87. I tend to be an ambivert, but it’s important to me to have a place to go “hide” if I need to. This is usually only crossed when we have people over to visit and stay a few days. Even if I am traveling with someone else, I need this place and it drives me crazy if I can’t. My kids know this and we make room for it. They know my bedroom is off limits and I take time to nap if I need it. Oh, also, I completely agree with the waking up before the kids. (Even if it sometimes means I need a nap.)
    Purva Brown’s latest post: Why Educating My Children Does Not Scare Me

  88. I am an ESTJ and a HSP. I have three boys 5, 3, 1) and a newborn daughter. Sitting alone in a quiet space is depressing to me! But I desperately need a break sometimes. The best way for me to recharge is a date night with my husband! We go out to eat and just talk. It is so relaxing to have someone else figure out the food, not be part of three conversations at once, and yet still not be alone. I too hate violent movies and if I have the misfortune of seeing even a small part of one it will replay in my head for days or even weeks.
    Ironically I have discovered that it’s not noise in general that bothers me – it’s noise I can’t control. For example I run the sound system at our church and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest to be in that environment for four hours straight. However, sometimes I can barely sit through the music at church when I’m not running sound because one of the elements is too loud or I can hear slight feedback, etc, and I can’t change it.
    We live in a small (850 sq ft) house with the six of us and a puppy, and sometimes I think I will go crazy from the noise and mess making… It’s those times that I definitely need to be intentional about turning off the radio, putting away the book or phone, and getting the kids started on something constructive (Legos are my favorite!!). We have very few toys, on purpose, and none that make electronic noise.
    Thanks for this post!

  89. This post describes me to the T. So much, that I feel like weeping as I sit here in the library for my designated quiet time alone… I want to print it out and read it every day just as a reminder that I’m not the only one, thank you!!!

  90. I had no idea there was such a thing, but this is me to a T! Staying off social media will be a hard adjustment, but I’m curious to see if it would be a drastic improvement. Thanks so very much for the tips.

  91. So refreshing to my soul! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I didn’t know either: I thought always two things about myself all my life (I’m 56): I’m shy and my hormones carry me (first, PMS, now menopause! and with two 8 yr olds at home!). It so good to know I’m not losing my mind and to read that other women, different ages and stages in life, go through the same stuff. So good to NOT feel alone… Thanks for sharing!

  92. Bogel ! You have given us right suggestions for becoming the good parents.

  93. Thanks for the very encouraging list. I’m an HSP foster mom of an 11-month-old daughter. and a college professor of English. Susan Cain’s Quiet was my declaration of independence. I may have to write the book on self-care for HSPs embroiled in the very invasive foster care system. But first, I have to survive it and motherhood.

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