Winged Heart: The Highly Sensitive Child

A highly sensitive person (HSP) is a person having the innate trait of high sensory processing sensitivity (or innate sensitiveness as Carl Jung originally coined it). According to Elaine N. Aron The Highly Sensitive Person and colleagues as well as other researchers, highly sensitive people, who comprise about a fifth of the population (equal numbers in men and women), may process sensory data much more deeply and thoroughly due to a biological difference in their nervous systems.

This is a specific trait, with key consequences for how we view people, that in the past has often been confused with innate shyness, social anxiety problems, inhibitedness, social phobia and innate fearfulness, and introversion (30% of those with the trait are extroverts). The trait is measured using the HSP Scale, which has been demonstrated to have both internal and external validity. Although the term is primarily used to describe humans, something similar to the trait is present in over 100 other species.

The attributes of HSPs can be remembered as DOES:

•Depth of processing.
•Over aroused (easily compared to others).
•Emotional reactivity and high empathy.
•Sensitivity to subtle stimuli.

HSP students work differently from others. They pick up on subtleties and may think about them a long time before demonstrating their grasp of a subject. If an HSP student is not contributing much to a discussion, it does not necessarily mean he or she does not understand or is too shy. HSPs often have insights they are afraid to reveal because they differ from the common view, or because speaking up is too over arousing for them.

For ideas on teaching sensitive students, see The Temperament Perspective or the final pages of The Highly Sensitive Person. HSPs are usually very conscientious, and gifted with great intelligence, intuition and imagination, but under-perform when being evaluated. This also applies to work situations; HSPs can be great employees – good with details, thoughtful and loyal, but they do tend to work best when conditions are quiet and calm.

Because HSPs perform less well when being watched, they may be overlooked for a promotion. HSPs tend to socialize less with others, often preferring to process experiences quietly by themselves. The ability to unconsciously or semi-consciously process environmental subtleties often contributes to an HSP seeming “gifted” or possessing a “sixth sense”.


· Become easily overwhelmed.
· Are cautious in new situations.
· Notice more (changes, subtleties, relationships,
other’s people’s moods & expressions, etc.).
· Think more about what they have noticed.
· Have rich inner lives.
· Feel things intensely.
· Are unusually empathic.
· Are highly intuitive.
· Are conscientious.
· Are exceptionally creative.
· Are exceptionally cooperative and kind— except when
· Are more likely to become fearful, shy, worried, or sad.
· May stand out as “different”.

Contact us for an Assessment to find out more about this Temperament Trait and how to help your child thrive in a world that seems to overwhelm them, at times.

Highly Sensitive Child Assessment


Strong-willed Children: ParentingTips




Tips for Positive Parenting of a Strong-Willed Child

1.  Give them choices when possible.

Giving orders to them often opens the door for argument and conflict.  However, when you offer a choice they are more likely to be cooperative, as they had some say in the matter.

If doing something is non-negotiable, a good way to handle it is:  “Do you want to do your chores now, or do you want to wait till after our snack?”  They still have to do it, but get a choice as to when.

2. Remember the GOOD things about them.

The description “strong-willed child” usually has a negative connotation,  but it’s NOT a negative thing!  A strong will is a positive trait that  requires parents to guide and channel in the right direction.

Strong-willed children are usually self-motivated and focused.  They go after what they want, and don’t let peer pressure sway them.  These are traits that make great leaders!

strong willed children

3.  Have consistent rules and routines.

A strong-willed child needs parents that are strong-willed, and who will enforce the rules and routines.   They need to know that if the rule is NO about something, that’s not going to change by them pushing and begging.  Have specific limits and rules, that always have a consistent response.

If you are consistent with the rules and routines with all the kids in the family, the strong-willed child will quickly realize that you aren’t picking on them.  For example,  rather than telling them to hurry and get ready for bed, calmly remind them “The rule is be in your bed by 8:30.  If you hurry, we’ll have time to read a book!  This puts the ball in THEIR court.

4.  Don’t allow yourself to react to their behavior, while forgetting to focus on their heart.

It is easy to get frustrated with the way they push the limits, and try to get their way.  Rather than focusing on those behaviors, try to see what is going on their heart that you need to deal with.  Molding their heart should be our focus, rather than changing their behavior.


5.  Realize that sometimes “winning the battle” with them, means you lose their heart.

If “winning” is going to cost you the relationship, take a break and tell the child that you will talk about it later.  Refuse to let them engage you in argument and anger, by walking away and saying I need to think some more about this.  We will discuss it tomorrow.” 

Sometimes we choose battles that aren’t important enough, and then we don’t want to back down.  Be wise, and re-consider.

If you still feel you need to stand strong, approach it with a kind heart and explain, “As your parent, I love you and want what is best for you.  I don’t feel this is something I can allow, even though I know you really want to do it.  I know you are disappointed, and I understand that.  How about if we choose a special activity in place of that – what would you like to do?”

This shows them that you care about them, and their emotions.  It also shows that you respect their feelings. and will help you to win their heart!

6. Pray for wisdom!

None of us can be perfect parents, and with the strong-willed child, we ARE going to make mistakes.  However, we CAN be praying parents, and that is the source of our power!  Don’t try to do it in your own strength or wisdom, but go to God daily and seek His help.  (Prayer – It Makes a Difference!)


7.  Tell them “I love you!” often!

Because you will tend to have frequent confrontations with the strong-willed child, it’s important to make a habit of frequently telling them that you love them.  Don’t assume that they know that – they need to HEAR it! 

Being confident of your love for them helps them to trust you have their best interest at heart when there is a difference of opinion or conflict. When they are being stubborn, it is a good time to remind them that you love them just the way they are, and how glad you are God gave them to you.

Hang in there on the tough days, Moms and Dads!  God gave you that strong-willed child, and He will give you the strength and wisdom you need!



  • Sourced from:

AdoptionInfo ♡ ForeverHomeHopeFuture


Sourced from: and


Adoption is the legal act of permanently placing a child with a parent or parents other than the child’s birth/biological mother or father. A legal adoption order has the effect of terminating the parental rights of the birth mother and father, while transferring (i.e. ‘handing over to’) the parental rights and responsibilities to the adoptive parents. The adopted child must, for all intents and purposes, be regarded as the child of the adoptive parent/s.


In South Africa, the only way in which you can legally adopt a child is by working through an accredited adoption agency, or with the assistance of an adoption social worker functioning within the statutory accredited adoption system.

When working through an adoption agency, the process usually starts with the prospective adoptive parents submitting an application to the agency. Each agency has its own set of requirements – it’s a good idea to phone the particular agency to get their set of criteria before you actually apply in writing. Getting your application right from the start can save a lot of time later.

All prospective adoptive parents are required to undergo a screening and preparation process. Adoption agencies are often criticized for ‘all the red tape’ or ‘making applicants jump through too many hoops’. But if one considers that in most cases the social worker is completely responsible for making a decision about a child’s future, the involved process becomes a necessity to ensure that the right parent(s) is/are chosen for every child – the parent(s) that will provide the specific child in question with the best possible home and family.

The screening process normally involves orientation meetings, interviews with a social worker, full medicals, marriage and psychological assessments, home visits, police clearance and references.

The screening process basically allows social workers to get to know prospective adopters as a family, their motivation to adopt and their ability to offer a child a warm, loving and stable home.

Once the screening process is complete, applicants are placed on a waiting list for a child. Applicants have their own ideas and wishes about the child they wish to adopt – they can decide about the age and sex of the baby or child they would like to adopt and adoption agencies will try to meet those personal expectations

It’s a very joyous and happy day when the new parents are informed that they have been matched to a child and arrangements will be made for them to meet the child. There is usually a period of introduction to the child, the length of time varying according to the child’s age.

The official placement of the child with the adoptive parents is a legal process, carried out through the Children’s Court. Once the child has been with the new parents for a period of time and the social worker has assessed the adoption to be in the best interests of the child, the adoption is finalized through the Children’s Court. The child then becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents as if the child was born to them and has all the same rights as a biological child.


Legal adoptions can take many forms, as set out below:

Related Adoption: Adoption of a child by a person who is related to the child. This includes step-parent adoptions where there are varying levels of openness between the parties in the adoption.

Disclosed Adoption: The identity of the biological parent/s and the identity of the adoptive parent/s are known by both parties. This form of adoption may include a post-adoption agreement that provides for future contact or the exchange of information.

Closed Adoption: In such a case, no identifying details are available and/or exchanged between the adoptive parents and biological parent/s.

National Adoption: A legal adoption facilitated by an accredited adoption social worker and/or organisation where both the adoptive child and parent/s are South African citizens or have permanent residence in South Africa.

Same-race Adoption: The race of the adoptive parent/s and child is the same.

Inter-race Adoption: The race of the child and adoptive parent/s differ.

Inter-country Adoption: A legal adoption facilitated by an accredited adoption organisation where either the child or parents are not South African citizens. South Africa is party to the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoptions and this practice is also regulated by Chapter 18 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.


The legislation governing adoptions in South Africa is the Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005).

The Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005) deals with a full spectrum of protection measures pertaining to the national, provincial and, where applicable, local spheres of government.

The main objectives of the Children’s Act are:

– To make provision for structures, services and means for promoting and monitoring the sound physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of children.
– To strengthen and develop community structures which can assist in providing care and protection for children.
– To protect children from maltreatment, abuse, neglect, degradation, discrimination, exploitation and any other physical or moral harm or hazards.
– To provide care and protection for children who are in need thereof.
– To give effect to the Republic’s obligations concerning the well-being of children in terms of the international instruments binding on the Republic.
– The latest version of the Children’s Act also introduces new provisions to adoption practices. Provincial Departments of Social Development now have an active role to play in facilitating adoptions and monitoring the services rendered by child protection organisations and adoption social workers in private practice.

According to Section 230, Subsection 3 of the Act, a child is adoptable if:
a. the child is an orphan and has no guardian or caregiver who is willing to adopt the child;
b. the whereabouts of the child’s parent or guardian cannot be established;
c. the child has been abandoned;
d. the child’s parent or guardian has abused or deliberately neglected the child, or has allowed the child to be abused or deliberately neglected; or
f. the child is in need of a permanent alternative placement.

The Act describes persons who may adopt a child in terms of Section 231, Subsection 1 as follows:

a. jointly by

– husband and wife,
– partners in a permanent domestic life-partnership, or
– other persons sharing a common household and forming a permanent family unit;

b. by a widower, widow, divorced or unmarried person;

c. by a married person whose spouse is the parent of the child;

d. by the biological father of a child born out of wedlock; or

e. by the foster parent of the child.

The National Department regulates and monitors the implementation of adoption services by ensuring that more children are placed within the country through the implementation of the Register on Adoptable Children and Prospective Adoptive Parents (RACAP) before considering inter-country adoption. Furthermore adoption service providers are accredited to render adoption services. The Children’s Act also contains a number of features that were not part of the Child Care Act, like post-adoption agreements and freeing orders.

If you would like to learn more about the legalities surrounding adoption, please select the following links: THE CHILDREN’S ACT EXPLAINED BOOKLET


ACVV (Afrikaanse Christelike Vroue Vereniging)
61 Caledon Street, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 8001
Tel: 021 461 7437
Fax: 021 461 0074

BADISA (The former Diakonale Dienste amalgamated with the former Christelike Maatskaplike Raad (CMR))
11 Pastorie Street, or Private Bag X8, Bellville, 7535
Tel: 021 957 7130
Fax: 021 957 7131

Cape Town Child Welfare
(formerly at 13 Electric Road, Wynberg, 7800)
Lower Klipfontein Road, Gatesville, Athlone, 7764
Tel: 021 638 3127
Fax: 021 638 5277

Child Welfare South Africa
16 Tygerberg Centre, Voortrekker Road, Bellville, 7530
Tel: 021 945 3111
Fax: 021 945 3121
E-mail: /

AFM Abba Adoptions
3 Hoheizen Park, Hoheizen Cresent, Hoheizen, Bellville
P.O. Box 763, Kuils River, 7579
Tel: 021 913 8224
Fax: 021 913 5664


Procare Western Cape

Brief description:
Procare is a national association of Social Workers and related professionals in Private Practice. Procare recognized the exceptional vulnerability of babies and children and acknowledges the fact that they are entitled to special care and assistance.

Name (Adoptive parents): Eloise
Surname: Loots
Tel: 021 873 0532
Cell: 082 700 0833

Name (Birth parents): Sunette
Surname: Le Roux
Tel: 021 873 0532
Cell: 082 977 4435

Crisis Number: 021 873 0532
Postal address:
P.O box 6005, Hoofstraat, Paarl, 7622

Physical Address:
91 Church street, Wellington, Western Cape (WC)

Specific focus:
-National adoption
-Crisis pregnancy emergency
-Crisis pregnancy options
-Adoption information
-Birth parent care
-Abortion information
-Safe abandonment
-Finding a child given up for adoption
-Origin search/ roots inquiries
-Child and youth care program

-Western Cape
-Northern Cape
-Eastern Cape
-Southern Cape

Type of organisation:
Social worker specializing in adoptions