Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Motherhood and highly sensitive children in an online discussion forum
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0145-0663
2018 (English)In: Health, ISSN 1363-4593, E-ISSN 1461-7196Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Discourse on the highly sensitive child as a mode of individual coming-into-being is transforming notions of good motherhood. Mothering a child is weighted with practical challenges, normative expectations, and moral implications, all of which can be accentuated when parenting a child that appears to differ from the average. How mothers address themselves to a highly sensitive child can reveal much about contemporary currents in family life. Through analysis of the online discussions in a Swedish forum, I examine mothers’ discourse regarding categorization of highly sensitive children, elaboration on the behaviors that constitute this category of protean individuality, and the negotiation of motherhood norms. Three themes are identified: the way in which participants established entitlement to the application of the highly sensitive child label through a process of “enlightenment” based on observing their children and scrutinizing their own childrearing practices; discourse on the “allure” of the highly sensitive child since it depicts the children as super-normal and themselves as mothers called to the custodianship of a “different child”; and finally, how the highly sensitive child label deflects the guilt and frustration linked with handling challenging behaviors, in tension with permitting the sensitive child’s self-determined development. The article suggests that the mothers’ discourse reflects the intensive mothering norms of child-centered parenting that prevail in Western countries such as Sweden. Through the lens of the highly sensitive child, however, motherhood acquires new anticipatory, considerate and susceptible norms, and strategies that constitute a highly sensitive parenting style.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Discourse analysis, highly sensitive child, intensive mothering, parenting norms, rhetorical resources
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Child and Youth Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-162284DOI: 10.1177/1363459318812003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-162284DiVA, id: diva2:1265097
Available from: 2018-11-22 Created: 2018-11-22 Last updated: 2019-07-14

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Edenroth-Cato, Fanny
By organisation
Department of Child and Youth Studies
In the same journal
Health
Sociology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 59 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf