How To Raise An Introverted Child?
Estimates suggest that introverts make up at least 50% of the population, but despite this, parents and a large section of society think being introverted is an oddity. Parents
Children live in a society that is geared towards extroversion. From a school system that overtly pushes class participation, a work culture that encourages networking for current and future jobs to a society that promotes norms like small talk.
Who are Introverts?
By definition, introverts get easily drained by socializing and need plenty of downtime. Most important, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert. It’s not a disease or a disorder.
Many introverted children are assumed to be depressed or anxious but they are not. They behave in the way they do because of their innate temperament. The more you embrace their natural introverted nature, the happier your child will be. Instead of seeing introverts as failed extroverts, we should begin appreciating their unique strengths and talents.
Once you better understand what it means to be an introvert, you will be better able to recognize your child’s preferences. And once you recognize your child’s preferences, you need to respect those preferences.
Signs Your Child Might Be An Introvert
- They avoid eye contact and interacting with others, especially new people because meeting new people can be draining to an introvert.
- Throw tantrums or are generally upset after a busy day.
- Clam up while meeting someone new or interacting with a crowd but they seem pretty alive when they are back home.
- Easily get absorbed in solo play or doing anything alone.
- You may easily find them talking to themselves or to their toys.
- Some may even struggle with separation anxiety.
- May even struggle to express themselves very clearly.
- They are pretty sensitive to their environment.
- Can be curious about the world but when it comes to exploring it, they become conscious.
- They stick to a few trusted friends instead of large groups.
Things you must keep in mind
Accept and embrace
You might be the hurdle in your child’s growth. It is important for parents to be understanding. You need to understand and accept that your child is an introvert and it is completely normal. You have to let them be themselves and love who they are. Pushing your child to have a more active social life amounts to trying to change a fundamental part of who they are.
Know that there is nothing “unusual” or “shameful” about them being an introvert
Once you know what your kid is like, you have to accept them as they are. If you feel that they are weird or if you act ashamed of them in public places, your child will start believing that they are “less” and they will always doubt themselves. If it helps, you must know that there have been great artists and leaders who were introverts – be it Emma Watson or Bill Gates.
Socializing drains your kid’s energy
Once you see your child the way they are, you will see how socializing is not your child’s thing. They may shy away from groups and may not interact well with groups. You can teach your child to excuse themselves from an uncomfortable situation in a polite way and get some air outside if they feel trapped or exhausted. Remind your child to take breaks if they feel overwhelmed.
Making friends can be a real task
You should know that even though introvert kids have a hard time making friends but when they do, it’s a lifetime kind of friendship. You must give your child some positive reinforcement to keep them motivated to make friends if they want to but fail at doing so.
Praise them for their social risk
If you see your child making an effort and going beyond their comfort zone to interact or socialize with anyone, appreciate their efforts. Tell them that you understand how much they put into the situation to get out and speak to a new person. Make sure you tell them you are proud of them.
They may not ask for help
Introverts tend to internalize their problems. They live internally and they need someone to draw them out. You should be the comfort for them and ask them about what they are thinking and feeling. They must have a safe space with you to share their problems (if they are facing any in school or with friends etc). Ask questions and truly listen but don’t pry or make your questions feel like an interrogation.
Celebrate your child’s uniqueness
Introverts seek depth in relationships, not breadth. They prefer a small circle of friends and usually aren’t interested in being “popular.” They are often kind, thoughtful, focused, and very interesting company, as long as they’re in settings that work for them. Don’t be hurt or think your child doesn’t enjoy being with the family when they spend time alone in their room, (perhaps reading a book, or into other creative hobbies) Most likely, once they have recharged, they’ll want to spend time with the family again.
Don’t just accept your child as they are, instead treasure them for who and how they are.
Also read : 50 questions to ask your kid to get them talking