You know those people at parties who are often referred to as “wallflowers?” Yeah, I’m one of those people. A more accurate term for us is introverts. We’re quiet, reserved and very cautious. My husband is an extrovert and is completely different than me. (Seriously. I’m still trying to find his “off” button!) Our son is introverted like me. And while I can relate to his ways, it can sometimes be hard for his dad, or others, to understand the best way to approach him. This goes for all introverted children. You can’t always tell when a child is an introvert, but once their personality starts to come through, it’s pretty easy to gauge.
If you have an introverted child, or you just want to know the best ways to interact with one, these are the ways to speak their language. I know this because I’m an introverted adult, and this goes for me too!
1. Solitary Confinement
Introverts enjoy being alone. Really! Because introverts need time to process information, they are easily overwhelmed in situations where crowds of people, or even small groups of people are gathered. If your child seems to want some privacy, respect that request. It has nothing to do with you, or your presence, it’s just that your child needs time to analyze his thoughts and feelings.
source: Novak Dijokovic Foundation
2. No Interrupting
If your introverted child engages you in conversation, don’t interrupt. Extroverts can digest and respond to information quickly, but introverts are the opposite. If you interrupt your child, he might lose his train of thought and have to start over again. This can be stressful for introverts, since it takes time to find the right words to say. Your child might then be fearful that you think he is lying.
Children lie for various reasons, and the Novak Dijokovic Foundation has some helpful information about why children lie.
source: Parent Map
3. Observation First
When an introverted child is put in a new situation, it is best to let her observe from afar before becoming actively engaged. Since introverts exercise caution in many situations, they need time to weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision. If your child is thrown directly into the action, she might become overwhelmed with anxiety and afraid to try new things in the future.
Learn more about the way socializing affects introverts at Parent Map.
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