Extroverts rule today’s world, from the schools, colleges, and even the professional side. Even the current social media favors mostly extroverts, who are willing to share each and every snippet of their life here on social media platforms. So, most people automatically view the introverted person/child as an oddity. In fact, at times, they tease these introverts so cruelly as though they are at fault somewhere. But research proves that around 50% of the population are introverts. So then, if your child happens to be one of them, how do we raise him in the ever-competitive extroverted world? This blog discusses tips for raising an Introverted child.
What is Introversion?
Introversion is a personality trait decided by the brain’s neurotransmitter pathways. That means the neuron connections in their brain use different patterns when compared to the extroverts. So it’s a pre-determined trait that happens at the time of the birth itself. There is nothing wrong with these people, but the research shows that Introverts are good at abstract thinking and decision-making. The reason is they take time to think through things from all angles.
Hence, they are not depressed or sad souls but are just wired differently. They are happier in their own world, and in fact, they do have a rich and vivid inner world. They fuel their strength from that inner world by immersing themselves in their passions like reading, drawing, music, or something else.
That doesn’t mean that Introverts wouldn’t have social circles. Their social circle would be very limited to close friends or family members. They enjoy themselves in this social circle and are able to laugh out loud or be very jovial among them. They would become calm and withdrawn if we placed them in a bigger circle, as the social chatting in larger groups drains their energies completely.
Some Introverts would change themselves slowly during their teenage or later in life based on their needs. But whereas, some prefer staying as introverts as the company they got understands the uniqueness of them and appreciates them. So, we must remember that every Introvert is different, and we can’t brand them all under one umbrella.
Signs of an Introverted Child.
Rich Inner World: Introverts have a very rich inner world that’s filled completely with the things they are passionate about. They will never get bored sitting alone in that world, as it fuels their creative energies. Some people might be able to admit one or two close friends into that rich inner world. Other people might not be even aware of the richness and variety in that inner world unless you get a glimpse of it.
Keen Observers: Introverts are keen observers. They observe and think carefully before making any decision; hence normally, they wouldn’t be influenced that easily by anyone. They make decisions purely based on their observations. Also, they might appear very cautious and nervous to outsiders but can be very talkative and cheerful inside their close circles.
Struggle in Group Settings: As stated earlier, they are not born team players but can adapt to the team playing skills as they grow a little older. So, that’s why most introverted children suffer initially in daycare centers or schools. They need that alone time with the family till the time their self-confidence levels have developed. Once they are sure about themselves, they can slowly start stepping out.
Matured Souls: Even as kids, introverted children start asking deeper questions way beyond their age. They think too deeply, and they first analyze themselves completely. They try to understand why they are different when compared to others and what makes every individual different. Since they have that deep thinking capability, sometimes they can become their worst self-critics. They need help from their core inner circle to change that self-criticism trait.
Others have to make an effort to understand them: The introvert’s real personalities would become clearer to others only when they start trusting them and opening up. It takes some time and effort from other people for introverts to open up. Introverts are good listeners, so typically, most of them would come to talk to them, share their problems, and might walk away without really bothering to understand them.
Parenting Tips to Raise an Introverted Child.
The most important and critical tips for raising an introverted child are as follows:
Accept them – Understand that Introverts are born like that, and there is nothing that we can do to change them. Don’t push them to be social butterflies, as that’s one thing that they can’t do, and it would damage their self-esteem. So as a parent, we need to accept them and give them space to develop on their own. They will have their own social world, which might be limited to one or two close friends or cousins. But that should be fine with you.
Encourage them to identify their own talents: Introverts who are aware of their own strengths and talents will be able to fare better in future life, as they have their own creative outlets to express their feelings. So let the kids explore and choose their passions based on their needs.
Introduce them to different Social Situations slowly: When you have to attend any compulsory social events along with your child, then plan accordingly so that you can arrive at the venue earlier than everybody else so that your kid can become comfortable in those surroundings before everyone else arrives. Also, give them gentle nudges or pushes to face those situations. They definitely need more praise for taking time out to attend these social events. Please stop comparing them with others.
Give them the confidence that you hear them out: Most introverts are plagued with self-doubts. In this extroverted world, they will not get a chance to voice their opinions. Till the time they gain the confidence to raise their voice, parents have to become their voice and advocate for them so that they can feel valued and heard. You might even have to talk to their teachers in school about their introverted attitude. So that the teacher wouldn’t give them hard pushes about various social situations in the school.
Celebrate them: Introversion is not a syndrome or a trait. It’s a unique trait given by god as the world needs kind-hearted and empathetic souls. Feel happy that your child is one among them. So treasure and cherish them for what they are.
All the introverted child asks (though not explicitly in words) from his parents and family members for complete support and trust. So, please don’t brand them, saying they are not “social beings”; they like to stay alone. That is really not the case, but in fact, a misnomer, as stated above.
Suhasini, IP, is the Author of the book “Practical Tips for Kids Mental Health.” As a certified kids and parents life coach, she helps/guides you toward a happy family life for your kids. She firmly believes, that “Emotionally Happy Kids of today are the Mentally Strong and Happy Citizens of tomorrow.” Let’s make the world a happy and beautiful place for our kids to thrive.