If you are an extrovert – your introverted child might completely baffle you? I have worked with parents who have said things like, “We are so outgoing. How did we have such an introverted child?” and “What should we do to help her?”
For starters – she doesn’t need help. At least – not for being an introverted child. Being an introvert isn’t a problem in and of itself. We are all wired differently. Some of us get energized being around others and some of us get depleted. Many of us understand these types of kids because we are introverts ourselves.
The bigger problem emerges when an extroverted parent doesn’t understand their introverted child. When you birth a child who is wired completely differently than you – parenting can become a struggle.
To give you a quick cheat sheet – here are 15 things you should NEVER do to your introverted child.
Some parents have a jokey personality. They like to tease and poke fun at their kids. They aren’t doing it to be mean – they are doing it to be funny.
Unfortunately, your introverted child will completely miss the humor in this type of interaction. Worse – it has the potential to make them resent you.
Force them to have discussions with others.
I get it – you want them to be social. You want them to talk. But, forcing them to talk with others isn’t going to work. An Introverted child needs to feel comfortable in order to open up. If they are pushed into talking too soon – they will withdrawal completely.
Orchestrating social interactions.
Maybe you see another quiet kid on the playground. You think this is your time to help your child make friends. You call the kid over. Introduce the child to your child. You wind up talking for your child and the conversation is going south quickly.
There is nothing wrong with helping your child jump start a social interaction – but know when to back off and let the conversation naturally flourish or die a quick death.
Make fun of them in front of others.
There is only one thing worse than making fun of an introverted child – and that is making fun of them in front of other people. Introverted kids can be highly self-conscious and they are more likely to get embarrassed over things you might think are no big deal.
Put them on the spot in front of others.
Did your child forget to do a chore? Did they say thank you too quietly or not at all. Putting your child on the spot and scolding them in front of others will just make them want to curl up and die. There will be no learning curve in those moments. If you want to correct their behavior – address it after the audience has left.
Ask them to perform in front of other people.
Maybe your daughter has the most beautiful voice or your son tells the funniest jokes. Introverts don’t want to be on stage and do not appreciate an unwanted spotlight on them. Avoid putting them on show and asking them to perform for others. You might think it is cute – but most likely they will not.
– Natasha Daniels