Introverts and Extroverts
I received an email during the week from a parent of two daughters at the college who forwarded me an article titled How I Learnt to Support My Introverted Child. In case you haven’t guessed, this parent has two daughters, one an extrovert and the other an introvert. This led me to thinking yet again about the challenges of raising kids, particularly children who are quite shy. I find that one of the great concerns for parents is how are their children going to fit, and I’m not referring to parents with children who have particular personality disorders; I am referring to all of us.
We all want the very best for our children and we can often feel that what we do or don’t do as parents can have lasting effects on their confidence, well-being or general health. By and large, if we are doing our best as parents then, I don’t think we can do much more. This doesn’t mean that we don’t feel guilty or inadequate at times. For me this was a regular state of affairs as a parent of school age children, and I can still be made to feel this way occasionally, even with adult children.Sometimes we just need to accept who our children are and recognise that some children are happy and boisterous, some are more reserved, some are extroverts and some are introverts and others sit somewhere in between.
It is not uncommon in families to have a child who is quite extroverted and another who is quite introverted. While extroverts basically speak up for themselves, introverts can have a little more difficulty in finding their voice. With parents often concerned about their children having friends, we can find that we are inadvertently putting pressure on our children to almost collect friends to keep us happy. Children who are shy or are introverted may particularly feel this.
Now for some facts - introverted kids are often well liked and popular, but they'll frequently pick a few close friends instead of befriending their entire class or year group. As parents, we need to honour this preference and support them in their relationships.Introverts also need to have their privacy respected, even more than other kids do. Extroverted parents can think everyone needs to do everything together, however, for an introvert; it can be a relief to have some time alone. Perhaps the most important step parents can take is to teach their introverted children to understand -- and celebrate -- their own temperament.
I have attached the article for your interest and I commend it to you as a very worthwhile read.
Have a great weekend
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