Feb 04 , 2022
First, it’s important to identify if you’re an introvert or extrovert parent. It’s a huge shift in education, also learning to meet your child’s needs. Your child might crave interaction being an extrovert, while you crave solitude being an introvert. How do you manage that?
If your toddler is energized by being alone, then he might be an introvert. An introverted child is reserved, chooses to stand back and watch the other kids, spends a lot of time alone, can easily be silent and have a limited social life, prefers ideas over people, likes to work by themselves. Extrovert children need interactions as much as introvert children need solitude.
How can you help:
Respect and understand their need for privacy.
Never embarrass them in public.
Let them observe first in new situations.
Give them time to think before acting or answering.
Don’t force making friends; encourage having one or two best friends.
Never try to make him an extrovert.
Expose your child to new people or situations slowly.
Allow them to have breaks from socializing if they feel overwhelmed.
Praise when they step out of their comfort zone.
Make sure your toddler feels heard and can stand up for himself.
Do not mistake your introverted toddler for a shy toddler because these aren’t the same. Support and accept their introverted nature.
If your toddler is energized by being with others, then he might be an extrovert. An extrovert child will probably prefer being around many people, can easily make friends, prefer playing with other kids, talks a lot and shares their thoughts about everything, crave new experiences, and find it difficult being alone.
How can you help:
Respect their independence.
Accept and encourage their enthusiasm.
Allow them to talk things out.
Let them shine.
Create various opportunities for interactions with other children.
Help them understand and respect other people’s need to be alone.
If you have an extrovert toddler, you can create opportunities for interactions (with other people rather than you). You can plan breaks during the day to recharge yourself and be clear about your needs, especially if you are an introverted parent. Needing some time alone does not make you a bad parent. You are teaching your toddler to respect other people’s needs that might differ from his.
Ask the right questions to help your toddler identify their introvert or extrovert tendencies and acknowledge and understand themselves better. Help them understand how this can affect their day-to-day activities and mood, accepting that it’s part of who they are and their reactions are normal. Knowing themselves better it would make their life easier. You can ask simple questions like: “Do you prefer to play outside on the playground with all the kids or at home with your best friend?”, “Do you feel comfortable with a lot of people?”, ‘Playing alone makes you feel happy?”.
Please don’t force it! If you know your child is an extrovert and you have been spending time at home lately, you can find opportunities to go out and be around other people. Or, if your child is an introvert and you have been to many gatherings recently, you might want to consider some quiet time at home for independent play.
Find things to do according to their personality. An extrovert will be more than happy to help you complete a task or take care of a sibling, while an introvert will prefer caring for plants or sorting laundry. While an extrovert might come home from kindergarten or school being tired from all the happy interactions with their colleagues, an introvert might come home being also drained from an opposite reason, a day being around so many colleagues with no personal space and quiet time. So, their way to recharge will be different. An extrovert will probably need some time with friends, while an introvert prefers playing alone or walking outside.