In a world where extroverted individuals outnumber introverts, it can be a little bit difficult to parent a child that doesn’t thrive on social engagement and interaction. Yet, being a parent of an introverted child is no less enjoyable and valuable than being a parent of an extroverted one.
Unfortunately, many parents mistake shyness for natural, genuine introversion and think that it’s their job as parents to “repair” or completely cure that shyness. But these two traits are not the same.
For instance, while the timid child may need help and encouragement to come out of his/her shell, the genuinely introverted one will not thrive on being drawn out and they’ll struggle more with the pressure and establishing relationships with others.
Unlike extroverts, who get their energy by seeking stimulation outside themselves and being around other people, introverted individuals recharge themselves by focusing inside themselves and spending time on their own.
Are you wondering whether your child is an introvert? Well, first things first, don’t be alarmed. Introversion comes with some wonderful strengths. Here are 6 characteristics to look for if you are trying to determine whether your child is an introvert:
1. They prefer playing alone than with other kids.
Introverted children typically perceive their room as a safe haven. They prefer relying on their own imagination and playing on their own or with one or two other kids than playing in large groups or interacting with kids that are not well-known to them.
Children that are introverted often do solitary things, such as drawing, reading, listening to music, or playing games on the computer.
Sadly, having a vivid inner world can lead them to feel alienated from other people. Therefore, it’s essential for parents of introverted kids to help them understand how their introversion can be a great source of strength.
2. They observe before they act.
Typically, introverted children prefer to watch a game or activity before they join in. They never enter new situations quickly. Instead, they hesitate and approach them pretty carefully and thoughtfully. They tend to be livelier and talk more at home where they feel more comfortable and at ease.
3. They’re interested in the deeper aspects of life.
Besides being self-reflective, i.e. trying to understand their own feelings, opinions, and needs, introverted children want to understand how other people and things around them function as well. They tend to observe things carefully and thoroughly so as to figure out what they mean on a deeper level.
There are a lot more things to find out about the people that surround us than what can be seen on the surface and introverted children want to know what that is.
4. They make decisions based on their inner feelings and thoughts.
Rather than following other people’s standards, opinions, and ideas, introverted children make decisions based on their own principles and values. This is a very positive trait because it makes them less vulnerable to peer pressure. They never do things only to fit in with the crowd.
5. It can take some time before they show their real personalities.
Introverted children may be reserved and quiet when they first meet someone because they don’t warm up to people they don’t know easily. However, as they become more comfortable with the new person, they become friendlier and livelier.
They value connecting with other people on a deep emotional and mental level. And because they’re strong listeners and pay close attention to what the other person says, this makes them truly great friends.
6. They socialize in a different way from extroverted kids.
Introverted children need friends as well. Yet, unlike their extroverted peers, they prefer to stick to a few close friends rather than having a bunch of them. They’re interested in forming deep, strong relationships rather than forming a large group of buddies.
Additionally, they tend to spend less time socializing than extroverted children and they usually feel the need to spend time on their own after a while so as to recharge their batteries.