A simple definition of an introvert, according to Cambridge Dictionary is a person who is shy, quiet and unable to make friends easily. They are more concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than other things.
Does your child prefer playing alone, avoids eye contact and talks to himself than others? Is he reluctant to try new things or throws a tantrum after an activity outside of the usual routine? Then your child might be an introvert.
There are ways on how to support an introvert child. It might be a little difficult at first especially if you prefer being with people and you want your child to do the same. Others, expect children to be outgoing and active especially with other kids. So having an introvert child will need full understanding and support from the parent.
Here are some ways that can help them.
- That there is nothing wrong with being an introvert.
As a parent, know that there is nothing wrong about being an introvert. There are successful people out there that we didn’t know are introverts. We just have to understand and try to put ourselves in their shoes and see the world as they see it. From there, we can start to identify with them and begin our support system.
- Help encourage their passions.
If your child loves writing, why not enroll her in classes which will cultivate her skills in this field. Not only would they learn and cultivate their skills, they would also meet other children who may have the same temperament and passions as them, and perhaps build lifelong friendships.
- Slowly introduce them to new people and situations.
Before going out to a new environment with unfamiliar people, explain where you going to, what’s the event that’s going to take place and for whom. This is for the child to be prepared for the situation that will take place. He might observe from afar at first and just watch the event. Explain to the child that people might come and try to speak to them and just start a conversation. In time, the child will understand that this event requires other people communicating and interacting.
- Appreciate the child when they take a social risk.
When your child takes the risk of socializing with other people, praise them. These kind of situations are a milestone to their introverted personality. Be proud of what has been accomplished and ask them how they feel about it. If they felt good, then it will happen more often.
- Teachers should be informed of their introversion.
Teachers might have already noticed their behavior at school. Speaking to them about it and getting additional support from the teacher and school will be highly appreciated. With this, the teacher will also be aware why the child is likely to be quiet than to be active at participation. They will also help your child with school work that involves group interaction that they may be struggling with.
- Teach your child on how to be confident, and stand up for herself.
Encourage them to speak up. Since they will be quiet and reserved most of the time, the child will need to be taught how to speak up and stand up for themselves. If they want to say something, then get somebody’s attention and speak up. Teach them the importance of being heard.
- Respect the child’s time alone.
Introverts seem to have their own world. They spend time playing with their gadgets or play alone. Let them have their alone time, they need it to recharge and they get back to family time after that. Do not force them to be out and about all the time.
- Stop labeling your child as “shy”.
Stop saying that your child is shy and avoid the mistake of saying this. Your child is an introvert and not shy, there’s a difference. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment but an introvert prefers quiet and minimal exciting situations.
- Don’t worry if she has few friends.
Introverts want deep friendships and not many. They find satisfaction with having a small circle of friends. So, do not worry if your child has a small circle of friends, it’s perfectly normal for introverts. They are satisfied with having one or two friends with profound relationships.
- Listen to what your child has to say.
Make sure that you hear what your child has to say. Introverts sometimes feel that they are struggling to be heard, so open up communications with them to understand them better and learn about what they are struggling with.
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