Help, My Child is an Introvert!!!

As I drove my kids’ home from school on a Friday afternoon, my older teenage son suddenly springs it on me that he had a party to attend the day after. Huh?……..I found it odd! When did he start enjoying going to parties, and why am I asking myself this question, why am I surprised? He must have figured out my thoughts at the first glance. He precariously looked at me and said ‘but you said I was too introverted and I needed to go out more’
I have always known my older son had the traits and personality of an introvert, but have I made him feel being an introvert is somewhat ‘unnatural? So much so he is making an effort to change who he is?
So, as a value added parent, I have been learning from Susan Horowitz Cain, an American writer and lecturer, and author of the 2012 non-fiction book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
I know there are other parents out there who could be worried about a child they feel may be too ‘mellow’, ‘non sociable’ and quiet compared to other kids.
I have learnt that a third, to a half of the population in the universe is actually introverted.
Our community and places of work have created a bias towards introverted people and this bias is increasingly making its way into our schools and homes.
To see the bias clearly you need to understand the difference between introverts and extroverts.
Introverting is how a child responds to stimulation including social stimulation. This is different from shyness; which is basically the fear of ‘social judgement’
Extroverts on the other hand crave large amounts of stimulation and energy.
When you think carefully about the differences, you get to learn that an introverted, mellow, quiet kids are actually at their best, most alive and most switched on when they are in quieter, low key environments.
Unfortunately, our greatest institutions for leaning e.g. primary and secondary schools appear to be designed for extroverted kids these days. The kids that feel most alive and stimulated when alone are often now seen as ‘problem cases’
Kids are encouraged to always work in group pods which could be a good thing, but takes away the solo flight of thoughts the introverted child craves for. For some kids, solitude is the air they breathe and this must be recognized and respected.
The truth of the matter is, no child is an absolute intro or extrovert some fall in-between (ambriverts).
This ying and yang is what the world needs, especially when it comes to creativity and productivity. A world where some of our children are good at going into their space, to seek for revelation, epiphanies and knowledge to contribute and share with their peers; just like Moses, Jesus, Mohamed, Ghandi and so many others did in their time.
On this note I have two things to say to parents like me,
1. Let your child be who they are
2. Teach them to ‘occasionally’ resist from the impulse of being too guarded.
The world needs both extrovert and introverted kids, they all have their special individuality to offer.


3 Responses to “Help, My Child is an Introvert!!!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Events News