The Extroverted Parent with An Introverted Child

Cute little boy painting on easel at home. Early learning. Art concept

Last week I wrote a blog about parenting when you are an introvert and you have a child who is an extrovert.  For those of you who missed that post, let’s redefine introversion/extroversion.  Introverts recharge and gain energy through spending time alone. Extroverts recharge and gain energy when in the company of others. So what is the impact of being an extroverted parent with an introverted child?

The extroverted parent with an introverted child

The extroverted parent loves to be around people and recharges their energy when with others.  This parent is often been surrounded by people and this is their “normal”.  So what happens when they have an introverted child?  The extroverted parent is often concerned about their introverted child.  At times it can be difficult to understand why their child wants to be alone.  Some of the parents I work with wonder if their child has enough friends.  Others wonder if they are sad or anxious, after all some introverts struggle with sadness and anxiety.  Introverts aren’t necessarily sad or anxious though.  They are often thoughtful, kind, and connected people who just don’t need or want the same level of interaction as extroverts.

3 Ways to Connect to your introverted Child

  1. Accept them for who they are. I so often hear the introverted child feel they are not good enough for their extroverted parent who wants them to have a social life they have no desire to have.  We all want to be accepted for who we are.  Let your child know that you honor their desire to have alone time.
  2. Because your introverted child needs less time with people, it is important to make the time you have with them count. Notice what they like to do and engage in that activity with them.  Connect with them by doing then things they like to do.
  3. Talk with them about being extroverted or introverted. Let them know that being an introvert or an extrovert is neither good nor bad.  They are just different ways people recharge.  As a family see if you guys can decide who recharges alone and who recharges with other people.

I hope this helps you understand and connect with your child.  In my family two of us are extroverts and two of us are introverts.  We definitely work to appreciate and honor our differences in how we recharge.  Understanding and communication always helps!

I hope you all are enjoying the last few days as summer break winds down!  Let us know if we can do anything to support your family connections!

Written By Dr. Steffanie Stecker

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