How to Nurture Your Introverted Child
It’s much more common to hear people call themselves shy than it is to hear them label themselves introverts. While being shy does share similarities with being an introvert, shyness is thought of as a social skill, whereas being an introvert is considered more of a personality trait.
If your child is more of a loner who seems happier playing solo than in a room full of their peers, don’t worry. Some of the most influential movers and shakers in history were considered introverts – people like Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, and Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few.
Introverted people are typically very bright individuals who feel more comfortable keeping their thoughts to themselves – this mysterious aura can easily be misunderstood for indifference or even arrogance. Because people make these assumptions, many introverted people may begin to withdraw from social interaction.
I’m an extremely introverted person, and I’m raising a child who’s the same way. I’ve learned that the key to successfully raising an introverted child isn’t in trying to bring them out of their shell as if they’re flawed with their natural inclination to retreat. Rather, it’s to embrace them for who they are and respect the way nature wired them.
Here are some of the ways that you can learn to respect and appreciate your own introverted child:
Respect Their Limits
If your own child is an introvert, then you’ve probably already figured out that introverted people like things low-key – they’re friendly and loving, but they tend to get easily get drained by a lot of activity, and thrive better in smaller group settings.
Being respectful of our introverted child’s social limitations keeps them from becoming too overloaded by sensorial stimulation, and eventually shying away from social settings all together.
Give Them Space To Dream
Like Steven Spielberg and Frederic Chopin, introverts may be some of the most creative people in the world because they naturally tend to spend more time in lower, more synchronized brain wave states of consciousness like theta, alpha, and delta.
Unlike the higher-frequency of beta, where most people spend the majority of their waking time reasoning and problem solving, these lower, more dream-like states are where the imagination is free to play and where much of our creative ideas come from. If you have an introverted child, rather than trying to draw them out to socialize, encourage them to explore their imagination by drawing, writing, or playing an instrument.
Our introverted child doesn’t want or need a lot of things constantly going on around them. They naturally shy away from drama and too much extraneous stimulation. If you find them reading in their room in the midst of a family gathering, don’t think something’s wrong! They probably just got tired of all the activity and hoopla.
As parents of an introverted child, we might be placing our concerns and worries on them about their antisocial behavior and unintentionally stigmatizing them. Remember, they have a different filtering system than more outgoing people, so respect their boundaries and limitations and give them their space.
Focus on Their Strengths
Introverted people have lots of amazing qualities if we learn to see the world from their perspective. They are amazing listeners, intrinsically motivated, highly intelligent, very sensitive, intuitive, passionate, creative, and very imaginative.
As parents, we can help our introverted child go out into the world and make their mark by nurturing their strengths, rather than spending our time trying to make them into people that they’re not.
Learn to Respect the Silence
Our introverted child isn’t being rude if they don’t have as much to say as we would like. It’s just that they’re constantly processing the information around them and focusing their attention on the internal dialogue going on in their creative mind.
They are not being defiant or even lazy – they are just forever preoccupied analyzing, organizing, hypothesizing, and brainstorming. The next time you ask your introverted child a question and they don’t answer immediately, just know that they are most likely pondering some great mystery in their brain.
Understand Their Risk-Taking
In a state of solitude, introverted people don’t have all of the extraneous distractions of the outside world and are free to flex their creative muscles, ask tough questions, and explore their deepest passions. They are the people in life who are not afraid to step out of the box and dare to dream, or to ask the questions “Why” and “Why not?”. Those are the types of risks they like to take – not necessarily physical or social ones. And thanks to their reflection, the rest of us can often benefit from their discoveries.
The next time that you are frustrated with your introverted child because they are once again spaced out, just remind yourself that not only are they a gift to you, but a necessity in this often ordinary world.
How do you nurture your young introvert? Share your stories and advice with us!Tags : conscious parenting mindful parenting self worth self esteem confidence emotional health