Anne, mother of 9-year-old Lisa, complains:
Lisa and I went to the mall in the morning to do some shopping. She loves being there because her favorite ice cream shop can be found there. After we returned home, we played with a board game she received for her birthday. Meanwhile, music was playing that was selected by her. Before lunch, I played cards with her and with her brother for a while, and then Lisa asked me if she can help me with the dishes. We played badminton out in the yard early afternoon and then we had a video chat with two classmates of hers and with one of her grandfathers. A little later, I helped Lisa with her homework. After that she suggested we shall bath the dog. I agreed, since Roger really needed some cleaning up.
I was about to take a rest with a delicious coffee in hand when Lisa burst into the kitchen again asking if she can visit her classmate who had just received a new tablet. Since I still had a lot to do, I suggested Lisa to call her grandmother to ask if she could make it and take her there. Fortunately, grandma agreed. Till granny arrived, Lisa bustled up and down in her room to pick the most appropriate dress and shoes, with a matching hair band and bag. I somehow felt like she hadn’t rested for a minute since she had woken up in the morning.
When they finally left, I flopped down on the couch, feeling entirely exhausted. I didn’t even have the power to grab my coffee. I tilted my head back and muttered to myself: ’Relax, Anne. They are gone. Now you have a few quiet hours. Sit back and take a rest. The house is peaceful. You don’t have to do anything, just close your eyes for a while…
If you are raising an extroverted child as an introverted parent, the story above may seem familiar to you. Similarly to other extroverted kids, Lisa is always keen on meeting others and is happy to take part in various events. Extroverted children prefer to be in the focus of attention, and they even change clothes multiple times if they feel like. We love them as they are our beloved children, however they sometimes make us facing tough challenges each day.
How to raise an extroverted child if you are introverted?
Here are some helpful tips that can help.
Observe what makes them happy
Is your extroverted kid longing for parties? Does he want everyone to be there at his birthday party? Let him make plans! Encourage him to jot down who he would like to invite and let him come up with ideas. He’d better tell you how he wishes to organize the party, what kind of cake he would like, and then discuss with him what is workable and what is not possible. You can ask your child to walk into her room and make her own plans. Meanwhile, you have a little peace, and she can let her imagination flow and design at her preference.
Don’t let them get bored
There is nothing more terrible than boredom for an extroverted kid. Provide her with active and exciting programs. If you cannot manage these, encourage her to do a mini-play in the living room or a dance performance for the entire family. Any demonstration like this will do if dance isn’t her strength.
Make those small events memorable, too. Summer vacation is just about to start? Has Christmas time begun? Did he receive his first laptop or smartphone? Is spring around the corner? Did his soccer team win? First time she came home by herself from a party? Prepare a few candles and some sweets on hand so you can celebrate every occasion. No matter how small the event, it can give your kid the feeling that he is part of something he enjoys and that is about him.
Find an extroverted family member
Ask someone for help from time to time. What if you asked an extroverted friend or family member to take care of your child sometimes? For example, if one grandmother or a lovely uncle is extroverted, they probably can’t wait to spend some active time with your energetic son or daughter.
Company, company and company
If your kid is small, take her to the playground to play with the other kids. Once she is older, let her go over to her classmates or friends. You don’t have to be actively involved in events in these places, so you don’t get tired either. Finally, she will be happy to spend time in company.
Ensure something they can look forward to
It is important for extroverted children to have a reward or an exciting moment in the end instead of merely the joy itself. They love it when something special happens soon that they can expect. It could be a special breakfast, a weekend excursion, watching a movie together, or simply a family table tennis tournament.
Spend time with them
In the example above, we cannot state the Lisa is behaving naughty. She just enjoys exciting programs and wants to meet others. If that comes true, nothing will stop us from having the most wonderful extroverted child. Spend time with your kid each day, which is all about him. It should be him to pick what he likes to do and you better make sure nothing distracts you during this time. Playing board games or watching movies? Baking or dancing in the living room? Playing cards or doing some arts-and-crafts? Bathing the dog? Anything he would love to do.
Spend some time alone
Half an hour by yourself, each day. For an introverted parent, this is an investment in having a better mother or father. If you don’t have that retreat, you will feel you are becoming more impatient. Maybe you yell and you don’t pay attention to your child. This is unfortunate for both parties, therefore it is important to use this secret tool to recharge a bit.
Teach them to respect other people’s time
It is important that the extroverted child learn to respect time and wishes of others. Explain to him you cannot talk to him for a while now because you have to work or because you want to be on your own. You may want to specify the time how long he should endure: for example, half an hour, an hour, or even more.
Find another introverted parent or join a similar group
Companions with similar problems can provide support and give useful tips to help each other in a difficult situation. If you are close friends, you can take turns taking care of each other’s children, so one of you can always have some time of your own.
Don’t blame them
She didn’t choose to be extroverted. We have to accept that some children represent this personality type at an early age, even if she is our own child. She will feel satisfied and happy when she lives an exciting life that is rich in relationships with others. Since extroverted kids don’t remember that you need a little retreat on your own, explain to her what that means. Ask her not to disturb you during that time. Also, encourage her to speak to you if she wants to play or go out somewhere.
Don’t feel guilty
You are not selfish if you want to retire occasionally to be by yourself. A good mother or father is not the one who is available to the kid twenty-four hours a day. You need your own time to become a better, more understanding and more patient parent.
According to Cynthia Todd, author of Understanding the Extroverted Child, we’d better keep in mind that raising an extroverted child doesn’t involve constant difficulties. Such a child is adventurous, open, innovative, and popular. These qualities can fill our home with excitement, activity, and new experiences that we can be a part of.
By the time grandma took Lisa home in the evening, Anne had rested and recharged herself. She was glad that her tired but happy daughter was home again. It was an awesome day, Mom! He shouted from the door. Anne smiled and looked at Lisa with warm love. The little girl’s sparkling eyes compensated her for all the difficulties. She thought about how much she loved her daughter and wouldn’t change with another parent by all means.
Even if life is sometimes really challenging, if you have an extroverted child.
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