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Last week I wrote about parenting an introverted child. I happen to know what it is like to be an introvert so understanding him comes easy to me. However, my introverted wife and I at the same time are coming to understand the needs of also parenting an extroverted child (we actually have TWO of these). I think writing this blog has also been very helpful in recognizing and understanding the needs of my extroverts. And this is the first step. Again, this is not about labeling, but about understanding.
Extroverted Children Need People Interaction
My little extrovert craves attention and this can be non-stop sometimes. It can be difficult for her introverted father to come home from a hard day at work and really need some time to recharge when she needs some daddy-time. Or it can be difficult when my wife and I have a morning where we can actually sleep in and my extroverted child is ready for the day and for attention first thing.
She is always wanting to perform, whether singing, dancing, taking selfies and making “selfie” movies, or putting on puppet shows. She generally wants to be around others such as friends, her brothers, or her parents, and really doesn’t love to play on her own. She wants to celebrate with tea parties, fashion shows, and dress-up princess balls on a daily basis. And she loves to talk. All. The. Time.
Introverted Parents Can Nurture Extroverted Children
What are some strategies for parenting your extroverted child? First, just as I mentioned about the introverted child it is so important to recognize her great gifts and abilities. She is creating things all of the time and most of them are for others, like birthday cards, etc. She genuinely cares about others, and truly wants to help. I may not share all of her passions, but as a parent I know it important to help her nurture these.
Family time is very important to us, but my wife and I try to be understanding of when one of us does need alone time. So sometimes it is necessary to “take turns” with our extrovert. And sometimes, we need to make her priorities our priorities – such as when a puppet show is happening. When we can, it is also very nice to have a friend over as our extrovert can play with a friend for hours and never get tired of it.
Join the Conversation
Introversion and extroversion are something that we are born with, as evidenced by the fact that two introverted parents can have both introverted and extroverted children. We need to be aware of each child’s needs and how to cultivate his or her unique gifts. I do not claim to be the perfect parent and am interested in hearing your ideas on parenting an extroverted child as an introvert or the other way around.