Your kiddos are unique, bright, and special, and the center of your world. As their parent, grandparent or caregiver, you want them to flourish and grow up to be happy and healthy. A great way to encourage your child’s self-confidence is to nurture in a way that feels natural to their little introvert or extrovert personalities.
Not sure what an introvert or extrovert is? Not a problem! Read below to learn more on these two personality types, and for great parenting tips for each.
Signs Your Kiddo Might Be an Introvert
- They are just as happy (or happier) playing alone than in a group.
- They come up with amazing and brilliant ideas all on their own and are self-starters.
- In a group setting they don’t mind letting others take the lead. When they do take the lead they are organized and work best in groups with like-minded children and other self-starters.
- Large groups can wear them out quickly.
- They are thoughtful, often thinking their words and feelings through before articulating their thoughts to others.
- They may be shy about raising their hands in class, or last because they want to make sure they know what they are going to say.
- You may have to ask your kiddo how they feel, because it may not always be apparent.
- They are very sensitive to how others feel around them.
- Homework is a breeze and your kiddo has no problem getting it done and out of the way before playing.
- He or she may talk to themselves a lot and has cute little convos with their stuffed animals and imaginary friends.
- They wait for other kiddos to come up to them first.
- They may have a few very close friends and spend most of their time with their circle, instead of having lots of kids they call friends. It’s more of quality over quantity when it comes to friendship.
- New situations, places, and people, may feel a bit intimidating. Your kiddo may need extra time to warm up to new people and places.
- They may be a picky eater because they are reluctant to try new foods.
- After a busy day of errands and activities your kiddo may have a meltdown and throw a tantrum so loud the neighbors hear it. They often need and crave down time, especially after a busy day.
- He or she may not get bored very often, because they can entertain themselves pretty well.
Signs Your Kiddo Might Be an Extrovert
- They love to play in a group.
- They often take the lead when playing with other children.
- They are the first to want to be on teams; sports teams, math teams, and other social groups.
- They speak their mind and may not always think about what they are saying before it comes out.
- They are often the first to raise their hand.
- They like to bounce their fabulous ideas off others and love turning things into a group project.
- They have lots and lots of friends, and can hang out with pretty much anyone and feel comfortable.
- Your kiddo has never met a stranger. Outgoing fits them to a “T”.
- New places and activities excite them.
- Your kiddo is a talker. You may joke about how they talk just to hear themselves, or that they are a chatterbox.
- Your kiddo loves to try new foods.
- They are naturally very happy. You also usually don’t have to ask them if everything is okay or if something is wrong, because you can just tell. Their mood is very apparent.
- Your kiddo learns best through activities and hands on learning, instead of reading instructions or studying topics.
- Your child may get bored easy, as they thrive on excitement and fun.
Tips To Nurture Your Introvert
You may be saying to yourself, “YES! My daughter is an introvert and this sounds just like her.” Here are some helpful tips that can work well with introverts of all ages:
- In new situations, let them sit back and watch until they are comfortable joining in.
- Let them know ahead of time if you are going somewhere new or meeting new people. They may need a little extra time to warm up to the idea. This can also prevent a meltdown later on.
- Don’t interrupt. What they are saying is important to them and they have put a lot of thought into it. Let them speak their mind completely before you reply.
- Give them a little time to get their thoughts together, and wait patiently for answers.
- Introverts like privacy. Do your best to respect this.
- Running out of time? Try to warn them when they have 10 or 15 minutes left to finish something. Being rushed can easily stress them out, and a little warning will go a long way.
- Do your best not to do anything that will embarrass them in front of others, because it may take them longer to recover.
- If you need to get onto them for something or make corrections, do so in private. They may get embarrassed easily in public if you get onto them in front of others, and may feel humiliated if others see that they have made mistakes. They may also have a hard time accepting praise in front of others, so judge the situation before you act.
- Be content to let them have their close friends. Never pressure your introvert to go out and make more friends simply to have a larger number of contacts.
- Accept who they are, and don’t try to mold them to have more extrovert characteristics. Love your child for the amazing little person that they are. As long as they are happy, then you are doing a great job as a parent or caregiver.
Tips to Nurture Your Extrovert
Does your kiddo sound like an extrovert? Here are some tips to use with them and all of the other extroverts in your life:
- Accept when they are busy little bees. Extroverts usually have busy little schedules and lots of stuff they want to get done. If they are busy, let them do their thing when you can and let them know that when they are through they need to have family time or do their chores.
- Let them learn in a hands-on manner. Allow them to tinker with things until they figure it out.
- Allow them to jump into a project or a group headfirst. They are often ready to take a new situations as soon as they arise. Let them do so!
- When they do a great job, tell them. If the rocked it out on the soccer field, don’t be afraid to tell them so in front of their friends. Positive and public compliments are A-Okay with extroverts. They may also handle being gently corrected while in public just fine, but always judge the situation and guess that their reaction before you act.
- Encourage their enthusiasm. They get passionate about what they are working on. Be supportive and get excited with them!
- Surprise them! Going to a new park or meeting with a new playgroup? Let it be a surprise. Extroverts love surprises and do just fine without advance notice about upcoming events and activities.
- Let them make decisions and give them options. They don’t usually get stressed out and may find making decisions exciting.
Keep in mind that you may have one child that’s an introvert and one that is the opposite, or five extroverts and not a single child that shows introvert traits. Both personality types have their own strengths, and neither is better than the other. Some parents may feel that their child is right in the middle between the two, and that’s also normal. Take the tips above that you feel will work best with your kiddo, and give them a whirl.
Did you find one tip that worked really well for your child? Do you have any additional tips to help other parents? If so, leave a comment and let us know. We LOVE comments!