Introverted child: 15 things to know
You are confused by your child’s behavior. He doesn’t behave like you. He is reserved and indecisive. Instead of playing with his peers, he prefers to stand on the sidelines and watch them. When he talks to you, he is constantly confused, but most often silent, and you can not understand what is happening in his head. He spends a lot of time alone in his room. Teachers say they would like the child to be more active in the classroom. He communicates with only a few friends.
And, even more strangely – he likes it.
Congratulate. Your child is an introvert.
Extroverted parents often worry about their withdrawn children and even consider their behavior not quite healthy. It is worth noting that children with such symptoms can suffer from anxiety and depression. Sometimes detachment and lack of vital energy of the signal is something completely different than introversion.
However, many introverted children do not experience depression or anxiety at all. Their behavior is related to their innate temperament. Introversion is a genetically determined trait, and it will not change. The more you accept your child as he is, the happier he will be.
Consider the 15 things you should understand if your child is an introvert.
What you need to know about introverted children
1. There is nothing abnormal or shameful about being an introvert
In modern society, introverts are not uncommon: they make up 30-50 % of all people. Many successful businessmen and artists are introverts: bill gates, albert Einstein, J. K. Rowling and many others. It is said that even Mahatma Gandhi and mother Teresa were introverts.
2. Your child will not stop being an introvert
Can a child overcome his dislike of noisy companies? No. American psychologist Marty Laney, author of the book “Invincible introvert”, argues that introversion and extroversion are genetically determined, although parents play a large role in the development of temperament. In addition, the introvert brain is different from the extrovert brain.
Laney argues that introverts and extroverts use different mechanisms of the nervous system. Introverts use the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows them to process emotions at rest, and extroverts use the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the “hit, run or freeze” mechanism. Medical research also confirms that introverts are characterized by a large amount of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex – the area that is responsible for abstract thinking and decision-making.
Therefore, if the child shows caution and restraint, there are biological reasons for this.
3. Your child slowly gets used to new people and situations – and this is normal
Introverts often feel depressed or agitated in a new environment or in the presence of new people. If you are in a large company, do not expect the child to immediately start playing or chatting with other children. If possible, come early to give the child time to get used to and feel comfortable in this place. When other people come, the child will have settled in.
You can also allow the child to move to a convenient distance for him, where he will feel safe (perhaps to stand next to you) and a few minutes just to watch what is happening. It’ll help him settle in.
If neither the first nor the second option is possible, discuss the upcoming event with your child in advance. Tell us who will come there and what will happen there, how the child can feel and what he can do if he is uncomfortable.
No matter what you want to teach your child, stick to the rule: move slowly, but do not go away. “Don’t let your child give up on a new experience, but respect its boundaries,” advises renowned American psychologist Susan Kane in a study on introverted children. “Move with him toward the source of his fear.”
4. Communication takes energy from an introverted child
Communication can be confusing and extroverts, and introverts. However, introverts tolerate it worse. The older child can be taught to go to a quiet place or on the street when he feels tired from communication. If the child is still small, he may not notice the discomfort, so you will have to watch when the baby will show signs of fatigue.
5. Trying to make friends can make an introvert nervous
When your child is trying to make friends, you need to give him positive reinforcement. Tell him, ” Yesterday I saw you meet that boy. I know how hard it’s been for you, and I’m proud of you.”
6. You can teach your child to regulate his emotions
Tell your child ,” I thought you wouldn’t like the party, but you’ve made new friends.” Over time, receiving such positive reinforcement, he will learn to regulate their negative emotions associated with leaving the comfort zone.
7. Your child may have unique interests
Give your child the opportunity to follow their interests. Some children are well suited to popular activities among peers (for example, sports sections). However, often introverted children have their own unique interests, and they are more suitable for music or art school. Doing what you love brings your child a sense of happiness and self-confidence. It also gives the child the opportunity to communicate with other children who have similar interests (and maybe a similar temperament).
8. You should tell your teacher that your child is an introvert
Some teachers mistakenly believe that the child is silent in class because he is not interested or distracted. Introverted children, on the contrary, can be extremely attentive, but not to take an active part in the discussion, and just listen. (Often, the introverted child mentally says everything his classmates say out loud, not seeing any difference between the two actions).
If the teacher knows about the introversion of the child, he can help him to establish communication with classmates and attach to group work.
9. It can be difficult for a child to stand up for himself
Teach your child to firmly say ” no ” if another child tries to take the toy away from him. If a child is bullied at school, ask him to talk to his abuser. Explain to your child that his voice is important.
10. Help the child to prove himself
Listen to your child and ask questions to motivate them to talk. Many introverts – both children and adults-find it difficult to Express their thoughts aloud.
Introverts live their inner lives, and they need someone to help them manifest.
11. An introverted child may not seek help
Introverts tend to hide their problems. Your child may not discuss his or her problems with you, even if he or she wants help or advice from you. Ask your child questions and listen carefully to him, but do not be Intrusive with questions.
12. An introverted child is not necessarily shy
The word “shy” has a negative meaning. If your child hears this word often enough, he may begin to think that his discomfort with the presence of other people is a constant feeling that he will never be able to control.
In addition, the word “shy” means that the child suppresses his emotions. Don’t call your child shy, and if other people call him shy, correct them by saying, “he’s actually an introvert.”
13. Your child may only have a couple of close friends – and that’s fine
Introverts tend to establish deep relationships rather than find as many friends as possible. They prefer to communicate in a narrow circle and usually do not want to become popular.
14. Your child will tend to spend a lot of time alone. Don’t take it personally
Everything that pulls the child out of his inner world-school, friends, new activities-tires him. Do not be offended and do not think that he does not want to spend time with his family, wanting to be alone. Most likely, when he recovers his strength, he will again spend time with you.
15. An introverted child is a real treasure
You should not just accept the child as he is, but also appreciate his features. Introverted children are often kind, thoughtful, and purposeful. They are excellent conversationalists when they are in a comfortable environment.