Last Updated on April 1, 2016
Parenting Tips for Introverted Parents with Extroverted Kids to help you navigate parenting successfully without losing yourself!
We’re at an indoor playground and I’m watching quietly from the sidelines.
My four-year old daughter Keira has found some other girls to befriend, and they are all happily running around as my 2-year old daughter Ava tags along behind as her ever present shadow. I start to dread forcing her to leave, knowing how much she thrives in the company of other kids, how much she enjoys the excitement of it all.
Wherever we go, Keira is always busy making new friends. She usually starts off by introducing herself and her sister. If they aren’t interested in talking to her, she will happily stay close by and continue to try to drum up a conversation.
She spends a large part of her day talking. She talks to her little sister, she talks to me, she talks to her dad, she talks to her toys, she talks to my moms cat. It’s a steady stream of talking and sharing and exuberance.
It’s been obvious for awhile now that Keira is an extrovert.
I’ve always been the quiet one. The “good listener”. The one who was always happy to just sit and colour alone, or to play quietly by myself with my kitchen or building lego towers.
Things haven’t changed much as an adult, I’m most definitely an introvert through and through. My husband on the other hand is an extrovert which can sometimes be a benefit to our relationship. You know, he doesn’t mind calling the pizza place to order, and I hate phones.
I tend to hang back in a crowd, feeling overwhelmed, while Keira is happy to plunge in which often puts me into situations out of my comfort zone. She certainly keeps me on my toes but she also challenges me to do things I would otherwise pass on and that is something I am thankful for.
Yes, I’m an introvert.
Parenting Tips for Introverted Parents with Extroverted Kids
Raising kids is hard enough. As a parent, you are constantly putting aside your own wants and needs in order to put the needs of your child first. Parenting can become even more complicated and difficult when you’re an introverted parent with extroverted kids. If you’re struggling with raising your extroverted kids, then check out these parenting tips for making it easier.
Find Introvert Parent Friends
If you’re an introverted parent with extroverted kids, the first step is to find like-minded parents. Only another introvert can understand what you’re going through, and if they have extroverted kids as well, they can help give you advice when it comes to parenting. An additional bonus to finding introverted friends is that when you set up play dates with your kids, you’ll have parents around that you can sit quietly with while your extroverted kids play noisily together.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
As much as you don’t want to hear this, you might need to step outside your comfort zone when it comes to raising your extroverted kids. Extroverted kids by nature love to have other people around them and love to talk. To an introvert, this does not come naturally. Unfortunately, as a parent, it is your job to make sure your extroverted children have someone to express themselves to, even if that means stepping outside your quiet comfort zone now and then.
Don’t Forget Your “Me” Time
As an introverted parent, you are sacrificing a lot to raise your extroverted kids. While parenting your kids, don’t be afraid to take some “me” time when you need it. Explain to your kids that you need a break or a time out. Word it in an age appropriate way so that your kids understand. As they get older, they’ll develop an understanding for the needs of an introvert, making them more sensitive to everyone’s needs, no matter how different they are.
Lean on your Spouse
If your spouse is an extrovert, have them take over when you need to recharge. Let them take over entertaining your little extrovert before bedtime while you wash up the dishes by yourself.
Teach them About Quiet Time
Get your child to focus on a quiet activity once a day for awhile. Whether they sit and colour, work on a puzzle or read, you will be helping them learn to work alone and be more self-reliant.
My extroverted daughter is the best opportunity presented to me yet to help me push my comfort limits, and to put myself out there more. As much as I “get” my little introverted Ava more, Keira’s confidence and joy around other people brings me a lot of happiness. I feel comfortable that she will be able to navigate this extroverted world in ways I have never been able to.
Are you an introvert parent with extroverted kids? What are your best parenting tips?
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!