Being an Introvert Parent to an Extrovert Child – Part 2
Posted on: March 2, 2018.

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

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Our little extrovert is probably more inclined to a more “layered” type of listening, which may result in both of us “talking over each other” when we are trying to get a point across to them. The expert suggests an exercise to overcome this issue and help our child listen and communicate better.

Here’s what parenting expert Jen Lilienstein says: Get a box of unsharpened pencils. Give the child some and keep some for yourself. Then sit down and talk whatever it is you wish to discuss. When one of you speaks, you must put down one of the pencils. You can only speak when you’ve got a pencil in use.

By doing this, your child will learn to structure his/her conversation in a way that helps her listen to you more attentively, before she adds her side of a story.

It is important to allow such children to interact with others. Sometimes they may even cause embarrassment to us but that shouldn’t deter us from providing children ample opportunities for interaction with other people – as many as possible. They may be adults, extended family, our friends or other kids.

Subsequently, we can find organized and regular ways to allow for them to be among the kids their age and similar/varied temperaments. We may take them to social functions or family gatherings as often as we can. They are social creatures and they thrive well in places where there are people. We need to definitely make space for their indulgence in such scenarios.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we let loose. We also need to teach them when to hold back. Extrovert kids have the habit of wanting to share everything with everyone, even if they don’t know them very well. We should tell them that it is not OK to share personal details with everyone, especially if they’re strangers.

They have to be taught to value another’s time alone and better still, to teach them how to have their own time alone.

They need to be shown how we can appreciate beautiful things in silence, yet still enjoy another person’s company while doing so. Extrovert kids know how to live in the present and savor the ‘now’, unlike many introverts who tend to focus on the past or think about the future.

As parents, we know how precious the present is, given that our children will not remain small forever. Let us together appreciate the here and the now. Let us count our blessings every time she/he demands to talk to us ‘right now’. Let’s be grateful whenever she/he gabs on and on about every little thing – pretty soon she/he’ll be chatting with someone else, friends and others.

For eventually, sooner than later, our little kid will be gone from the ‘present’ to the ‘future’ – having grown into a serious, young adult.

Let us thus cherish every little moment we have with our children… until they are with us.

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