Is your daughter’s introversion an issue for your daughter, or you?
It’s normal for extraverted parents to squirm when their kids spend lots of time alone. Worries of depression, anxiety, or low self esteem flash in their mind. And while all of these could be the issue, there may be other reasons why she’d rather read than run around with friends.
Quietness can fall into two categories. Psychology Today calls them A) shyness and B) preference for solitude. Find out what’s true for your daughter. Lovingly ask her.
Shyness can be an opportunity to learn social skills. She may need practice introducing herself when she makes a phone call. She may need help speaking up for herself. Role model this behaviour for her. Remind her of the power of listening and that’s it’s also OK to speak her mind. You might even like to enrol her in our Personal Development Course (or Tweens Course for girls aged 10-12) where we include practical classes like how to introduce yourself, friends forever and other self-esteem boosting subjects.
However, shyness can be a problem if she desperately wants to be with the cool kids and is too terrified to walk over. If you’re with her while she’s around other students or friends, pay attention to what her eyes are focused on. If it’s the kids, ask her if she’d like to be a part of the group. Peer groups and popularity are so important at this stage. You can even walk her over if she’d like.
In contrast, preference for solitude can mean a few things. The child may need extra validation from their parents. They might need practice at having face-to-face conversations. Since their thumb is often glued to their phone these days, advocate for less screen time. Preference for solitude can also indicate that she’s introverted.
Once you understand more about your daughter, celebrate who she is. Acknowledge her when she takes a social risk. Tell her, “Honey, I saw you talking to a new girl at the bus stop. I know that can be hard and I’m proud of you.”
Silence is a source of strength.
Books About Parenting Introverts:
- The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child: Helping Your Child Thrive in an Extroverted World
- Quiet Kids: Help Your Introverted Child Succeed in an Extroverted World
- Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower