Is Your Toddler Introverted?
I havenâ€™t really thought much about what my toddlerâ€™s personality is like. I mean, sometimes it seems like her moods shift by the hour. So when I was filling out some paperwork to send her to a new daycare/â€ťbaby schoolâ€ť there was a section that asked me to describe her personality. I was actually at a loss for words. And this coming from someone who makes a living using themâ€¦.
I started thinking about my toddler and what she was really like. I mean, deep down to her core, and I realized that she is introverted.Â I think it hadnâ€™t occurred to me sooner because my oldest child, who is so obviously extroverted, is always stealing the spotlight. So any â€śshynessâ€ť I sensed from my youngest, I just attributed to being overshadowed by her big sister.
It can be hard to recognize introversion in a young child, but here are some things to look for. And by the way, introversion is not a negative thing. Just ask this lady.
- shy away from bright lights an/or loud noises
- take time to warm up to strangers
- need down time after being stimulated for a period of time
- Â donâ€™t like being the center of attention
- are often mistaken for being â€śshy.â€ť
This is kind of a new parenting arena for me â€“ managing an introvert. My first child has always been so gregarious and outgoing that I have never had to think about how she would adjust to new social settings, help her make friends, and privacy is a total non-issue for her. Sheâ€™s an over-sharer, like her mama.
My youngest is quieter. She needs to warm up to new situations. Sheâ€™s flirtatious and funny, but only once she gets to know you. She gets embarrassed really easily and it takes very little to discipline her. Sheâ€™s the total opposite of her big sister.
I reached out to some of my fellow blogging mamas, who are also parents of introverts, to ask them how they help their children thrive in an extroverted world. Here is what some of them said:
Stacey from Positively Kids, said, â€śPretend play with stuffed animals is a really fun activity to do with young kids. You can act it out prior to the activity.â€ť
Pretend play? I can totally do that!
Christina from Mommy Loves Coffee said, â€śAll I can say it my Sensory kid is often introverted but I have no advice cause weâ€™re still learning what to doâ€¦â€ť
Alright â€“ Iâ€™m not the only one in uncharted territory here, so I know there are other mamas just learning aobut this too. Phew!
So hereâ€™s my plan: Start with pretend play, like Stacey told me to do, and then call Christina to tell her how it went. Sound good?
Now, THATâ€™S what I call a plan!
I love all 12 of these suggestions. They are simple, easy to remember and they really help me relate to my darling little introvert. And really, a lot of these will work for my oldest too.
Are you the parent of an introvert? How do you care for their introversion?Â
Morgan is a blogger and freelance writer living in Southern California with her two daughters and flock of backyard chickens. She is also the Associate Editor for mint.com and the Quicken blog. Her work has been featured on WSJ.com, Slate.com, The Huffington Post, and San Diego Home and Garden Magazine. In her spare time she enjoys fake shopping online, writing love letters to Ryan Gosling, and avoiding folding laundry.