Has your child developed into a full-fledged social butterfly in front of your very eyes? While many parents are more concerned about their child being under-socialized, parenting an extrovert can present some unique challenges — particularly if you’re an introvert. If you’re not sure if your kid is an introvert or an extrovert (or if they fall somewhere in-between, also known as an ‘ambivert’) here are some basic things you should look out for in order to find out.
An introverted child or adult will often recuperate by spending time alone or with people they are very close to. They tend to prefer activities that offer solitude and tranquility. It is a misconception to believe that all introverts are shy. It’s true that they don’t converse very frequently, but this if often simply because they don’t desire to. Shyness means that socialization causes great discomfort and anxiety. Introverts aren’t necessarily shy; they just prefer alone time.
Extroverts are highly socialized individuals that often display a high level of confidence and an outgoing personality. They thrive on being around lots of people. They will often participate actively in conversations and even initiate them with absolute strangers.
Ambiverts are the middle ground between an introverted and extroverted personality. An ambivert will adopt characteristics from both personality types. For example, they may enjoy enjoy social gatherings and make new friends easily, but their favorite thing to do is relax at home, spending time alone.
Is Your Child an Extrovert?
Extroverted personalities are lots of fun, but they can also be exhausting when paired with a child’s seemingly endless reserves of energy. An extroverted child is particularly energetic, as they have not yet fully aware of social etiquette and acceptable mannerisms. Moreover, the brutal honest and simplified understanding of the world of children can cause parents a lot of embarrassment when out in public places.
Children provide us with memorable experiences, and our lives would be a lot more dull without them in it. Different personality types benefits from slightly modified versions of parenting. Extroverted children require parents with a lot of patience and imagination in order to cater to their energetic personalities.
Signs that your child is an extrovert
The interests of an extrovert are often numerous and broad. In other words, they don’t just stick to one leisure activity: they have at least five things they like to do in their spare time. Moreover, these activities can be all completely unrelated: their hobbies are both numerous and versatile. They might love going ice-skating, but hate snow fights. They might hate when the teacher reads out loud from a book in school, but then love nothing better than you reading to them before bed. Extroverts are colorful personalities, so don’t expect their interests to be predictable; or even to make sense!
If your kid talks a lot, chances are they are a bonafide extrovert. If you try to peel your eyes open while your child rambles on incoherently, just remember that their extrovert personality often means they like to process externally. In a nutshell, this means that they speak before thinking, and have a stream-of-consciousness approach to their conversations. Getting an extrovert to focus can be difficult, but this is a healthy stage of development that shows they’re engaging with the world. There are ways of improving a child’s concentration if you think their ramblings stem from a lack of focus as opposed to a personality trait.
Tips on Parenting an Extrovert
Now that you’ve figured out that yes, your child is most certainly an extrovert, here are some effective parenting tips that will create an atmosphere of calm in your household and enable you to reach your full parenting potential:
Extroverted children require a higher amount of social activities. Hopefully you don’t mind running about here, there, and everywhere, because an extroverted child will become bored if they’re stuck at home playing computer games all the time.
Depending on your own availability and schedule, try to incorporate social activities that involve meeting new people, or developing strong friendships with acquaintances. Outdoor activities will teach your child how to respect the environment, so try suggesting picnics or barbecues as an alternative to trips to the mall. Socialization is a central aspect of an extrovert’s personality: being around people strengthens their emotional health.
If your schedule is too tight to arrange official weekly gatherings or outings, you can alternatively arrange for sleepovers at your house. That way, they can socialize with your friends while you (hopefully) get the chance to crack open the bottle of wine that has been sitting on the rack for the last six months. The only additional tip in this respect is to ensure that the children are made aware of any pertinent house rules, including bed time, where they can eat, and what areas (if any) are off-limits.
Just because they’re extrovert doesn’t mean your child doesn’t want to spend one-on-one time with you. In fact, they will cherish the memories you create together. As a parent, there are ways of bonding with your child. Yes, they might be talking about silly things, they might be emotionally draining at times, but they’re your family and you’d do anything to help them grow into the best version of themselves they can be.
The best thing you can do as a parent of an extroverted child is to nurture their outgoing personality. Sure, they may be overbearing at times, but it’s wonderful to be around a kid who is naturally confident and able to socialize easily. There are many relevant hobbies that will nurture an extroverted child while also keeping the potentially loud and obnoxious components of their personality in check. For example, why not enroll your child in some extracurricular activities that they will truly thrive in?
Extroverts excel at hobbies like acting, drama, pageants, and talent contents. Joining any kind of a club you think they’ll be interested in that involves meeting kids their own age will likely do down a treat, too.
The first step is to figure out if your child has a specific interest they would like to develop: did they ask for a keyboard for Christmas? Try piano lessons, particularly if the teacher gets their student involved in contests after reaching a certain level. Developing a talent and having it affirmed in the public sphere will teach your extrovert child to be happy with who they are and aim for excellence in their leisurely pursuits.
Extroverts are Fun!
Even if you’re an introvert yourself, extroverts can help bring you out of yourself. Extroverts are the kind of kids who will strike up a conversation with strangers that lasts for over an hour. The best thing to remember about parenting an extroverted child is to allow them to express themselves: never make them feel like they’re annoying just for being talkative or over-excited. Sure, don’t let discipline go out the window, but don’t discipline them just because you lose patience with their natural personality. Remember this one thing, and you’ll be a fantastic parent.