How to be a better parent to an introverted kid

You child is an introvert if she is hesitant and reserved, is quiet most of the times, and prefers standing back and watching others converse, rather than participating in the conversation. As a parent, that shouldn’t drive you nuts. It’s okay if she doesn’t behave like you did when you were her age. All people aren’t born alike. Understanding her needs and being a supportive mother will help her better break her cocoon.

Here’s what you should do if you have an introverted child:

  • You have to know the difference between your child’s general introvert behaviour and sudden changes. Sometimes sudden withdrawals could be a symptom of emotional distress or even depression.
  • A lot of children are introverted by choice and it’s not a result of depression or anxiety. In that case, you should learn to respect their temperament. You have to embrace their personality just the way it is, so even they learn to embrace themselves and be happier beings.
  • Know yourself, and teach your child, that there is nothing abnormal about being an introvert. Introverts and extroverts are wired differently biologically.
  • Introverts generally experience anxiety in new environments and around new people. So don’t expect them to jump around chatting up and hugging all and sundry. If you must introduce someone to your child, do it slowly, a step at a time, giving your child enough space to be comfortable.
  • Always remind your child that it’s ok to take a break from socializing if it’s overwhelming, stressful, or tiring for her.
  • If there are any previous fears, she has overcome, appreciate her. This will encourage her to forge further.
  • Teach your child, that although it’s ok to not talk when she doesn’t feel like, it is super essential that she stand up for herself if mistreated. It’s important for them to have a strong voice against unfair treatment or they may burrow deeper into their cocoon.
  • Lastly be a wonderful listener to your child. You may be one of the very few people she interacts with and by intently listening to her, you understand her better and in the process make her feel less lonely too.

If your child suddenly turns introvert, you need to consult a child psychiatrist or a therapist to know, understand and treat the underlying symptoms of the sudden behaviour. Happy parenting!