Parenting your Introverted kid
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.”
-Stephen Hawking, Physicist, Cosmologist and Author
The aim of this article is not to pathologize an introverted kid, rather to create a better understanding among parents about the kid’s introversion and ways to help him/her to socialize better without losing confidence.
Since there are many myths and misconceptions regarding the behavior, as a parent, the first thing to do is to make sure that you understand what it means to be an introvert. For example, kids may be reserved, but it does not mean they are shy. Introversion is not a sign of sickness, rather a personality trait. It does not call for medication and the kid is just “doing fine”.
Introversion is a personality trait where the person is focused more on internal thoughts, feelings and moods rather than seeking out external stimulation. Introverts tend to be quiet and reserved, at the same time they are extremely self-conscious and thoughtful.
They avoid large groups and unfamiliar people. They retract themselves from engaging in small talks (which they might consider unimportant). They rather choose to be in the company of few well-known personal pals and small groups. They might be interested in having deep important conversations with people they are comfortable. Hence, introversion should not be mistook for shyness like most of us do.
The most important thing a parent must follow is to avoid blaming or mocking your child’s behavior. Your child might lack socializing skills, might not have a wide group of friends or might not be good in greeting your guests. But that doesn’t mean they are shy or arrogant. And they don’t deserve to be criticized or ridiculed at.
A parent should also put effort in understanding their kid’s preferences. They might enjoy activities they can do alone or with just a few others. They prefer to spend more time alone in their own personal space. Here a parent should not intervene in their preferences. Of course, as a parent there will be a compulsion to encourage your kids to leave their personal space and get involved in more socialization. But there are chances that the parents end up in forcing kids, draining their energy and hurting their emotions. Rather you can introduce your kid to new people and environments slowly.
And the essential part is to be in support of your kid. Talk to your kid’s class teacher about his/her behavior. Introverts tend to not open out about the problems they are dealing with. So, make sure your kid feels “listened”, have long conversations with them and make them comfortable about sharing things with you.
Albert Einstein, Mark Zuckerberg, J.K. Rowling, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Buffett and many others have been introverts. But they are responsible for some of the greatest achievements in the world. So, there is nothing odd or awkward that your kid is an introvert. Your introverted kid might also have a unique skill and interest. Encourage, support, create a comfortable environment and see your kid create history.Read More
What’s with the attitude?Parenting your child’s attitude
08.01.2019. Iniyavan Mathiyalagan
“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.”
Traits of talking back, disobedience, arrogance and disrespect among kids are in popular culture termed as “Attitude problem”. “Attitude”, as commonly perceived, is really not a very bad thing to possess, rather can help the kid in a lot of positive ways. Nevertheless, it takes a lot of effort and proactive parenting in keeping your child’s attitude at check.
When I mentioned that attitude does help the child, I meant how it makes him/her a confident and an independent person. But the problem arises when the kids get carried away by their decisions or achievements. They tend to become over-confident through the trajectory of time. The key here, is to teach them humility; to make them aware of the possibilities of failures and flaws. I’m not suggesting that you break their confidence, rather implying the fact that over-confidence and rudeness do overlap each other.
Imposing rules vs laying values
An inquisitive kid often opts to break rules. As a parent one must understand the vigorous energy underlying such acts of defiance. Defiance is again a positive trait that helps the kid to become more innovative. It is often such kids who come up with breathtaking ideas. At the same time, it is important to teach them values which would give them a better framework to see and understand things. In simpler terms, instead of imposing rules on your kids, you can choose to teach morals and values and enable them to decide and act upon wisely.
The art of disagreeing
Yes, it’s quite exhausting to hear your kid talk back. However, one must need courage to say “no”, which your kid possesses. So, the strategy here is to just train your kid in that art. Parents should often discuss with kids and bring about a debate where both the parties can either agree or disagree. The kid will eventually develop the skill to think rationally instead of defying unreasonably. “Disagreement with rationality” keeps a check on the kid’s rudeness and helps him/her develop a fruitful relationship with relatives, friends and teachers as well.
Respect the Kid
Respect is a two-way behavior. As a parent it is your responsibility that your kid’s self-respect is not at stake. Listen to them. They do have a lot of important things to say. They are going through a lot of emotional turbulence as well. They do deserve a lot of attention, trust, love and respect. That is how they learn to trust, love and respect others.Read More