6 Ways to Nurture Your Quiet, Introverted Child

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Parents, you can help your introverted child.
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Parents, you can help your introverted child.

Ok, so they were your quiet baby. They never gave you much to worry about and content to occupy themselves in the crib.

Naturally, you love your child and while you admit that they may have been your "easy baby", you secretly began to harbor doubts. Sure, maybe they resisted play dates but they found a way to play by themselves.

So if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? Right! Well, sort of. Fixing is not the answer... nurturing is.

But when it was time for school, your bright inquisitive child took a back seat to the crowd. They blended in at best and were alone at worst.

Why isn’t he speaking up in class? Why isn’t she more of a leader? Why would she rather look at books than play during recess? They are smart, the teacher tells you, but they just don’t interact.

Well, your quiet child isn’t broken, they may be introverted.

Introverts tend to be reinforced from within, often preferring solitary pursuits to social engagement. Social activity may leave them exhausted. Studies indicate that one-third of all people are likely to be introverted but it doesn’t have to be show stopper.

Moses, George Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt... all introverts. Bill Gates, J.K Rowling, Barbara Streisand... you guessed it, they were introverts.

Susan Cain, in her New York Times Bestseller Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, gives some helpful suggestions for parents with introverted children. Here are 6 parenting tips to nurture them:

1.Celebrate their uniqueness.

Treasure their kind, thoughtful and focused and interesting company. Being introverted can be a powerful and satisfying quality that leads to deep and meaningful relationships.

2. Expose your reluctant child to new experiences gradually.

Praise them for any social risk taken.

3. Don’t call your child shy!

It’s a negative label that limits their potential. Introverted people can master public speaking and social engagement.

4. Remember that your introverted development was different than your child’s development.

If your child is introverted, there’s a strong possibility that at least one of the parents is also introverted. But your pain doesn't have to be the same for your child.

5. If your child is highly sensitive to novel situations, don’t despair.

Highly sensitive children when nurtured, tend to have good grades, strong relationships, and are healthier.

6. Remember that introverted kids are passionate.

Cultivate that passion if its stamp collecting, bee keeping, or Star Wars. It is from these passions that will later grow successful livelihoods and pursuits.

And most importantly, work at the relationship. Resist hovering over your child like a helicopter and don’t get frustrated when they reject your social advances.

Don’t give up, just learn to be patient and your child will love you forever.

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