Be proud of your kid for not being 'loud'
In a world where attention and adulation are often given to extroverts who speak their minds loudly, introverts are often overlooked or sidelined. People seem to regard introversion as negative, but is it really bad? What should you do if you have an introverted child?
My 15-month-old daughter often cried before strangers and looked nervous when visiting new places, which embarrassed me and my family. My elders labelled her an introvert, which caused me a lot of stress. At one time, I even mistakenly associated her personality with mental health disorders.
Many people, including me, might have unconscious biases toward introverts, thinking extroverts are "superior" because they have better communication skills and generally enjoy more positive attention.
I am basically an extrovert, so I was concerned when I discovered my daughter's personality is different from mine.
For a long time, I was anxious and tried to find solutions by reading books and searching for information online.
I eventually realized I needed to accept her personality as it is. In fact, there is no need to correct it; instead, I have to take my own ego out of the equation.
I also began closely observing my daughter and chronicling her behavior. Observation is the key to understanding children's personalities and temperaments. From what I have observed, I know that my daughter is a good listener, a book and art lover, a fast learner, observant, creative, polite and loving.
Being introverted isn't a bad thing. Actually, their natural abilities endow introverts with many benefits.
It's such a relief to know that a person's personality type doesn't determine the level of happiness or how successful that person will be in life.
The next question I have to figure out is how to care for an introverted child.
Changing my family's attitude toward introversion is the top priority. It's important to know there is nothing unusual or shameful about being introverted. Many celebrities lean toward introversion, including Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, J.K. Rowling and even Barack Obama.
Besides, I introduce my daughter to new people slowly and arrive early if we are attending a social event in order to give her more time to observe the new environment. It's okay if she refuses to say hi or have physical contact with others, which no longer embarrasses me.
Instead of pushing her to socialize, I first ask her things like, "Do you want to play with ...?" If she says no, I say something like, "It's okay, maybe next time."
Meanwhile, I also create more opportunities to let her see me socializing with others, as children tend to mirror the adults in their life.
Every child should be treated as an individual with their own temperament and traits. I am proud of my daughter for not being "loud."