Are you making these 5 Common Mistakes Parenting Introverted Kids? Here are some great tips with a little help from #TalkEarly. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
5 Common Mistakes Parenting Introverted Kids
Parenting keeps me humble. Just when I think I’m over the hurdle of one child milestone, BOOM. I’m lost in yet another parenting stage. Basically, I still have no clue what I’m doing. And it’s hard to admit that I make mistakes – often.
When it comes to parenting my introverted son, I’ve made many. You would think that raising an introvert when you are an introvert – that I would be an expert. But maybe it’s the nudge of “I want better for him,” or the daily watching him sink more and more into his reclusive self that I find myself trying harder to break him of his introvert nature.
Now with a daughter who’s watching every single move my son makes (and why this post is filled with pics of her), I’m starting to see her take on his introverted qualities. With more tendencies to be shy these days – I wonder if she will also become an introverted child. Whether you’re an extroverted or an introverted parent, raising shy kids is challenging. Hopefully by revealing these 5 common mistakes when parenting introverted kids from licensed professional Phyllis L. Fagell during the #TalkEarly summit, we can work together to avoid these pitfalls, and instead, build better parent child relationships.
My husband tells me that my face says it all. I have ZERO poker face skills when it comes to life – especially when things are going wrong. Now as a parent, I definitely have a tendency to overreact. From a scrape on the knee to a C on a test, it’s hard to remember to tone down my response.
But overreacting now when my kids are little, is just setting up our relationship for failure later. Because if we overreact when our kids get a bee sting at age 6, they’re definitely going to hide the dent in the car when they’re 16. Kids need to know how much they are STILL loved, despite when times get tough. And that means calming our reactions to every little thing. Don’t make the mistake of overreacting to everything your child does. Because we don’t want them to hide from us later.
Teaching without Validating
I love when I have the chance to make a moment a teachable one with my kids. There’s so much to learn in life, and guiding my kids through my words and actions is truly a gift that I don’t take lightly. But you know how we tend to get caught up in that moment? We’re so excited for the parenting opportunity, that we forget about the little people we are teaching. It’s more than just making a moment into a brain boosting exercise. Consider the feelings of your child too with these teachable moment steps:
- Start your response with a validation such as: “I understand why you did this..”
- Then go on to explain how you’re feeling about it “But maybe that wasn’t……”
- Finally, help them come up with the next step by asking them: “What is the next step so that
you can make everyone feel better….”
Responding to Negative with Negative
We humans are funny beings. We are wired in such a way to only remember the negative in situations, not the positive. Take that wiring and embed it into our kids – we have an exponential negative scenario, if not a negative personality. It’s hard to break our negative tendencies. I struggle with this myself. But we need to teach our kids to consider another perspective in life.
Playing the “maybe” game is a great way to get our kids to look beyond their usual responses. “Maybe they were hungry.” “Maybe they were in a bad mood.” “Maybe they didn’t understand.” This helps give our kids a different perspective and consider other possibilities and look for the positives.
Changing a Reclusive Child
When we moved, I was hopeful that my kids would find more friends in their neighborhood, and ultimately lead to more play dates. My son hardly ever asks to have friends come over, and vice versa. I wonder if I could change his reclusive habits and get him to come out of his shell. Am I doing something wrong as a parent? Should I be worried? Here are some tips when dealing with a “reclusive” child:
- Ask yourself “whose anxiety is this?” Is it your anxiety or your child’s?
- Is your child just “people-d out?” Some kids are actually quite content with the amount of interaction they get at school/sports/activities. Some just use up all of their energy to get through the school week, that they need the weekend to recharge. Try to honor your child for who they are (especially hard when you’re an extroverted parent!)
- Talk to other adults: collect info from your child’s teacher, coach, counselor. How are they around other kids when you’re not around?
Draining from the ‘Never Always’ Kid
Have an Eeyore child in your life? This is the kid that always deals in superlatives. “Nobody wants to play with me.” “Everyone always ignores me.” “I never get picked for the kickball game.” My son tends to think in never-always scenarios. And it can be draining, really draining.
Consider playing the “highs and lows” game. This allows your child to re-frame a situation and find the positive. Also help your child to keep a gratitude journal or kindness journal to keep track of things they’re grateful for and things they did for others. Often, negative kids don’t have a full emotional vocabulary. Writing thoughts and feelings down can help expand their views.
What Parenting Introverted Kids & Red Ribbon Week Have in Common
In case you didn’t know, this week is Red Ribbon Week. Maybe you’ve heard the message of getting our kids to say no to drugs and alcohol. But why is this week so important for families? Because this is also the week where parents are encouraged to #TalkEarly to their kids about the “hard stuff.” It’s about building that parent-child relationship with open and honest communication. So when your kids are face life’s challenges, they’ll come to us first.
I love this video from our summit – talking about how hard it is to parent our kids and teach them the skills they need to build lasting friendships – but also the reminder of how we’re all in this together. Looking for more ways to talk to your kids about alcohol during this important school week? Head to Responsibility.org for great parent tips on how to talk to kids about alcohol.
Parenting introverted kids is not easy. Not one bit. But I wouldn’t trade my introverted children for anything. We only have them this young for so long. And those early conversations, those small tweaks in our parenting skills can have a huge impact on who our children become. Keep those lines of communication open – as challenging as it can be. Don’t make the same mistakes I have made.
I’ve been compensated as a #TalkEarly blogging ambassador for Responsibility.org for 2019. Even though this post is sponsored, I love the mission. All opinions are my own. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more parenting tips, easy family recipes, kids crafts and travel.