A note for my readers: If you have read my blog posts before, you may be wondering why I would prioritize writing about parenting. While I am not a parent by choice, I spoke with both introverted mamas and extroverted adults who were raised by introverts to write this guide for raising an extroverted child. Know that though I am not a parent, I have deep respect for you and your decisions!
Lately, I’ve been writing guides for others on how to navigate life with a sensitive introvert like you. How to date an introvert. How to be a great friend to an introvert. Dealing with family dynamics as a sensitive, introverted woman. Ways to be a stellar employer to an introvert and how to co-work with your introverted “work wife”. However, this one’s for you, sensitive introverted mama. You made the incredible decision to become a mom, and I truly respect you for going down this path. You’ve planned. Prepared. Welcomed this new life into your world. And then, the unthinkable happens. Your child hits elementary school, and their personality is showing itself clearly. They’re an … extrovert. *gasp!* (Okay, maybe not really…but, it’s still worth exploring!)
Your extroverted child is not the problem. AND, neither are you.
There are few things more challenging to an introverted mama than raising an extroverted child. They are a wonderful child, but honestly, they overwhelm you with their constant need for socializing. And, you simply cannot change your sensitive, introverted nature to meet your child where they are. So, how do you navigate life as the sensitive introverted mama you are, with an extroverted child? Can you really honor your introversion and sensitivity, and be the amazing parent you want to be? Let’s talk about it.
You chose to be a parent, now your kid is “too much,” in a new way
You love your child unconditionally and totally accept them for who they are. Yet, their extroverted tendencies can be too much for you at times. First of all, it’s ok to need a break from your children! Kids can be a lot, and when they are a non-stop talking extrovert, there’s another layer there! You know you made the right decision to have a child, you just need a break and some breathing room!
How to care for your extroverted child… by caring for yourself
Caring for an extroverted child when you are a sensitive introvert is an art. I’m not going to say it’s not difficult, however it is doable! The first step to caring for your child is to care for yourself! If you aren’t at your best, you can’t be there for your child in the way they need you to. Caring for your extroverted child will come with challenges for you as a sensitive introverted woman, however, you can do this!
Caring for yourself and your introverted needs IS good mothering.
Introvert Tip #1: Take a getaway
My first suggestion is to schedule a regular “getaway.” Whether it’s a getaway for your family or for you, either works! Find a weekend every month or three and find a cabin in the woods or an Airbnb in your favorite locale and getaway! Or send your extroverted family members away to a waterpark or fun hotel and enjoy having the house to yourself. Pick some good books to read and bring as much tea as a weekend can handle. Trust me, your co-parent can handle one weekend without you! They may even find they enjoy the time to focus on the kids!
Introvert Tip #2: Encourage your extroverted child to socialize! …with others.
As your extroverted child gets older, they will want to spend all of their time with friends. Encourage them to bring friends over or go over to friends’ houses so they can play and have socialization without you having to be as involved. If they are at your house you will have to be involved, but can keep it minimal. Kids know how to entertain themselves, you’ve got this. In fact, it can be helpful to your child who needs to get their energy from others to get their social battery filled again! (See below for how to have this conversation with your kiddo.)
Introvert Tip #3: Explain to your kiddo that you need to compromise.
As your child gets older, you might have to talk with them about your needs as a sensitive introverted woman. Since the world is formatted for extroverts, your child may not naturally understand the way you operate. Having an open honest conversation with them in a developmentally appropriate way can go a long way to helping them understand and give you the space you need to reboot.
This conversation can be as simple as explaining that we all have a social battery. And people fill their batteries in different ways. Some people get their battery filled by being with other people: playing with friends, going to school events, or simply having a conversation with others. Others get their battery filled by being alone. Ask them when they feel full of energy and ready to go. Explain that you feel recharged when you’ve had some time to yourself.
Begin Coaching for Sensitive, Introverted Women
If you find yourself wondering how to navigate life in an extroverted world, it might be time to consider sensitive introvert coaching with me, Enid DeJesus. I love working with women who are sensitive introverts; helping them embrace who they are and learn to love their sensitive, introverted nature. Together, we will work to liberate you from the generational pressures you feel and design a life that suits your sensitive, introverted nature. As an experienced therapist and sensitive introvert, I am uniquely able to help support YOU, wherever you are. This program is different from other classes, therapy, and coaching you may have participated in before. We are going to be actively designing a life that is truly yours, amid the harsh reality of our fast-paced world. Whether you are in Florida, California, Texas, Washington, North Carolina, Oregon, Missouri, South Carolina, somewhere else in the United States, Canada, or even the United Kingdom and beyond…I want to help you THRIVE. To get started: