Parenting can be a challenge any way you look at it. If you are an introvert, that just happened to give birth to an extroverted child, your challenges may also include anxiety and a desire to push the invisibility button and disappear.
Extroverted children are gregarious, outgoing, talkative, always “on,” do not necessarily like to be alone nor really understand why people would want to be. In contrast, the introverted parent, although they always want to be there for their children, NEED time to regroup and recharge—alone.
Below are four tips to help introverted parents navigate raising extroverted children.
1. Wake up early. Waking up before the masses helps you begin the day at a slower pace in peace! Refrain from the temptation of doing any household work, organizing, etc. and just relax. Sip on some coffee, eat a bagel, and enjoy the silence.
2. Phone a friend and host a playdate. Find another introverted parent and work out a deal! If the two of you can share the responsibilities of hosting playdates, letting your extroverted kids get together once-and-awhile, this will give them the social interaction that they need and you the quiet break that you crave. Even when it is your turn to host, the kids will be so worn out after their friends leave, you will still get your quiet time!
3. Go guilt free. Do not feel guilty about needing quiet time for yourself. It is crucial that you take as much time as you need to recharge and reboot to be an effective parent. Carve out time to take a relaxing bath, nap, get lost in a Netflix binge, or just sit outside and enjoy nature. But whatever you do, just make sure that you do it, guilt free. Remember, doing this isn’t selfish, you are taking care of yourself, creating a win-win atmosphere for everyone.
4. Teach your extrovert about being an introvert. It is important to teach your extroverted children about respecting others’ alone time. Let them know that even though we live in an extroverted world, there are people that are not like them and need to be alone once and awhile. Let your little extroverts know that you need time to yourself and that you are not angry, upset, or mad at them for any reason. Set up a time together, it can be the same time every day, where you put five minutes, ten minutes, whatever you deem necessary, on a timer and let them know that until the bell tolls, you are indeed invisible.