It’s not easy being an introvert in an extrovert world—especially when you’re a kid. It is even more difficult if none of the adults in the kid’s life recognize that the child is an introvert. This doesn’t happen only when the child’s parents are extroverts, but also with introverted parents who have never understood their own introverted nature.
I was in my early thirties when I discovered that there were such beings as introverts, and that I was one of them. Suddenly, so much of my quirky, odd, misunderstood behavior had meaning. There was nothing wrong with me, it was simply that being around people drained my personal batteries. I wasn’t shy or lacking in self esteem or even anti social; I merely needed solitude to recharge. So much of my life and my own behavior became clear to me! So of course, being a mom, the second thing I did after discovering I was an introvert was tested my kids to see if they were as well.
One was a very pronounced introvert while the other was an extrovert. Talk about built in sibling conflict!
There are a lot of misconceptions about what being an introvert actually means. It does not mean shy, or socially anxious, or socially backward, or anti-social—although I would venture to say that a number of those characteristics can occur when an introvert is pressured or forced to behave in an extroverted manner.
Read the rest of Robin LaFevers’ post on raising an introvert over at GeekMom.