Last week we talked about some of the challenges and issues involved in raising an introverted child in an extroverted world. But what if the opposite is true? What if you’re an introvert who somehow has managed to give birth to an extrovert? Or two? Parenting — even with all its joys and rewards — can also be unbelievably draining, most especially if you are an introvert with a child whose needs for interaction far exceed your own.
My own family is comprised of three introverts and one lonely extrovert, so it has been a huge shift in education and focus for us to step out of our own preferences and learn to meet that child’s needs. Meeting our introverted child’s needs was clearly a no-brainer, but that extroverted kid — well, he was a different story. It involved a radical internal shift and some extreme self-protection maneuvers.
Again, one of the first things to understand about the extroverted child is that he needs and craves interaction as much as you need and crave solitude. Just as you need solitude to process and think and recharge — your extroverted child needs social interaction to do the very same. That is what his system requires to recharge his batteries and allow him to operate at optimum performance levels. However, to an introvert, the constant chatter as they interpret and process their experiences and thoughts and feelings can feel like an all out assault.