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Caring for an Extroverted Child

Sometimes I think God must have been laughing a little when He gave us Raeca. I imagine Him looking at us two introverts and making the decision to give us one of the most extroverted children ever, just to push us out of our comfort zone.

Introversion and extroversion are a continuum, I find Jared is quite far over on the introverted side, I’m closer to the middle but introversion definitely wins out, and Raeca? Well, she’s somewhere near the end of the extroverted side.

She shows all the signs of extroversion, she loves talking (like, non-stop, she even talks in her sleep), enjoys making new friends, thrives on social interactions, speaks in a louder voice, is very energetic . . .

While I’ve known for a while that Raeca is an extrovert it wasn’t until recently that I thought about how that should affect the way I parent her. Here are a few things that I’ve found:

  1. listen to her – while my introverted self just wants to be closed up in a nice quiet room, she needs me to take the time to listen to her, and I mean, actually listen, not checking social media on my phone and pretending to listen.
  2. give her opportunities to be in social situations – she is enrolled in a few classes and we go to story time at the library whenever we can (bonus: that’s free!), she loves the chance to interact with people.
  3. give her the chance to meet new people – if we’ve been stuck inside the house for a couple of days I’ve learned that taking her to the play place at the local mall and just letting her meet and interact with new little people is a great boost for her mood.
  4. let her touch you – she’s one of those people that doesn’t really get personal space, or the fact that I don’t really always want her petting me when I’m eating, but it’s one of the ways she shows affection and I’m learning it is more important for her to feel like I care than keeping myself in my own personal bubble.
  5. spend time with her – this is a biggie, Raeca asks me to play with her all day long, even after we’ve spent the last hour or two playing, she just craves that human interaction. This makes me even more excited for the day we get to bring home her brother or sister, she will have a built in playmate, I am kind of hoping they are a bit of an extrovert too.
  6. teach her that it’s okay to spend some time alone – while she thrives in social situations it is still good for to learn how to spend some time alone. I find this one is just as much for me as for her, if she can spend some nice time playing it gives me a chance to recharge and have more energy for when she wants me to play with her again.

These are just a few things I’ve learned so far, does anyone else have extroverted children or people in their lives? Have you learned any other things that work for them? I’d love to hear it if you do!

23 Comments

  1. Mandi January 29, 2014

    I think we need to get Raeca and Cassidy together. I feel like you just described Cassidy to a tee!


  2. Mandi January 29, 2014

    I think we need to get Raeca and Cassidy together. I feel like you just described my child to a tee!


    • Chantel January 29, 2014

      We totally should! When we were at the library the other week there was a girl named Cassidy and Raeca heard someone call her name and she was hoping it was your Cassidy, “cause she’s my friend” she says. 🙂


  3. Denise Lopatka January 29, 2014

    love this post! your sweet raeca is adorable and so lucky to have such a thoughtful mama 🙂


    • Chantel January 29, 2014

      Thanks Denise!


  4. Chloe January 29, 2014

    This is so sweet!!! What a precious little girl and beautiful adventure you guys will have raising her. The Lord truly does have a sense of humor!


    • Chantel January 29, 2014

      Oh, indeed the adventures we will have! She keeps life interesting! 🙂


  5. Susannah January 29, 2014

    These tips are fabulous!!! Nate and I are both introverted so I just know we’ll be blessed with a very outgoing child. 😉


    • Chantel January 29, 2014

      Haha, you probably will!! It’s a lot of fun but also very tiring. 🙂


  6. jennifer prod January 29, 2014

    Raeca is absolutely precious 🙂 This is also a timely post – I’m reading this book Quiet (about the value of introverts) and so interested in the differences between extroverts/introverts that my husband and i took the myers-briggs personality test last night 🙂 i’m what they call an ambivert – right down the middle. i bet i’ll have two kids on both ends of the spectrum, huh??


    • Chantel January 29, 2014

      Oh interesting! I love the Meyers-Briggs test, I’m an INFJ, and it’s totally true! One of the things I’ve noticed about myself is I think I’ve gotten more introverted as I’ve gotten older, so who knows how introverted I’ll be in the next 10-20 years!


  7. Jayda January 29, 2014

    Such a sweet post! I always assumed that being an introvert/extrovert was kind of genetic, since my parents are both introverts, and my sister and I are introverts, but I think it’s super cool that it can work the opposite too. I might just have to keep this post in mind if I have extrovert children, because I would seriously not know what to do haha. Also, your daughter is adorable!!


    • Chantel January 31, 2014

      @Jayda, Haha, yeah, it’s kind of weird, I wonder where all her extrovertedness comes from!


  8. Wynne Elder February 3, 2014

    i love this. i have 1 introverted and 1 extroverted, and I’m still learning how to love them both well. thanks for this!


    • Chantel Klassen February 4, 2014

      Ooh, this makes me curious, does your extrovert understand when your introvert needs time alone? I’m so anxious to see if we get an introvert or extrovert with our adoption (almost more than I wonder about the gender!).


  9. alison February 4, 2014

    okay, so you know i don’t have kids yet, but i love that you’re posting about this. SUCH a good point- to love them well and understand what they need even when they don’t know it.


    • Chantel Klassen February 4, 2014

      Thanks Alison! Since we are both INF’s (I’m a J you’re a P, right?) it make sense that we care so much about personalities! 🙂 I never thought I’d end up with such an extroverted little child!


  10. Amanda Jaynes March 10, 2014

    This is so great. I too am an introvert and, though I don’t have kids, I did marry an extrovert. I’m learning more and more to care less about what others think of me (and my loud, vivacious husband.) It’s been really freeing!


    • Chantel Klassen March 11, 2014

      Haha, I can’t imagine being married to an introvert, that’s awesome that it’s teaching you to care less about what others think!


  11. Cole Nemeth March 31, 2014

    I am an introvert (extremely) and both my daughter and my husband are very extroverted! My daughter is also very, very hyper at all times and does not know how to relax. It’s exhausting when two people you love are constantly demanding your attention. One thing that really helps me keep my sanity is family. My sisters both have children close to Sidney’s age so she is constantly going out to play with them either with the grandparents or with us. Either way, having family around gives me time to myself.


    • Chantel Klassen March 31, 2014

      I can’t imagine how tired you must be by the end of the day! I love that you have family that can keep her busy and tire her out! 🙂


  12. Shannon Kennedy April 1, 2014

    Love this post. It’s an amazing thing how children can push us out of our comfort zones and help us grow in ways that no one else can.


    • Chantel Klassen April 1, 2014

      Oh, isn’t that the truth?! She definitely challenges me, usually in a good way. 🙂


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