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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!