How To Parent Kids Who Are Introverts

Last week I shared some wisdom I gleaned from the popular website  The content was a collection of insights pertaining to parenting kids who are extroverts, and I hope you read and were able to apply some of it to your parenting.  Today I am wrapping up this thought with a look at the flip side of personalities, the introverts.

My wife and I have two kids, and our oldest, Colt, is a very social introvert.  As I read this list I was amazed at how many of these things we have stumbled upon and learned the hard way over the last 4 years.  Take a look!

How To Parent Kids Who Are INTROVERTS:

  1. Respect Their Need For Privacy
  2. Never Embarrass Them In Public
  3. Let Them First Observe In New Situations
  4. Give Them Time To Think. Don’t Demand Instant Answers
  5. Don’t Interrupt Them
  6. Give Them Advance Notice Of Expected Changes In Their Lives
  7. Give Them 15 Minute Warnings To Finish What They Are Doing
  8. Reprimand Them Privately
  9. Teach Them New Skills Privately
  10. Enable Them To Find One Best Friend Who Has Similar Interests And Abilities
  11. Don’t Push Them To Make Lots Of Friends
  12. Respect Their Introversion.  Don’t Try To Make Them Into An Extrovert.

Some of the most pertinent ones for us have been #6 and #7.  Colt always functions better when he has advance notice of changes.  Initially I assumed this was a control thing for him, that he didn’t trust me, or was bored…but what I’ve come to realize is that he functions at his highest level when he can identify the boundaries of his world.  Especially as a 4-year-old, his schedule is not his own!  So, the more notice we can give Colt of changes, big or small, the more excited he is about any challenge he could face.

As I write this post, I myself am reminded that no two kids are alike.  Our son and 2-year-old daughter Emmy are about as polar-opposite as can be.  They have different personalities that require different motivations, discipline and parenting.  Treating them the same, or even worse, treating them in a way that only makes sense to me, but doesn’t connect with them, will be disastrous!  Not only will I not be effective as a parent and miss opportunities, but I will also tear down trust that is so vital with my kids as they grow into young adults.

What do you do to parent your kids towards their strengths?
How do you take their personality and motivations into account?