If you have gathered enough from my blog, you’ll know I’m an introvert. If you’re new here, hello 👋 welcome. I’m an introvert with social anxiety and I am raising an extrovert.
This means a few good things. My son enjoys playing with others, seeing family, going places, and is energized by social interactions, including those between him and I.
However, my introvert self is exhausted by social interactions, even if it is just visiting family. I thrive in solitude and crave it when I haven’t had any in a while, which is the current case for me.
Lately, whenever I wake up earlier in order to do housework, his radar picks up and he wakes up, then proceeds to demand attention and entertainment, which is only silenced by screentime. He follows me around the house all day, hovers over me when I’m on my phone, and even bangs on my door while I’m in the bathroom.
He gets bored easily and doesn’t enjoy solitary or independent activities much. Sometimes I play with him, like today (we played uno, snakes and ladders, this or that) but then I need to be alone to think or read or write, while he follows me around waiting for the next activity.
The only reason I’m able to write this post now is because he is watching on the tv.
Let’s skip to the advice part of this blog.
I did a personality quiz for my son (you know I’m a big fan of quizzes and it’s rubbing off on my son) and they affirmed that he was an extrovert. Then they gave me some tips as to how to better deal with an extrovert so they don’t suck your energy away.
- Give them space to verbally express themselves, especially when they’re upset. I’m guilty of reacting instead of listening when my son is being melodramatic.
- Do more of the activities they enjoy most (ask them) and do these activities with them as much as you can. I’m also guilty of avoiding such activities because they drain me (like pretend play) and I try to impose the activities I prefer (like reading him a book or playing board games).
- Offer activities that burn energy instead of telling them to calm down and sit still. Eg. Jump on the trampoline (bonus, we actually have a trampoline, a basketball hoop and a slide at home) or count to 50 while walking backwards. I actually just suggested the trampoline to my son because he was hovering over my shoulder again and I need to wrap up this blog.
Conclusion: Raising a child is difficult, especially if the child is an extrovert but the mother is an introvert. So practice self care but keep in mind your child’s needs.