Raising an introverted child

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Some parents may get worried when they see their children always favor playing alone and not actively participating in social activities. There exists a common belief that a person is more successful or has greater possibilities to be successful if he or she has wider social networks and plays an active role in social events. Extroverts are those who always break the ice, lighten up the surrounding atmosphere and motivate people get into chats; they are the focus of the group and this offers them greater chances to become leaders. However, the world without the introverts, who are good at extracting the essence of things in the solitude, creating masterpieces that broaden the understanding towards the world, universe and humanity, will never become what it has become.

Some parents push their children to get involved into classmates parties or activities; some parents even pick up friends themselves whom they suppose to be ‘good’ for their children. These “good-hearted” or “concerned” parents place pressure on their children gradually; this may result in even worse rejection or phobia in terms of socializing or communicating. Thus, the first and foremost thing for these parents to know is that “there is nothing wrong with these children”, “they have an inborn need for quiet time to process what they take in by observing” (Larsen, 2017, para.11). Dr. Laney, a neuroscience researcher and psychoanalyst practicing in Calabasas, points out that “dopamine produced by our bodies in the situation of like a party tends to give extroverted kids a pleasant boost, while it can overload a introverted child’s circuits” (as cited in Larsen, 2017, para.16). This indicates that the disparities of inner needs prompt introverted and extroverted children to seek different environments for their self-satisfaction.

Introverted children may face pressure not only from their parents but also from teachers as well as schools. Some teachers misunderstand introverted children as not smart or diligent enough, daydreaming and not paying attention to class content etc. Sometimes, situation even gets worse when a teacher yells at a child for he or she does not respond to the question quickly and labels this child as “awkward learner”. Linda Silverman, PhD, Director of the Gifted Development Center in Denver, illustrates that “introverted children are less likely to be admitted to a private prestigious school because they clam up in an interview” (as cited in Larsen, 2017, para.20). It cannot be denied that there exists discrimination against introverted children in school and other social places; this is the issue needed to be addressed via social campaign, advertising or media in order to influence people’s views and judgments, transcending differences and embracing diversities.

To sum up, parents of introverted children need to give back a ‘fair’ view to their children and accept them as who they naturally are; at the same time, parents can encourage and support instead of pushing their children to get used to various social places and meet with various people by get involved into conversations themselves and allow some time for their children to warm up. While it is important to bear in mind that these children need some time alone and absorb into their thoughts or things which interested them most.

 

Reference:

Larsen, A. (2017). Raising an introvert in an extrovert world. Retrieved from:

http://www.parents.com/kids/development/shy/raising-an-introvert/

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5 thoughts on “Raising an introverted child

  1. I am very interested in reading about introverts vs. extroverts and, in particular, how to consider their personal traits in the classroom. I wonder if the concept of inclusive education contains this aspect as well because if learning preferences of introverts and extroverts differ so much, these peculiarities should be taken into account by educators. Also, may be some additional training is needed for teachers to be able to help students with different learning preferences. What do you think about intro/extroverts from the position of the inclusive education?

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    1. Dear Mariya,
      Thanks for your thought-provoking qusetion! I absolutely agree with your fantastic idea about training teachers for dealing with students with different personalities in one classroom.
      Regarding to your question about the inclusive education, the uderlying philosophy are almost same since the inclusion is aiming at accepting people of diverse abilities or personalities rather than separating them by stigmatizing the minority group. Our society is diversified and we need to teach or learn how to make these diversified people learn, work, collaborate together, making the best from each individual, respecting the otherness. This would be one of the prerequisites for buidling a pluralist society.

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  2. dear, sharapat812,
    From my own lived experience, I think that it is crucial for parents of introvert children to be in touch with the school and their teachers, as sometimes it may take much time for a teacher to recognize a particular child as an introvert. However, I know that in schools we have counselors (psychologists) which in fact should warn the teachers because when the child is only about to come to school they are taken the tests to determine their nature. They also should warn the parents as they simply may be unaware of it. That is why I think the best solution is when parents+school administration+teachers= are working on for the benefit of a child.
    P.S. Could you notice any differences between treating introverts in Kazakhstan and China?)

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    1. Dear Uaxi,
      Thanks for your interesting and thoughtful questions!
      The circulation of parent, teacher, school administration is a great idea, this would enhance the effectiveness and real performance of inclusion of both extroverted and introverted
      students. However, parental involvement and the coopeartion between teachers and administration are still not satisfactory in Kazakhstan; personally i think there are some reasons for this issue. The workload of teachers is overwhelmed by huge amout of paperwork and teaching hours, they barely have time for reflecting on the students’ engagement related with their personalities, not to say more interaction with parents; the school administration has the authority power and often separate themselves from the practical teaching process, which also means that teachers are less involved in the decision-making process.
      regarding to this issue in China, since the number of pupils in one classroom is much bigger than this in Kazakhstan, the style of teaching is generally teacher-centered, and less interaction with each student, thus, this issue needs to be addressd in China as well.

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  3. Well done, Sharapat (5/5). This post presents a good summary of a scholarly source, although you may want to do a bit more to justify why we should trust a commercial site like parents.com. Your writing clearly shows your understanding and interpretation of that text, as you explain the ideas to us in a new way. Your concluding sentences to each paragraph are especially effective. I hope you get a chance to address the thoughtful questions in your comment section!

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