From parenting books on how to raise children and maintain a healthy family life to seeking advice from family and friends, as parents to growing children we are always looking into new ideas and tips that can positively impact our children.
Raising introverted children is not normally included in that handbook.
Introverted teens are often mistaken for shy teens and vice versa. As an introvert, your son or daughter would have always been more inclined to keep to themselves, and prefer to play or do activities alone.
Being an introvert is a personality trait that is not influenced by external forces. Being a parent to a teenager can be hard enough, an introvert teen will be tougher.
- Start with learning to accept and support your teen. Don’t make them feel like there is something wrong with them if they are quieter than their peers. Asking them to change who they are can ruin your relationship with them.
- An extroverted teen would make plans with friends or catch a movie with classmates, while an introverted teen would be content pursuing their interests alone. Try keeping them company with things they enjoy doing, as a way to spend time with them and find out more about their lives.
- Navigating school and friends can be especially hard for an introvert. It is important to encourage them to go out with friends, staying in all day can often lead to low self-esteem and set off early depression. If you feel your child is struggling to make friends – sign them up for a book club, art lessons or anything that they might be interested in.
- Impart your wisdom with social skills on to your teenager. Coaching them and giving them advice on how to start conversations and show interest in their friends lives, is a great way to challenge them and improve their social skills.
- Depression and anxiety are common amongst all teenagers. If you notice your teenager struggling to get through the day without being unhappier or angrier than usual, this could be a sign of depression. If your introverted teen becomes extremely uncomfortable with social interaction and starts to avoid it, that could be a sign of anxiety. Always remain vigilant for any changes to your teenager’s mental health and don’t be afraid to speak to a professional for help or advice.
Awareness and support can be half the battle in educating and protecting introverted teens. As parents we can help by reassuring our children and teaching them how to embrace their personality.
Let them know that there is incredible value in being an introvert, as well as in being an extrovert.
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